Location

Tubac Presidio Locator Map

Elevation 3,500 feet   Fees

Contact the Park:
(520) 398-2252
Tubac Presidio SHP
One Burruel Street
Tubac, AZ 85646-1296

Facilities

Visitor Center Restrooms Gift Shop Museum Exhibits Group: Day Use Areas Picnic Areas/Shelters Hiking Trails Equestrian Trails Wildlife Viewing

Nearest Services: 1 mile

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511 Speed Code

511 logo

Park's Speed Code: 4245#

Fees

Park Entrance Fees:
Adult (14+): $5.00
Youth (7–13): $2.00
Child (0–6): FREE

Fee Schedule

Friends Group

Tubac Historical Society



Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is now operated by the Friends of the Tubac Presidio Park & Museum External Link. The park is open 7 days a week from 9 am - 5 pm. Admission $5 adult, $2 youth (7–13), children free (0–6).

Park Event Calendar

Saturday, January 30: Concert: Run Boy Run

2pm. Tucson five piece Run Boy Run blends bluegrass, folk and the old timey American vernacular, utilizing the very best of each style and adding their own creative touch.  The Band's sound is dynamic with an orchestral feel - a blend of beautiful vocal harmony and bluegrass instrumentation, including cello, masterfully played - guaranteed to please everyone. Don’t miss this one! Admission is $18 for adults, free admission for children 14 and under. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Please call 520-398-2252 or emailinfo@tubacpresidio.org today! 

Sunday, January 31: Special Presentation: The Remarkable Music of Jamaica 

2pm. Come and immerse yourselves in the fascinating music of Jamaica, visiting mento, ska, and reggae.  You will see firsthand how Jamaica became one of the great melting pots of music, with influences from America (rhythm and blues, and soul), Africa and other Caribbean islands (calypso and soca) combining to make this tiny country a powerhouse of world music. The presentation will combine high quality audio, video and open discussion to make this an memorable experience. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Please call 520-398-2252 or email info@tubacpresidio.org today! $7.50 fee includes admission to tour the Park.

Download February Event Calendar ( 228 KB PDF)

Fridays, February 5 & 19 - Living History: Chocolate! 1000 Years and Counting

11am. to 2pm. Come discover the rich history of chocolate in the Southwest. Taste a cacao bean, learn how the Mayans and pre-Columbian Native Americans prepared their chocolate, and sample the energy drink that fueled the 1774 and 1775 Anza expeditions from Tubac to Alta California. Included with park admission, $5 adult, $2 youth, children free.

Saturdays, February 6 & 20 - Walking Tours of Old Tubac

10am. – 12 pm. Come explore colorful Old Tubac that even some of the locals don’t know about! Guided by Connie Stevens, you’ll discover fascinating facts about the town’s early adobe buildings and learn about Arizona’s first European settlement. Topics from early Native American inhabitants, Spanish explorers, American pioneers, Apache attacks, kidnappings, and other exciting episodes are discussed. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Allow 2 hours for the tour and wear walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 20; reservations requested, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org

Saturday, February 6 - Geronimo - Special Presentation by Jack Lasseter

2pm. This is the last half of the Apache story, the period after Cochise when the southwest was aflame with the raids and breakouts of Geronimo, Victorio, Nana and Juh.  Jack will tell us the exciting stories of these Apache leaders during this period, which did not end until 1886.  We will also hear the fascinating stories of the Apache warrior woman Lozen, and the tragic break between Geronimo and his lifelong friend Chatto, who, in the end, would hunt him down for Gen. Crook. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  $15 per lecture. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the community effort to “Save the Presidio.”  Please call for reservations and future dates, 520-398-2252. 

Wednesday thru Sunday, February 10 – 14 - Tubac Festival of the Arts 

9am. - 5pm. Parking is available in the Presidio’s parking lot for $8. Tubac Chamber of Commerce is proud to sponsor the 57th Annual Festival of the Arts. The major event of the year for Tubac showcases the work of hundreds of visiting artists and craft persons from around the country and Canada. The food court features a variety of cuisines. Nonprofit organizations (including us!) benefit from the $8 per car charge for parking. Ours is the best lot: it's paved and the closest lot to the Festival. You can insist on parking at the Presidio, but you will have to resist everyone's frantic gesticulations to get you to park in their lots. Just keep insisting "The Presidio" and make your way across Burruel to our beautiful lot. You'll get a free pass to see the Presidio, too!

Planning ahead?

Download March Event Calendar ( 228 KB PDF)


Tubac in 1775
Aritst's rendition of Tubac and the Presidio in 1775. This painting shows a typical scene from Spanish Colonial times; the painting is on view in the Visitor Center.

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. 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.

For a decade, Tubac languished from Apache depredation and without military protection. The situation finally resulted in the Viceroy's reactivating the presidio in 1787, this time with Pima Indian troops and Spanish officers. Mexico won her independence from Spain in 1821 and the new Republic of Mexico's flag flew over Tubac until 1848. In that year, a fierce Apache assault caused great loss of life and Tubac was again abandoned. This catastrophe, coupled with the drain of men leaving for the gold fields of California in 1849, turned Tubac into a virtual ghost town.


At the park, visitors can see the above ground remains of structures from the 1920s.

Tubac was part of the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, and was soon being resettled and developed by Eastern entrepreneurs as well as by former landowners. Charles D. Poston was instrumental in forming the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, and used the abandoned Commandant's house as his headquarters. He performed marriages, granted divorces, baptized children and printed his own money to pay company employees. His company acquired a press in 1859 which printed Arizona's first newspaper.

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.

Two later military installations existed at Tubac. Troop "L" of the 1st California Cavalry established a post in April 1864 and a US Army presence existed until at least October 1867, when reports list seven officers and 237 enlisted men.

One unique military experiment, the heliograph, was a device using mirrors and reflected sunlight. General Nelson A. Miles, in his campaign against the Apache in the 1880's reported that "they (the Apaches) had found troops in every valley, and when they saw heliographic signals flashing across every mountain range, Geronimo and others sent word to Natchez that he had better come in at once and surrender." Tubac was one of the permanent stations in the system including Forts Rucker, Crittenden, Henly and Bowie.

Event Calendar

Sunday November 29: Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site

11 am – 1 pm. Special tour by local experts of the Spanish colonial archaeological site just south of the Park which preserves the remains of the original Tubac town site, including residence foundations, plaza area, refuse area and partial irrigation ditch. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Tour involves a walk of about 1-1/4 miles. The Archaeological Conservancy protects this site and participants are asked to sign 'An Acknowledgement of Risk Factors' before entering. Wear walking shoes, sunscreen and hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 15; reservations encouraged, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org.

Saturday, November 28: Presentation: Narrated Showing “The Bottom of the Bottle”

2 pm. For people who missed this event last July, we are delighted to repeat local historian Dwight Thibodeaux's awesome annotated description and showing of a movie set right here in the Santa Booze Valley. In the 1940s Georges Simenon, the Belgian-born author of the Inspector Maigret mysteries, and his then-current mistress, lived at the north end of Pendleton Drive; his wife, son, and first mistress lived near the southeast corner of Santa Gertrudis Lane and the East Frontage Road. He was inspired by local people and conditions to write a novel of intrigue that was then made into the 1956 movie, “The Bottom of the Bottle” starring Van Johnson and Joseph Cotton. Dwight will talk about the background of the book and comment on the film as it’s being shown to tie it to local people, places, and events. The film runs 88 minutes. Classic refreshments will be served. Call 520-398-2252 to reserve a place. $7.50 fee includes admission to tour the Park.

Friday, December 4: Chocolate! 1000 Years and Counting

11 am to 2 pm. Come discover the rich history of chocolate in the Southwest. Taste a cacao bean, learn how the Mayans and pre-Columbian Native Americans prepared their chocolate, and sample the energy drink that fueled the 1774 and 1775 Anza expeditions from Tubac to Alta California. Included with park admission $5 adult, $2 youth, children free.

Frontier Printing Press DemonstrationSaturday, December 5: Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations

11 am - 3 pm. Professional printer and teacher James Pagels demonstrates the Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper in 1859 and answers questions about hand press printing, type setting, and other aspects of this marvel of industrial engineering. Included with park admission, $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6: La Fiesta de Tumacácori (Non Presidio Event)

10 am – 4 pm. In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were historically and are presently associated with Santa Cruz Valley, the Tumacácori Fiesta presents the traditional creations of these cultures. The fiesta features around fifty food and craft booths, continuous live entertainment on stage, and children’s activities each day. On Sunday, the day begins at 10 am in front of the Visitor Center with a procession through the Fiesta grounds to the historic church, followed by a traditional Mariachi Mass in front of the church. The mission grounds and park are open throughout the weekend and admission is free.

Saturday, December 12: Apache Culture - Special Presentation by Jack Lasseter

2 pm. This talk focuses on the Apache people and their culture. It covers who they were, where they came from, how they lived, what they ate, how they raised their children. It covers their religion, ceremonies, sense of humor and morality. Theirs is a fascinating story, and an important one: key to understanding these famous people. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. $15 per lecture. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the community effort to “Save the Presidio.” Please call for reservations and future dates, 520-398-2252.

Frontier Printing Press DemonstrationSunday, December 13: Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations

11 am - 3 pm. Professional printer and teacher James Pagels demonstrates the Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper in 1859 and answers questions about hand press printing, type setting, and other aspects of this marvel of industrial engineering. Included with park admission, $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

Sundays, December 13: Tubac Art History Guided Walking Tours (Non Presidio Event)

11 am - 1 pm. Learn about the colorful early days of the Tubac artist colony during a two-hour guided walking tour co-sponsored by the Tubac Center of the Arts and the Tubac Historical Society. For information and reservations, call the Tubac Center of the Arts at 520/398-2371 or tubacarts.org.External Link

Sunday, December 13: Southwestern Christmas Concert with Ted Ramirez

2 pm. Our own Artist-in-Residence Teodoro ‘Ted’ Ramirez will give his annual “Holiday Season Concert” in the 1885 Territorial Schoolhouse. The beautiful folk dancers Leah and Athena Blue will again join him in this special family concert. Recognized as the foremost Southwestern folksinger and storyteller, Ramirez is a direct descendent of the first Spanish families who settled Tubac in 1752. His personal connection adds depth and warmth to his stories and songs. Tickets $18 adults, free for children 14 and younger. Seating is limited, please call now for reservations, 520-398-2252.

Thursday, December 17: Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site

11 am – 1 pm. Special tour by local experts of the Spanish colonial archaeological site just south of the Park which preserves the remains of the original Tubac town site, including residence foundations, plaza area, refuse area and partial irrigation ditch. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Tour involves a walk of about 1-1/4 miles. The Archaeological Conservancy protects this site and participants are asked to sign 'An Acknowledgement of Risk Factors' before entering. Wear walking shoes, sunscreen and hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 15; reservations encouraged, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org.

Friday, December 18: Chocolate! 1000 Years and Counting

11 am to 2 pm. Come discover the rich history of chocolate in the Southwest. Taste a cacao bean, learn how the Mayans and pre-Columbian Native Americans prepared their chocolate, and sample the energy drink that fueled the 1774 and 1775 Anza expeditions from Tubac to Alta California. Included with park admission $5 adult, $2 youth, children free.

Saturday, December 19: Concert: Nuevo Mundo

2 pm. Come and enjoy Christmas music from the Old and New World! Make your holiday season special by celebrating the history of our local culture. Works by Salazar, Guerrero, Encina, Fernandez, and everyone’s favorite, Anonymous. Program includes the first performance of transcriptions from original Mexican Colonial manuscripts! Nuevo Mundo, Cochise College’s early music ensemble, specializes in the performance of early vocal and instrumental music of Spain and the Americas. Proceeds from the concert to be divided between the Cochise College Music Scholarship Fund and the Friends of the Tubac Presidio and Museum. Tickets $15 adults, free for children 14 and younger. Seating is limited, please call now for reservations, 520-398-2252.

Sunday, December 20: Special Chocolate and Wine Event: From Bean to Bar with Bottles

2 pm. Join our local Untamed Confections proprietors Tom and Linda Williams, for an overview of bean to bar in small chocolate production showcasing 3 different varietals of cacao. We'll see some of the equipment and molds used and you'll be able to taste the cacao bean raw as well as finished. Did you know the Sonoita area vineyards enjoy a climate, soil and growth season similar to the great wine growing regions of Rioja, Spain and the Rhone River areas of France? Karyl Wilhelm, the owner and winemaker of Sonoita's Wilhelm Family Vineyards, will also be here, pouring a few of her 30+ wines, including the award- winning chocolate Ports.  Her dry reds pair extremely well with chocolate, and the Ports are decadent desserts themselves. Receive six complimentary tastes (you can taste 5 more for $5), and bring your Christmas lists -- Karyl personalizes her bottles! Special chocolate gift packs and bottles of wine will be available. $12.50 includes admission to tour the Park. Seating is limited for this event. Reservations must be made by calling 398-2252 or email us at info@tubacpresidio.org.  

Sunday, December 27: Living History: Foods of the Spanish Colonial Period

10 am – 1 pm. A knowledgeable volunteer describes the combination of native and introduced foods enjoyed by the Spanish soldiers and civilians who lived in Tubac during the Spanish Colonial period (1752-1776). Join us for samples of posole and 18th century chocolate. A special display of the bounty of foods from the Old World, New World and surrounding desert used by Tubac cooks. Included with park admission: $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

Sundays, December 27: Tubac Art History Guided Walking Tours (Non Presidio Event)

11 am - 1 pm. Learn about the colorful early days of the Tubac artist colony during a two-hour guided walking tour co-sponsored by the Tubac Center of the Arts and the Tubac Historical Society. For information and reservations, call the Tubac Center of the Arts at 520/398-2371 or tubacarts.org.External Link

Wednesday, December 30: Tubac Art History Guided Walking Tours (Non Presidio Event)

11 am - 1 pm. Learn about the colorful early days of the Tubac artist colony during a two-hour guided walking tour co-sponsored by the Tubac Center of the Arts and the Tubac Historical Society. For information and reservations, call the Tubac Center of the Arts at 520/398-2371 or tubacarts.org.External Link

Wednesday, December 30: Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site

11 am – 1 pm. Special tour by local experts of the Spanish colonial archaeological site just south of the Park which preserves the remains of the original Tubac town site, including residence foundations, plaza area, refuse area and partial irrigation ditch. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Tour involves a walk of about 1-1/4 miles. The Archaeological Conservancy protects this site and participants are asked to sign 'An Acknowledgement of Risk Factors' before entering. Wear walking shoes, sunscreen and hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 15; reservations encouraged, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org.

 

Educational Curriculum for School Field Trips

A Day in the 1885 Schoolhouse Program: For Grades 3 through 5
An opportunity for children to experience what a day of school would have been like over 100 years ago. The program immerses kids in the experience from the clothes they wear, the chalkboards they use, the homemade lunchpails, to the rules on the chalkboard they must follow. The authentic desks, complete with inkwells and the woodburning stove for heat make this an experience the children and teachers won't soon forget! The schoolhouse can accommodate 25 children at a time. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the park at (520) 398-2252.

Download A Day in the 1885 Schoolhouse Program (PDF Document 3.5 MB PDF)

Learn about Curriculums at other Arizona State Parks (Curriculums)


The Friends of the Tubac Presidio Park & Museum External Link also maintains a website for this park. Learn more. External Link



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