Local Southern Arizona History

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Fairbank Ghost Town North of Tombstone

Fairbank Ghost Town North of Tombstone


Southern Arizona has a vibrant local history. It starts in pre-history about 12,000 years ago with Clovis man and Woolly Mammoths, evidence of which is now found in the San Pedro River Nature Conservation Area.

Then, 500 years ago, Coronado's Spanish Conquistadors came in search of gold. Along their route they met many Native Americans, whose ancestors, including the Hohokam, lived here for 4,000 years.

Almost 150 years ago the Apache Wars started in what is now Cochise County southeast of Tucson. It was then that our Southern Arizona history began to be written in earnest. The Apaches fought against the encroachment of Anglos & Mexicans who wanted their land for its rich pastures and bountiful mineral wealth. Mining boom towns were erected in a matter of weeks. And they were abandoned just a quickly when the mines played out.

Most of these mining boom towns are now ghost towns. They dot the vast Southern Arizona landscape. Along with the boom towns came violent conflicts, most often the result of greed, arrogance, and young men overdosing on testosterone and alcohol.

All of this and so much more has been woven into our local histories, such as the Gunfight Near The OK Corral; the Earp Vendetta Ride; the Bisbee Massacre; and the Camp Grant Massacre.

In the following articles you will find interesting "Local" history about a by-gone time & place. These are our picks of True West stories, some obscure, but all rewarding.

Guided Tours of Tucson and Southern Arizona

Santa Cruz River Valley Tour at Tumacacori

Hi. I’m Jim Gressinger, travel writer, publisher of Southern Arizona Guide and photographer. I am pleased to be your tour guide to the most beautiful and historic places in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Southern Arizona Guide offers themed tours, usually once or twice a month. See tour descriptions and prices below. … Continue reading

Our Tucson History Tour A Success!

A tour at the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House in Tucson

Last Sunday, April 12, 2015, was a very good day for a walking tour of historic Downtown Tucson. The weather was overcast and cool. The 20-some folks on this, our History & Libation Tour, were delightful; all eager to learn more about the Old Pueblo’s illustrious heritage. As tour guide, … Continue reading

A Death In Charleston, Arizona Territory

Tombstone Deputy Sheriff Billy Breakenridge

M. Robert Peel Born: Wednesday, May 31, 1854 Died: Saturday, March 25, 1882 (Charleston, Arizona) – gunshot through the heart Interred: Boothill Graveyard, Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Occupation: Mineral Surveyor, Mining Engineer Charleston, A.T. (Arizona Territory) was an important Old West town because it was home to the mill workers … Continue reading

A Hike to the Ghost Town of Charleston Arizona Territory

Wells Fargo Building

March 14, 2015 – Having been to many of the more accessible ghost towns, Ms. Rosemary and I (Ms. Karen) decided to hike to the remote ghost town of Charleston Arizona Territory. Led by our docent, Richard Bauer, this was a Friends of the San Pedro River “Members Only” hike, … 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

Southern Arizona Ghost Town Tour: A Slideshow!

Gleeson Jail

In the Fall of 2014, Southern Arizona Guide became more than just a website with all of its Dining & Lodging Reviews, Local History, and recommended Things To See and Do. We started offering tours to some of the most interesting and historical places in the American Southwest. This slideshow … Continue reading