Announcing Southern Arizona Guide’s Tucson History Tour!

George Hand, early Tucson saloonkeeper.

Please Join Me on Sunday, March 1, 2015 for Southern Arizona Guide’s Tucson History & Libation Tour: A walkabout the Old Pueblo as saloon owner George Hand lived it in the 1870’s. I’m Jim Gressinger, travel writer, photographer, and publisher of Southern Arizona Guide. I will be your guide for … Continue reading

Taste Of Tucson Downtown: A Food, Culture, and History Tour.

A chili relleno dish at La Cocina Cantina, Tucson AZ

In January 2015, I had the pleasure of a unique Downtown Tucson food, culture, and history tour. These tours are scheduled Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays from 1:00-4:30 PM. Our tour had 15 participants, including myself; lasted slightly more than 3 hours, and covered 2.5 miles both walking and riding the … Continue reading

Desert Pavement and Desert Varnish

Desert Pavement

Denise Bausch of the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge on the Colorado River in Southwest Arizona near Yuma defines desert pavement and desert varnish and their importance in desert environments. It’s a two hour Drive from Yuma, a bit closer from Blythe, but if you want a true desert environment experience, … Continue reading

Apaches Attack A Stagecoach; Passenger and Driver Murdered!

Apache Chief Nana

Arizona Weekly Citizen: August 7, 1881 Back in the 1860’s to 1880’s, the terrorist threat to Anglo and Mexican Tucsonans was local and ever-present. Only back then, they weren’t called “terrorists”. They were called “Apaches”. Background to the Article In the 19th century, the little town of Tucson was surrounded … Continue reading

Historic Downtown Tucson: A Collection of Picture Postcards

Tucson, Arizona: 2013.

As a “city”, Tucson really came into its own in the first decade of the 20th century, even though the city was legally incorporated in 1877. It never amounted to anything of importance until the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880. The railroad connected Tucson to the outside world. It brought hardware, lumber, and fresh produce at affordable prices. Even today, you can see how the architecture of the city changed after the arrival of the railroad. 

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Oro Valley Farmers Market: Farm Fresh History!

Oro Valley Farmers Market at Steam Pump Ranch

Not long ago, Oro Valley Farmers Market moved to historic Steam Pump Ranch on North Oracle Road. The ranch was started in 1874 by German immigrants George Pusch and Johann Zellweger. In order to make the ranch viable, they needed a lot of water.  So the partners purchased a steam … Continue reading

A Fate Worse Than Death: How Pennington Street Got Its Name!

Larcena Ann Pennington

How did Pennington Street in Downtown Tucson get its name? (a) Could it be named for some 19th century politician and merchant like Estevan Ochoa, who established a successful business supplying Indian reservations and U.S. Army forts northeast of Tucson? He served as mayor (1875-76) and has a downtown street … Continue reading

America’s Longest War: An Apache History!

Apaches

Which was America’s longest war? President Obama claims that the war in Afghanistan is America’s longest. But is that true? First, let me say that “wars” no longer start with a formal “declaration of war” nor end with a formal signing of surrender documents or “peace accords”. So part of … Continue reading