Nestled in the Santa Cruz River Valley, the picturesque beauty of Amado is a paradise for birdwatchers, nature-lovers, and city folk alike.
The wide range of ecosystems extend from rugged peaks and pine forests of the Santa Rita mountains, named for the patroness of impossible causes, and spring-fed canyons to the Sonoran Desert and Santa Cruz River Valley.
The opening "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" sequence in the 1955 film Oklahoma!, with Gordon MacRae singing the famous song while riding a horse past the stalks of corn "as high as an elephant's eye", was filmed in Amado. One scene in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" was filmed in Amado at a restaurant shaped like a cow skull called the Long Horn Grill.
Across the road from the Longhorn is the Cow Palace Restaurant, a haunt of John Wayne and other western movie figures. The Cow Palace, still a watering hole for area cowboys, has an interesting history of its own. The Cow Palace was established upon the site of an old general store in the days of Otho Kinsley. Otho established the Kinsley Ranch in 1920 and became famous for furnishing bucking horses and Brahma bulls to the now famous Fiesta de Los Vaqueros Rodeo.
Since then, the Cow Palace Restaurant and Bar remains one of this area's most well known attractions. Old timers report that on occasion the Cow Palace became a theatre. The dining room would be cleared and a movie projector and screen would be setup for the patrons to enjoy a film.
In later years, many movies were filmed in the area, such as "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing", "Pray For The Wildcat", "Tin Cup", "The Postman", and "Boys On The Side." As a result, the Cow Palace was frequented by aforementioned John Wayne and many other stars whose famous faces now grace the bar.
As of the census of 2000, there were 275 people, 104 households, and 66 families residing in the Census Designated Place named Amado. The population density was 24.5 people per square mile (9.5/km²). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 9.5/sq mi (3.7/km²). The racial makeup of Amado at the 2000 census was 70.91% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 1.09% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 26.18% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 43.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 104 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.39.
In Amado, the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $20,417, and the median income for a family was $82,922. Males had a median income of $22,946 versus $26,563 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,452. About 7.1% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under the age of eighteen and none of those sixty-five or over.
Amado is also the starting point for the road to Arivaca, Arizona. There are a few sites on the net that refer to Arivaca as a "near ghost town." I am sure that the current inhabitants would find that amusing. There's a bar in town name the La Gitano Cantina. A story in Esquire magazine years ago had this to say:
"There are bloodstains on the floor, bullet holes in the walls, and you might get some free dental care on the pool table from a drunk biker with pliers."
I might add that there are also bullet holes in the ceiling. Personally, I like the place.