Arizona November 10, 2016
You’ll Never Forget A Visit To One Of The Oldest Towns In Arizona
When it comes to American settlements in Arizona, most are actually pretty young from a historical point of view. Many of the cities and towns that dot the landscape were founded in the late 19th-century as mining or other resource extraction sites that created a small population boom. However, there are a few towns that are much older with a history that can rival even places like Tombstone and Prescott. One such place: Tubac.
A tiny town located just 30 minutes from the present-day Mexican border, Tubac has been given a second life in recent years.
Tubac was founded as a presidio, or fort, in 1752 as the Spanish empire expanded into the desert Southwest.
The presidio was the first to be founded in the area now known as Arizona and slowly developed into a town and stronghold for the Spaniards. While small churches were established in the years prior to this, they were rarely considered towns.
In fact, the nearby Mission San José de Tumacácori was founded in 1692 and later formed a small village of several Jesuit priests and Indigenous peoples who already lived nearby.
You won't find many original buildings here, though. A number of uprisings from the Indigenous peoples, such as the O'odham, led to these buildings getting destroyed and falling into disrepair.
For example, what you see above is what remains of the actual presidio some 260 years later.
What does remain, however, is the abundant history that spans four centuries (1700s to the 2000s) and a mixture of cultures.
Saint Ann's Church was constructed in the early 1900s and went through several renovations in the 1970s and early 2000s.
The chuch's history, however, may date to the mid-1800s or earlier.
Other historic buildings, including an 1885 school house, reside in town and in the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
These days, Tubac has come to be known as an artist retreat, which helped to revive the town starting in the 1930s.
You can find plenty of locally made art in various mediums, plus plenty of galleries and festivals.
Tourists who visit may encounter historical events and re-enactments, such as the Anza Days Celebration which commemorates the beginning of Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition to the Pacific coast and founding of San Francisco.
There is also the beautiful desert that surrounds Tubac.
You'll find plenty of hiking trails nearby, plus areas to watch wildlife and to enjoy nature's silence.
Want to check out some more incredible historic spots around Arizona? One way to get in the mood for a bit of history is by reading up on some fantastic Old West places in our article,
Experience The Old West In Arizona With These 18 Amazing Places. You won’t be disappointed!