Help us Preserve the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Events at Tubac Presidio Park

Photographic Exhibition at the Presidio this Summer

QuienesWebQuienes Fuimos, Quienes Somos.  Who we were, Who we are.

A photographic collection

June 1-August 29


Who we were, Who we are presents the work of photographers Jorge Angulo, Carlos Licón , Juan Luis Fernández, Claudia Platt and Juan Casanova and their excursions in the diverse roads of Sonoran geography rescuing images of who we were and who we are.


This collection presents a mosaic of individuals and families of a great part of Sonoran municipalities. The evolutional record of working class, peasant and middle class families was captured in images reflecting not only the faces and personal features of ethnic diversity but also the variety of occupations and customs in our culture.


This work is a window allowing us to see the evolution of Sonoran families as the core of our society and to look into the role of photography as a record of the history of family.


The accompanying book (available only in Spanish) includes 115 historic and contemporary portraits. Two introductory essays by Jose Dr. Antonio Rodríguez and Dr. Ignacio Almada Bay offer a cohesive view to the collection, one offering information about photography and photographers in the period before and after the Mexican Revolution and other exploring the role of family networks in the History of Sonora.


This collection of family portraits offers a reaffirming view of who we were and a view into the intimate spaces of feelings, homes and relations of who we are, and we hope provides an opportunity to see more clearly into our future.


Planned as part of the local projects to celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence, we present a selection as an opportunity to look into the common realities of family life in the Sonoran Desert region. Enjoy it !


Poly Coronel Gándara

Instituto Sonorense de Cultura / Sonora Culture Institute

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Join us at the Tubac Presidio Park

This Sunday, March 26th…


Coming Events in March 2013

the_country_store_tubac_az_poster-rfc883c508b2c429ea9da0d3101e8277d_w2q_325Friday, March 1. Walking Tour of Old Town Tubac – Friday, March 1, 10:30am-12 noon

Guided tour of the “Old Town” section of Tubac with Alice Keene. Explore the original adobe buildings and discover the rich heritage of Arizona’s first European settlement. Learn about early Native American inhabitants, Spanish explorers, mining booms, Apache attacks, kidnappings, duels and other episodes in Tubac’s colorful past. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Allow 1-1/2 hours for the tour and bring walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. $7.50 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 20 people; reservations encouraged. Call 398-2252.

Saturday, March 2. Archaeology of the Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate – Saturday, March 2, 2pm

In 1776, the government of New Spain created a series of frontier presidios along its northern frontier—three are in Arizona. Archaeologist Deni Seymour, Ph.D. has spent years doing field research at what remains of one of these sites at Santa Cruz de Terrenate, located on the San Pedro River near Sierra Vista. This is the best preserved of all the Spanish period presidios in the Southwest. Join Dr. Seymour for a discussion of the history of this adobe fortress, information about recent archaeological investigations, and revisions to interpretations based on work carried out by Charles Di Peso over 50 years ago. New findings include 240 year old foot prints, information relevant to the location of the Sobaipuri sites of Quiburi and Santa Cruz, and insights into hygiene, population, and status. $7.50 adult, $4.50 youth 7-13, children free. Reservations encouraged. Call 398-2252.

Sunday, March 3. Anniversary of “The Weekly Arizonian” – Sunday, March 3, 10am-4pm

A celebration of the anniversary of Arizona’s first newspaper, which was printed in Tubac on March 3, 1859. The original 1858 Washington Hand Press that printed the newspaper is still in operation at the Tubac Presidio. Professional printer James Pagels and his wife Elizabeth will demonstrate the hand press in operation, talk about the history of the press, and print a commemorative edition of the first issue of the Arizonian. Western history writer Jane Eppinga will give a presentation on the history of the two printing presses in Tubac and Tombstone at 2pm in the 1885 Schoolhouse. $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

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February 2013 Events!




preswrdprsSouthern Arizona’s Historic Farms & Ranches – Saturday, February 2, 2pm

Travel writer Lili De Barbieri will discuss her new book “A Guide to Southern Arizona’s Historic Farms & Ranches: Rustic Southwest Retreats.” Our region’s historic guest ranches include Spain’s first mission in the continental U.S., a World War II prison camp, a boys’ boarding school, and a Butterfield Stagecoach stop. Intimately connected to Arizona’s land and legacy, these unparalleled retreats have hosted artists, movie stars, and politicians and continue to enrich our present-day communities by sharing their rich southwestern heritage, culture and cuisine. $7.50 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park.


And on Tuesday, February 5, at 10:30 we will be offering a guided tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological site. If you haven’t yet taken this tour or want to share our rich archaeological heritage with visiting houseguests. Tour guide Phil Halpenny gives a superb interpretation of the area history based on his life as a professional hydrographer.

Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site – Tuesday, February 5, 10:30am

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. Bring walking shoes, sunscreen and hat. $7.50 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 15; call for reservations, 520-398-2252.


If you plan on coming to the Tubac Festival of the Arts, Arizona’s longest running arts festival,  next week from Wednesday to Sunday, be sure to tell the Rangers and parking guides that you want to park in the Presidio lot.

Tubac Festival of the Arts – February 6 -10, 10am-5pm

Southern Arizona’s longest running art festival! Festival visitors who park in the Tubac Presidio’s paid parking lot ($6 per car) will get an extra bonus – a pass for 1 free admission to tour the Park that day. The paved parking lot is conveniently located to Tubac village. Proceeds from the Presidio’s lot will benefit “Save the Presidio.”

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January 2013 Events

 tedJanuary Events

Lots of fun things are happening at the Tubac Presidio that I want you to know about… There is space available at all of these events and it would be great if you could come to any (or all!) of them.

First, I’m thrilled to tell you that the Tohono Village shop in Tubac is coming back to life. They are hosting an O’odham Artisan Show both days this weekend from 10 to 4. Acclaimed watercolorist Michael Chiago will be there and they are also featuring demonstrating artists, food, and entertainment. They are located at 10 Camino Otero in Tubac. More information is at 398-2443 or by emailing Be sure to check them out when you’re in town.

Second, we will have a superb talk on “Rock Art of the Southwest” tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, January 17) at 2pm in the school house. Sharon Urban is an expert in the field and a very engaging speaker. Call 398-2252 to reserve a place.


Rock Art of the Southwest – Thursday, January 17, 2pm

Learn the difference between a pictograph and petroglyph with rock art enthusiast Sharon Urban. Urban worked for the Arizona State Museum, retiring after 32 years as the Public Archaeologist. An expert on prehistoric shell artifacts and the study of pictographs and petroglyphs, she has interpreted rock art sites and given presentations to schools and groups around Arizona. $7.50 adult, $4.50 youth 7-13, children free.

Third, we will be having a period dressed school group in the Park experiencing what education was like in the Territorial days on Friday morning, and Jim Pagels will be demonstrating Frontier Printing from 9 to 1pm. At 12:30 our Living History demonstration of Spanish Colonial food begins and runs until 3:30. If you haven’t had a sample of our posole (made to a 200 year old recipe), this is your chance!

Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations – Friday, January 18, 9am-1pm

Professional printer and teacher James Pagels demonstrates the Washington 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.

Living History: Foods of the Spanish Colonial Period – Friday, January 18, 12:30-3:30pm

Volunteers dressed in period clothing reenact the daily lives of Spanish soldiers and civilians who lived in Tubac during the Spanish Colonial period (1752-1776). Featuring a special display of the bounty of foods from the Old World, New World and surrounding desert used by Tubac cooks, plus cooking demos with samples. $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

Fourth, we are hosting the third in Jack Lasseter’s series of talks on the American West for us. This Saturday, January 19, at 2pm Jack will present “Apaches and the Soldiers Who Fought Them.” The fee is $15 and includes a tax deductible contribution to Save the Presidio and a personal walk through the museum with Jack and me. We will also have some special items brought up from the museum storage for participants to see. Call 398-2252 to save a seat.

And lastly, count on coming to a fantastic school house concert with Gilbert Brown and Teodoro ‘Ted’ Ramirez on Saturday, January 26 at 2pm. There will be some awesome music including a few pieces featuring Gilbert’s expertise on the harmonica. Tickets are $18 and reservations can be made by calling 398-2252.

If you haven’t seen them, the twenty-two Walter Blakelock Wilson paintings we have on display through April are splendid and look great in our museum. Make sure to take a few moments to enjoy them!

Southwestern Vistas: Landscapes of American Painter Walter Blakelock Wilson – January 1, 2013 to April 30, 2013, daily 9am-5pm

The Tubac Presidio hosts a retrospective exhibition of artwork by the late Tubac artist, Walter Blakelock Wilson (1929-2011). Wilson’s portraits, landscapes and architectural imagery have made their way into several museums and over 300 corporate and private collections. His historical paintings feature Native Americans, frontier personalities and dramatic southwest vistas and landscapes. Included with park admission $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

We hope to see you soon!

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Jim Turner Book Signing


Join us for this very special event December 18th!

Balladeer Dolan Ellis to Perform at Tubac Presidio Park

Holiday Concert with Arizona’s Official Balladeer Dolan Ellis

Saturday, December 17, 2pm


   The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park will host a holiday concert featuring Dolan Ellis on Saturday, December 17, 2011. Arizona’s Official State Balladeer, Grammy winner and original member of The New Christy Minstrels, Ellis will present his special holiday show “An Arizona Christmas” in the 1885 Territorial Schoolhouse. This event is part of the Teodoro “Ted” Ramirez Artist in Residence concert series at the Tubac Presidio. Showtime is at 2pm.


   Dolan Ellis has been Arizona‘s Official State Balladeer since 1966, first appointed by Governor Sam Goddard and endorsed by eleven consecutive governors. In his role as Balladeer, Dolan has written more than 300 songs and performed throughout Arizona and the United States, as well as in many foreign countries. Ellis is known for his 12-string guitar, his baritone voice, and the songs he writes about Arizona and the American Southwest. He was an original member of The New Christy Minstrels and was with them for several gold records, their 1963 Grammy for Best Group, and a season (1962–1963) on the nationally televised Andy Williams Show. In 1996, Ellis founded the Arizona Folklore Preserve located in Ramsey Canyon south of Sierra Vista and continues to perform monthly as the artist-in-residence. Ellis is back with the Christies again, participating in their recordings and tours.


   Dolan connects with his audiences as few performers can do, relying on his humor and storytelling skills to enhance his considerable musical talent. This concert is for all ages and promises to be a memorable way to celebrate the holiday season. Tickets are $20 for adults (15+) and free for children age 14 and younger. Seating is limited, please call 520-398-2252 for reservations. The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is located at 1 Burruel Street in Tubac and is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 9am to 5pm. Concert tickets include admission to the park, so plan to arrive early to tour the Presidio. Learn more about Arizona’s first state park at

Tubac Presidio Park to Host Anza Documentary Film Premier



     We ask for your support and presence at a special treat coming up at the Tubac Presidio this coming Saturday from 4 to 6. We don’t get many chances to see a world premiere of a film here, but this Saturday we can. Come see the world premiere of a new documentary film, “The Anza Expedition.” It stars our own late Don Garate and over 80 other locals with parts in the film. It documents one of Tubac’s great historical moments, and we are honored that the National Park Service has given the THS volunteer run Tubac Presidio Park the opportunity to show the film as a fund raiser to help us in our efforts to Save the Presidio. We have lined up a delightful late afternoon program of living history, presidio tours, and excellent food and drink in addition to the premiere of the film.  For more information, please contact us at

     Presidio Park Online Gift Shop

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The Siroccan Winds to Perform at the Tubac Presidio Park October 8th





















Who/What:                        The Siroccan Winds Concert at the 1885 Schoolhouse

When:       Saturday, October 8, 2011, 2pm      

Where:       Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, 1 Burruel Street, Tubac      

Tickets:       $15, includes admission to tour the Park

Contact:                        520-398-2252,



The Siroccan Winds Concert at the 1885 Schoolhouse

The Siroccan Winds, a wind quintet from Phoenix, will perform a special concert at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park on Saturday, October 8 at 2pm. The program is entitled “Escape From the Zoo” and will include a menagerie of classic and contemporary animal-inspired compositions by Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jenni Brandon and Anthony Plog.


Discover the unique sounds and timbres made by the instruments of a woodwind quintet in an informal setting at the 1885 Territorial Schoolhouse. The group features Maureen Baker on flute, Torrence Welch on oboe, Daniel Coombs on clarinet, Ben Yingst on bassoon, and Daniel Harvey on French horn.


Maureen Baker, flutist, is the Manager for Individual Giving at the Musical Instrument Museum.  Maureen has performed with numerous musical groups in New York City and with the Arizona Repertory Orchestra, San Tan Orchestra, Sustainable Symphony and Scottsdale Choral Artists.


Torrence Welch, PhD, oboist, has performed with numerous esteemed ensembles on various woodwind instruments. Dr. Welch was appointed second oboe of the Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, and also performs on alto saxophone and oboe with the Arizona Wind Symphony and as the oboist of the Arcadia Wind Quintet.


Daniel Coombs, clarinetist, is a principal in the Gilbert Public Schools. He has played with a number of groups in Chicago and Arizona and is presently the principal clarinetist with the Chandler Symphony.


Ben Yingst studied several instruments before deciding to concentrate on the bassoon. He played in the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestras and gained further experience as a member of the Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. He has taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts and currently teaches private bassoon lessons in the greater Phoenix area.


Donald Harvey, French horn, is currently a member of the Chandler Symphony, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Arizona Repertory Orchestra, Arcadia Woodwind Quintet, Siroccan Winds, and plays in various other small ensembles. 


Tickets for the concert are $15 and include admission to tour the Park. The Tubac Presidio is located at
1 Burruel Street in Tubac. For information and reservations, please call 520-398-2252 or visit                                 

We would love to see you there!

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2011 Anza Days Celebration in Tubac, Arizona

I have received preliminary information regarding the up-coming festivities, which I am happy to pass along to our readers.  I will update this post with any changes, additions or other news as plans take shape.  Anza Days in Tubac is not to be missed-participants and spectators alike enjoy themselves each year and the weather is usually perfect!


On October 22nd, the day will begin with Mass at Tumacacori Mission at 9 am, after which the riders will be blessed and begin their ride up the trail at about 10 am.  Los Californianos, a California-based group comprised of Anza Expedition descendants, will attend the Mass as well, and will be holding their quarterly membership meeting over the weekend.  The riding group is expected to be larger this year and will include Rick Collins and Bill Islas (who will be portraying Anza) along with others from the Tubac Presidio.  Also expected to ride are Sidney Brinkerhoff (the 78-year old former head of the Arizona Historical Society), Jay Van Orden, and Ted Ramirez, who will be accompanied by his 11-year old grandson.

Arrival in Tubac

Los Californianos will have a tent set up for the arrival of the riders, who will enter the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park grounds from the gate at the southeast corner. Two donors have contributed sufficient funds to allow for free admittance into the park that day.   One of the members of Los Californianos has funded a lunch to be served to the riders, the arrangements of which have yet to be worked out.

In the Village

After last year’s positive response, the whole Village of Tubac is again encouraged to participate in our Anza Days celebrations.  Funds have been raised, entertainment arranged and food vendors invited to help ensure a good time for all.

 The Rio Rico HS Marching Band will parade from La Entrada, making four stops en route, through Old Town and all the way to the Park, entering through the back gates on Presidio Drive.  Entertainment in the Plaza is expected to include the Lourdes School dancers, La Paloma Folklorico, Apache Mariachi, the Rio Rico Band and a mini-concert from Ted Ramirez in the Park at the Old Schoolhouse (at approximately 1 pm).  Three street theater historical vignettes will also be presented at various locations.

Confirmed food vendors, who will be split between the village and the Park,  include Huatabampo Sonoran Hotdogs, Kountry Kitchen Kettlecorn,  Mesquite Pit BBQ, Dyken Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and Sparky’s Cantina (vegan). The Rotary will be selling organic coffee from their booth and other packaged food vendors are expected be on hand as well.

In the Park

Throughout the day, the Park will feature as many Living History people as possible, including  Jim and Elizabeth Pagels at the Washington Press, Lillie Sheehan and Jean Wax discoursing on Spanish Colonial food and medicine, Chris DeMille on the Indian Wars, Vicki Stone as an Indian War period laundress, Bill Van Dusen talking about wood working tools and techniques, Bill Ganoe of Spanish Colonial blacksmithing and metal working, and Hugh Holub describing the making of adobe bricks. All of the costumed riders including Hector and Mickie add to the Living History display. We will have the burros Maggie and Chula near one (or both) ox carts for a photo op. A tortilla maker may be here, too.

Children’s Activities

These will be staged in front of the 1885 schoolhouse. The gate between the Park and St. Ann’s Church will be open and we will have signs at the other entrances directing people to the children’s activities. We will have a leather working demonstration by Russell and Chrystal of Wolf Den gallery, coloring of Roberta Rogers’ drawings, face painting, a paper flower making and a basket weaving demonstration. We may also have an adobe brick making demonstration.

2011 Anza Days at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park in Tubac, Arizona promises to be as entertaining as it is informative.  An experience that always leaves both participants and spectators with a sense of appreciation for our unique corner of the world!

If you would like to support the Tubac Presidio Park but are unable to visit or participate, please visit our online gift shop, where 100% of all proceeds go directly to ensuring the preservation of this cultural treasure.  Thank you.

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Information about the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail and Anza Days in Tubac