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 Presidio are nearly wiped out. Today, you can visit the partially restored Presidio near the Tucson Museum of Art in Downtown Tucson. … Continue reading
Those of you who have read some of my brief histories on Southern Arizona Guide know that I sometimes refer to Tucson before the coming of the railroad in 1880 as “a dusty little Mexican village”. Even though Tucson legally became an American town with the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, most of the 600 residents [...]Continue reading
On a perfect Saturday in February, our friends from New York, Susan & Charlea, went with Ms. Karen, Molly Dog, & me to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley. After paying the $7 entry fee, we found a pleasant picnic area and fortified ourselves before hiking the archeological site on the ridge across the road.Continue reading
This is the main commercial district of Tucson Arizona in 1887. Here you see Congress Street looking west toward the Santa Cruz River and Sentinel Peak (now A Mountain).Continue reading
Throughout the history of Tucson, people who lived here, and others who were just traveling through, occasionally recorded their impressions. These hardy pioneers left us with a way to peak into our past though a tiny knothole in time.Continue reading
Today, there’s nothing there. Nothing to suggest what happened in the early morning of April 30, 1871. Nothing to commemorate this blood-soaked ground where 144 people, almost all women and children, lay murdered and mutilated.Camp Grant, named for the famous Civil War general, was an Army post built at the confluence of the Gila and San Pedro Rivers so that U.S. soldiers could protect local settlers and miners who had begun to flood into this area near present-day Winkelman in the late 1860′s. From this vantage point, 70 miles north of Tucson, the Army hoped it would also be in good position to protect the San Pedro River overland freight route that ran from New Mexico to California.Continue reading
In no particular order, here are our recommendations for The 4 Best Downtown Tucson Museums: (1) Jewish History Museum; (2) Tucson Museum of Art; (3) El Agustin de Tucson Presidio; and (4) Arizona Historical Society Downtown Tucson Museum.Continue reading
Jim Turner, recently retired from the Arizona Historical Society, is a professional Arizona historian, author, and public speaker whose talks both educate & entertain a range of audiences: retirees, teachers, service clubs and professional & business conferences & conventions. His range of knowledge and informative talks also include broader subjects, such as Southwestern and Mexican history. … Continue reading
Despite the fact that yesterday, June 15, 2012, the official daytime temperature at Downtown Tucson was 104 degrees, last night was downright chilling. Allow me to explain. I had signed up for a ghost tour of Downtown. Mounted on Zippy, my trusty red scooter, I met our ghost host, Jean Pierre, at the appointed time [...]Continue reading
Tucson was the capitol of the Confederate Territory of Arizona between March 20, 1862, when the flag of the Confederate States of America was raised over Tucson and May 20, when the Union Calvary of the California Volunteers drove the last Confederate soldiers out of the City.
During that short period, 50 miles NW of Tucson, an engagement was fought between a Union cavalry patrol and a party of Confederate pickets from Tucson. Every year in March, dedicated men & women from all over come together at Picacho Peak State Park to reenact the western-most battle of the American Civil War: the Battle of Picacho Peak.Continue reading
Old Tucson has served as a movie studio for over 300 Westerns, TV productions and commercials. Today, it’s an Old West theme park that is both entertaining and educational. In April 2012, I attended the Western Music Festival & Art Show there and took these photographs. Old Tucson is closed to the public during the hot summer months, but is open October – May.Continue reading
In January 1965, while picnicking on the southern face of Huerfano Butte south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains, Tani Bahti found an incredible cache of Hohokam jewelry dating to about 1100 CE. She originally thought she had discovered a small grinding stone. But it was a pottery jar containing: 1,212 beads 240 pendants [...]Continue reading
The Presidio Inn Bed & Breakfast IS authentic Tucson. A real 1886 Victorian adobe example of high-class 19th century Territorial architecture. I want you to experience this unique home for several reasons:
It is not a replica. This was the home of a wealthy family living in a dusty village on the outer edge of the American frontier more than 125 years ago. This at a time when most people here lived in shacks, tents, or dirty, dreary boarding houses.
A historical tour of the J. Knox Corbett House, a Tucson merchant’s home from the early 20th Century.
An elegant two-story, stucco-covered brick structure built in the mission revival style, was completed in 1907 and lived in by members of the Corbett family for fifty-six years. J. Knox Corbett and his wife Lizzie Hughes Corbett built the house on the northwest corner of the block next to the Stevens House and near the Tucson Museum of Art.
A reenactment celebration at the Presidio San Agustin de Tucson which takes place several times a year.Continue reading
The Fort Lowell Museum is located in the reconstructed Commanding Officer’s quarters of Old Fort Lowell, originally established in 1873. The museum features exhibits about military life on the Arizona frontier with particular emphasis on the Apache Wars.Continue reading
The Arizona Historical Society’s Tucson History Museum is about life in early Tucson. This is a small but very worthwhile museum if you want to understand the history and cultural heritage of Tucson.Continue reading
The Arizona History Museum’s focus is Southern Arizona history from Spanish colonial through territorial eras. Exhibit topics include mining and transportation. The Arizona’s Treasures exhibit features Geronimo’s rifle and 18th-century Spanish silver artifacts.Continue reading
BULLETIN. After 18 ½ years of serving the community, Old Pueblo Trolley’s operation of historic streetcars was suspended at the end of October for construction of the modern streetcar project. When finished in about two years, OPT plans to resume operations. The initial project work will provide an improved drainage system on 7th Street and 8th street necessitating removal of the track and overhead electric conductor began in early November. This work is scheduled to be followed by replacement of the single existing track and overhead on 4th Avenue and University Blvd. with new double track and overhead electric supply system. We look forward to operating with the modern streetcar when it commences operation in 2013. In preparation, volunteers will continue restoration and maintenance work on the trolleys. VOLUNTEERS are needed for this important work. If you are interested in volunteering, please see our form. Tours of the ongoing work at the trolley barn and … Continue reading
Located at the west end of the restored Train Depot is the Transportation Museum. I know. When I first heard about it I wasn’t in any hurry to go either. But there is no way to understand the history of Tucson until you witness the incredible impact the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad had on, what was then (1880), a tiny (mostly) Mexican village. This museum is small, free, and worthwhile. Another reason to visit the Transportation Museum is at the other end of the Depot: Maynard’s Market & Kitchen. Very good food; indoor or patio dining. For ambiance, you get the occasional deafening roar of a hundred-car freight train passing a few yard from your table. The ground shakes. The tables rock ‘n roll. Quite exciting! 14 N. Toole Ave, Tucson Visit the Website. … Continue reading
Built in 1919, the same year my father was born in Tucson, the Hotel Congress served passengers arriving at the train depot across the street. Walking into the lobby, you will immediately have a sense of this hotel’s history. Yet, even though it’s old, all the modern comforts and conveniences are here. Today, it’s the hub of downtown night club activity. Club Congress is one of best dance clubs in Tucson with cutting-edge music in a historic setting. The Tap Room has been a favorite bar since Prohibition ended. And the Hotel’s Cup Cafe‘ is one of our dining favorites. The rooms are relatively small compared to more modern hotels. But they are decorated and furnished in period, so guest definitely get the feeling they have magically been transported to a bygone era. January 1934, a fire in the hotel resulted in the Tucson Police Department’s arrest of the entire … Continue reading