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

Tucson Rodeo Parade 2014: A Slideshow!

Tucson Rodeo Parade

On a perfect February morning, we went to the 2014 Tucson Rodeo Parade. The parade celebrates the annual rodeo known as La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros. The parade was created back in 1925 and is said to be the largest non-motorized parade in America. I can believe it. The procession … Continue reading

A Carriage Ride Into The Past

Sentinel Carriage Company Tour of Downtown Tucson

We know more about Tucson history than most. Why? It’s our job. We are, after all, Southern Arizona Guide. We particularly enjoy Downtown Tucson because it is so rich in local history and cultural heritage.  We never tire of discovering historical gems hidden among the modern high-rises and older Downtown … Continue reading

How Gates Pass Got Its Name: A Slideshow

14 Gates Pass w Moon

Gates Pass was named for Thomas Gates, a local pioneer & successful gambler, rancher, saloonkeeper, & miner. Today, we might refer to old Tom as an “entrepreneur”. In 1883 he searched for & found a shorter route between his mine in the Avra Valley and Tucson. When the County refused … Continue reading

A Day Trip Through History: The Santa Cruz River Valley

Tucson Convento & Chapel on the West Bank of the Santa Cruz River.

A Brief History Of The Santa Cruz River Valley From Tucson South To The Mexican Border.  Here you will find the Spanish missions and presidios (forts) of the Pimeria Alta, Land of the Upper Pimas. Today, Interstate 19 makes traveling this 70-mile section of Arizona history an easy day trip. … Continue reading

Barrio Viejo: Tucson’s Old Neighborhood

Peach w Red Door

Barrio Viejo, the old neighborhood, mainly consists of Tucson’s 19th century homes and commercial buildings. In the 1960′s & ’70′s, much of the old neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for urban redevelopment, including the Tucson Convention Center. Today, most Tucsonans would be happy to bulldoze the Convention Center if it would bring back the heritage that was lost.

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May 1,1782: Apaches Attack Tucson Presidio

Presidio de Tucson reenactment at the partially restored Spanish fort in downtown Tucson.

A Spanish woman living with her family in a fort on the northern frontier of New Spain tells of her terrifying experience during the Second Battle of Tucson. On May 1, 1782, hundreds of Apaches attack the lightly-guarded Presidio San Agustin de Tucson. The civilians and soldiers of the Tucson … Continue reading