Between the years 1687 to 1711, the Jesuit, Eusebio Francisco Kino, founded missions in and around the Tubac area in Arizona. His thought was to manipulate the local Native Americans into becoming Christians. Tumacacori, which it 4 miles south of Tubac, was constructed in 1691, and the tiny settlement of Piman was used as a mission hacienda. By the 1730’s, Spanish migrants inhabited the area, farming and cattle ranching. In 1751 a gory rebellion devastated the town of Tubac, and a year later in June, the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac was initiated. Around 50 armed men were assigned to protect the presidio, and those living in the area.
“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. Over 1,000 head of cattle, horses and mules were also gathered to transport food supplies and tools, provide food on the journey and establish new herds once the colonists settled at their new home on the Pacific. Following Anza's return to Tubac, military authorities moved the garrison from Tubac to Tucson in 1776, and the unprotected settlers abandoned their homes.” (http://azstateparks.com/parks/tupr/index.html)
Tubac suffered many decades of attacks from the Apache because of no defense provided by any forces. Because things got so bad, the presidio was reenergized in 1787 with Pima Indian troops and Spanish officers. In 1821, after Mexico gained its sovereignty from Spain, another severe attack from the Apache left Tubac a ghost town once more. This small town wouldn’t see life again until 1853 when it became an element of the Gadsden Purchase. Thanks to Charles D. Poston buying the leader’s house and using it as his command center, many more followed. He started Arizona’s original newspaper and it went to print for the first time in 1859. Even though Tubac enjoyed being the most prevalent town in Arizona in 1860, the American Civil War needed the armies protecting the town to fight the war. Once again, the Apache took advantage of the vulnerable settlement, attacked and left the place empty without a single soul around. It tried to bounce back after the war, but the popularity and mines of Tombstone prevented that from happening.
“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.”
|Territorial School House (1885)|
|Headquarters and Commander's Residence|
|Headquarters and Commander's Residence Ruins|
|Underground Archaeological Exhibit|
|Otero Hall (1914)|