Magazine article Sunset

Tubac: A Short Course in Arizona History

Magazine article Sunset

Tubac: A Short Course in Arizona History

Article excerpt

Tour a town with links to missionaries and explorers

Set on the picturesque banks of the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona, the village of Tubac is a delight for history buffs.

In the late 1600s, the area was visited by Spanish explorers and missionaries, including Father Eusebio Kino, who instigated the founding of the Tumacacori Mission. In 1752, the Spaniards built a presidio, or garrison, in nearby Tubac and encouraged settlers to join the soldiers, making it the first European settlement in Arizona. From Tubac, Juan Bautista de Anza led his successful expedition to California in 1774.

In later years Tubac's fortunes rose and fell under Spanish, Mexican, and American flags. Retrace local history at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. You can tour a restored schoolhouse and wend your way through a fine historical museum. Sunday afternoons through-out March, volunteers mount a living-history program at the park, depicting Spanish colonial life.

If you're feeling energetic, hike the 4.5-mile portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail that links the Tubac Presidio to the Tumacacori National Historical Park to the south. …

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