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Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

P.O. Box 1296
Tubac, Arizona 85646
Phone: (520) 398-2252

The park is located 45 miles south of Tucson on Interstate 19.

The church and the military were the vanguards of Spanish frontier expansion throughout New Spain. The Jesuit, Eusebio Francisco Kino, established missions from 1687 to 1711 to Christianize and control Native Americans in the area. He established nearby Tumacacori in 1691, and Tubac, then a small Piman village, became a mission farm and ranch. Spanish Colonists began to settle here during the 1730s, irrigating and farming the lands along the river and raising cattle, sheep and goats on the northern frontier of Spain's New World empire.

Luis of Saric, a Pima chief stirred by many grievances, led a bloody revolt late in 1751, destroying the small settlement at Tubac. Following a major battle, and subsequent surrender of the Pimans, the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac was founded in June of 1752. The fifty cavalrymen garrisoned at this remote military post were to prevent further rebellion, protect colonists and the mission, and further explore the Southwest.

Juan Bautista de Anza II, second commander of the presidio, led two overland expeditions to the Pacific, resulting in the founding of San Francisco, in 1776. Several hundred colonists from the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora, along with sixty from Tubac, made the trip.

Tubac's population steadily grew until, in 1860, it was the largest town in Arizona. The American Civil War, however, drained the region of troops, leaving it unprotected from Apaches, and Tubac was again deserted. Although the region was resettled after the war, silver strikes in the Tombstone area and the routing of the railroad through Tucson drew development interests away from Tubac, and the town never regained its earlier importance.

In 1974, archaeologists from the University of Arizona excavated portions of the presidio. In 1976, an underground archaeological display was finished and visitors can now view portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the 1752 Commandant's quarters, as well as artifacts representing the various periods of Tubac's unique history.

  • Open daily: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Closed Christmas Day.

Park Facilities

  • Old School House and Otero Community Hall on National Register of Historic Places

  • Museum, underground archaeology display and picnic area

  • Picnic area and Otero Hall may be reserved for group functions

  • Anza Trailhead

 
 
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