Help us Preserve the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

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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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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.”

Visit our online Gift Shop and check out the new items

When you purchase, all proceeds go directly to efforts to preserve this cultural treasure.


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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Grand Opening-Tubac Presidio Park online Gift Shop

     In January of this year, the Tubac Presidio Park began developing its online gift shop.  With the help of a local volunteer, we have been able to post over 1500 gift items for sale to a world-wide customer base.  The gift shop is hosted by Zazzle, the premier print-on-demand site, which offers a 100% guarantee on our merchandise, which is typically manufactured within 24 hours of order placement. Your purchases will be greatly appreciated and all proceeds go directly to preserving the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.  Shopping online at the gift shop is a fun way to help ensure the future of this cultural treasure.

     Our Christmas cards, gift tags, gift bags, and gift items are unique and feature artwork donated by our contributing artists Roberta Rogers, Richard Lasley, and Alice Keene.  We also offer a selection of collectible Tubac Christmas items.

     These same artists, along with renowned western artist, William Ahrendt, have donated many beautiful artworks that you will find on canvas fine-art prints, postcards, and affordable posters.  Historical maps, photographs, and documents are also to be found on gifts as diverse as key rings, t-shirts, mugs, aprons, and cell phone cases.

     Join us on Facebook for sales going on now through the Christmas Season and, of course, our blog will keep you up to date on new products like ceramic tiles, trivets and gift boxes, which we will be adding over the coming weeks.  Sign up to receive the latest posts!

     We also offer 2012 calendars, spiral bound in three sizes, or on the backs of postcards for handy desk referencing.

      All items in the Tubac Presidio Park online gift shop can be customized and personalized by you to create a one-of-a-kind gift tailored specifically for anyone on your gift list.

     We look forward to your visit and we hope you find that perfect something for your special someone this holiday season.  Happy Holidays!

     For more information or for help customizing your gift items, please contact

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Zazzle Christmas Marketplace

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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How to Add a Photo to ANY item in the Tubac Presidio Park Online Gift Shop


A number of our items in the Tubac Presidio Park online gift shop (hosted by Zazzle) are offered as a template.  A space is provided for you, the purchaser, to upload a photo from your computer and incorporate it into the design.  You have now co-created a one-of-a-kind item for purchase by you and no one else!  (Circled area in the illustration shows where to upload your photo.  Click ‘change’ and follow the prompt.)







It is also possible to add a photo to an item without the provided template.  This second illustration (left) shows a greeting card which offers a text template but no photo template.  To add a photo, click the orange  ‘Customize it’ button visible below the picture of the card itself. You will now be on the customization page for this greeting card (3rd illustration below).  

Let’s say you would like to add a photo to an inside page of this card picturing the intended recipient of this birthday card.  Click the ‘view’ of this page shown in the row of images below the large picture of the greeting card. It will be the page view that contains the text ‘Happy Birthday” and circled in white in illustration below. 






Now (illustration below) you will see the ‘Happy Birthday’ page shown in the main image area in place of the front of the card which features artwork. ( Whatever you see in any particular view is exactly what will be printed on the product when you click ‘Add to Cart”, so be sure you like what you see when you are done with any customizing you do on a product.)  Now you are ready to click the white ‘Add images’ button below ‘customize it’ (circled in gray in the 4th illustration to the left).  The fifth illustration shows what pops up on the screen.  Follow the instructions.  Illustration number 6 shows your photo on the page.  We must now size and position the photo and customize the text so that everything looks good.


  Using the tools labeled in illustration 7 (below), we can move the photograph or text; we can increase or decrease the size of the photograph or text; we can change the font or color of the text.  Experiment with these tolls until you like the result, which in this case, is shown in illustration 8 (last illustration).





The final product is a custom Greeting card with beautiful artwork on the front and a very personal greeting on the inside.  Choose the number of copies you wish to order and click ‘Add to Cart’ and you are finished!  Fun to do and sure to please, customization is what put Zazzle on the map.  The Tubac Presidio Gift Shop is hosted by Zazzle, thus enabling us to offer these same tools to our customers and supporters.

 Stuck, Confused, or Unhappy with your Progress?

 Click the Tubac Presidio Park banner at the top of the page and you will be returned to the home page, where you may begin again. For answers to your questions, feel free to contact our designer at where you will receive timely assistance.  Also, check out the Zazzle Guarantee, which ensures your satisfaction or your money back.


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Tubac Presidio Park online gift shop

Zazzle Marketplace

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and the Tubac Connection


The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail commemorates the 1775-1776 land route taken by Spanish commander de Anza as he traveled from the Sonora y Sinaloa Province of New Spain in Colonial Mexico through to the Las Californias Province.  The goal of the trip was to establish a mission and presidio on the San Francisco Bay and to facilitate the course of Spanish colonization of California by establishing a major land route north for future settlers and others to follow.  Used for about five years, the trail was closed down by the Quechan (Yuma) Indians in 1781 and remained closed for over 40 years.  The trail is a 1,210-mile National Park Service unit in the United States National Historic Trail and National Millennium Trail programs.  The modern trail extends from Nogales on the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona, through the California desert and coastal areas in Southern California and the Coastal Central region to San Francisco. 


Juan Bautista de Anza, leading an exploratory expedition on January 8, 1774, with 3 padres, 20 soldiers, 11 servants, 35 mules, 65 cattle, and 140 horses, set forth from Tubac south of present day Tucson, Arizona. They traveled across the Sonoran desert to California via Mexico by swinging south of the Gila River to avoid Apache attacks until they reached the Colorado River at the Yuma Crossing, which was the only viable place to cross the Colorado River. The 2-3000 friendly Quechan (Yuma) Indians  he encountered there were growing most of their food using irrigation systems and had already imported pottery, horses, wheat and a few other crops from New Mexico. After crossing the Colorado to avoid the impassible Algodones Dunes west of Yuma, Arizona, they followed the river about 50 miles south (to approximately Arizona’s southwest corner on the Colorado River) before turning northwest to  today’s Mexicali, Mexico and then turning north through today’s Imperial Valley and then northwest again before reaching Mission San Gabriel Arcángel near the future city of Los Angeles, California. The Pueblo de Los Angeles would be established in 1781 by eleven families recruited mostly from Sonora y Sinaloa Province. It took Anza about 74 days to do this initial reconnaissance trip to establish a land route into California. On his return trip, he retraced his path to the Yuma Crossing of the Colorado River and then went down the Gila River corridor until reaching the Santa Cruz River (Arizona) corridor and continuing on to Tubac, Arizona, which is located on this river. The hurried return trip only took 23 days and he had now discovered a trail with sufficient water to make land access to California possible. On the Gila river he encountered several extensive villages of Pima (Akimel O’odham) Indians. These were a peaceful and populous agricultural tribe with extensive crops and irrigation systems located along the Gila River.  

In Anza’s second trip (1775-1776) he returned to California via the Gila River path with 240 Frairs, soldiers and colonists with their families. They took 695 horses and mules and 385 Texas Longhorn bulls and cows with them, establishing the cattle and horse industry in California. (In California, the cattle and horses had few natural enemies and plenty of grass.They grew and multiplied as feral animals, doubling roughly every two years.) The trip began in Tubac, Arizona on October 22, 1775 and terminated at San Francisco Bay on March 28, 1776. There they established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), the future city of San Francisco, California.

In 1779 Father Francisco Garcés was assigned to establish a mission at the Yuma crossing of the Colorado River. In 1780 the Spanish established two combination missions and pueblos at the Yuma Colorado River Crossing of the Anza trail: Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer and Mission Puerto de Purísima Concepción. Both these pueblos and missions were on the California side of the Colorado River near the mouth of the Gila River but were administered by the Arizona authorities.

The settlement of Los Angeles, California involved two groups totaling 44 persons which included 22 children. One group, under Alfèrez Ramon Laso de la Vega, crossed the Gulf of California on launches and then traveled overland to San Diego and up to the San Gabriel Mission.

The second group, under Fernando Rivera y Moncada, took an overland route over the Anza trail 1,200 miles (1,900 km) through the desert from Sinaloa Mexico. They passed through the new missions on the Colorado River, La Purísima Concepción and Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer. The group arrived at the Colorado River in June 1781. Rivera y Moncada sent most of his party ahead, staying behind to rest the livestock before continuing their drive across the desert. His party would never reach San Gabriel. In July Rivera was killed along with the local missionaries, settlers, and travelers with the revolt of the Quechan Indians (Yuma Revolt) in 1781.

The Quechan and Mojave Indians rose up against the party for encroaching on their farmlands and for other abuses inflicted by the soldiers. On 17-19 July 1781 the Yuma (Quechan) Indians, in a dispute with the New Spain government and church, destroyed both missions and pueblos, killing 103 soldiers, colonists and Frairs and capturing about 80 more. Included in the casualties were Fernando Rivera y Moncada, military commander and former governor of California, and Father Francisco Garcés, founder of the missions on the Colorado River. In four well supported punitive expeditions in 1782 and 1783 against the Quechans, the Spanish managed to gather their dead and ransom nearly all the prisoners; but failed to re-open the Anza Trail. The Yuma Crossing and the Anza trail were closed for Spanish traffic and it would remain closed until approximately 1846. California was nearly isolated again from land based travel. The only way into California from Mexico was once more a 40-60 day voyage by sea.  According to historian David Weber, the Yuma revolt turned California into an “island” and Arizona into a “cul de sac”, severing Arizona-California and Mexican land connections before they could be firmly established. 


The Anza Days celebration is held in Tubac, Arizona each October and features  a living history presentation on Juan Bautista de Anza’s life. On Sunday, Anza (portrayed in the accompanying picture by Don Garate of Tumacacori National Historical Park) and his troops attend mass at Tumacacori mission and then ride up the Anza Trail from Tumacacori Mission and arrive in Tubac. Anza gives a presentation to the awaiting crowd illustrating the journey that he, his troops and courageous settlers will begin in order to establish the Presidio at San Francisco in October 1775.


Along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail route, visitors can experience the varied landscapes similar to those the expedition saw; learn the stories of the expedition’s events, members, and descendants; better understand the Native American diversity of cultures in their homelands and their guidance on the expedition; and appreciate the extensive influences of Spanish colonial settlements in present day Arizona and California. The Trail was designated a National Historic Trail in 1990 and a National Millennium Trail in 1999.

In 2005, Caltrans began posting signs on roads that overlap with the trail route, so that California drivers can now follow the trail.

The National Park Service has developed a printed and online brochure map for driving as well as guides for auto tours, hiking sections, and designated Historic sights, landmarks, and museums open to the public. Schedules of Anza celebrations and other historic events are on an updated NPS: What to Do-Events Guide. The detailed Trail Maps by County show more points of interest, trailheads, and local lore.

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail “project” is ever growing as local, state, and NPS efforts establish more trails, signage, and interpretive programs. The Trail is inspiring activities at existing municipal parks, neighborhood greenbelts, regional parks, and large open space preserves. The ever changing opportunities can be discovered and tracked at the official Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail website.

Material for this article has been taken from Wikipedia, the Arizona State Parks website, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Tubac Presidio Park online gift shop and de Anza gift items

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Tubac Presidio Park Merchandise

     Thanks to our volunteers and much needed community support, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park remains open to fascinate, educate, and entertain its many visitors from around the world.  All proceeds from your purchases of Presidio Park merchandise featured on this site benefit this cultural treasure and help to insure its future.

     We are happy to announce the opening of the Tubac Presidio Park Shop, where you can find reprints of historical maps, images, and photographs, as well as outstanding works of art by our local contributing artists.  (see Contributing Artists pages).  On this blog, we will be showcasing our items, as well as sharing interesting information about the Park and surrounding areas.  We will throw in a lot of history, too!  Visit Tubac Presidio Park to see what we offer, and to place an order, if you wish.  More being added nearly every day, so check back often!  Thank you for visiting the Tubac Presidio Park blog. 

     Click here:  Tubac Presidio Park online merchandise  All proceeds benefit the preservation of this cultural treasure.  Clicking this link before you shop online earns the Park 15% on your purchases anywhere on Zazzle without costing you or the artist an extra penny.  Thank you!

Contributor’s Spotlight-William Ahrendt

      We are happy to welcome our newest contributor to the Tubac Presidio Park on-line Gift Shop, William Ahrendt, who, at the age of seven, announced to his parents that he was going to be a painter!  At 17, he entered The Cleveland Institute of Art.  Upon graduation, Bill won the Institute’s coveted European Study Scholarship.  The scholarship afforded Bill a one year European  study tour, however his discoveries in the great museums of Europe kept him there for 11 years.  While living in Germany, he enrolled in the Munich Academy of Creative Art and studied painting techniques of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

     Bill returned to America in 1968.  He completed his Masters Degree in Art History at ASU and became the Art Department Chairperson at Glendale Community College.  He now devotes his time to the creation of historical paintings of the West and shares his life with his lovely wife, Shari, in Pine, AZ.  Bill’s works are highly sought by collectors worldwide. 

     Bill has been contributing editor of Arizona Highways magazine, where his paintings and articles have been published in over 40 issues.  He has been featured in Southwest Art and Art of the West magazines.  Phoenix Home and Gardens featured Bill as the Master Artist in the March 2002 issue.

     In April of this year, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park received 16 William Ahrendt paintings that were originally part of the Arizona Highways “Cavalcade of History” series.  They are exhibited as a permanent collection in Otero Hall and this is the first time these amazing paintings have been shown together.  The Park has dedicated this exhibit to Alan B. Davis, longtime resident and businessman. 

For more about Bill and his work, please visit his website.

William Ahrendt postcards and paintings in our gift shop

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Tubac Presidio Park Signing Ceremony-Help Us Celebrate!

    Just one year ago, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park was threatened with closure when the Arizona State Parks funds were swept by the legislature. The community of Tubac overcame insurmountable odds to keep Arizona’s first state park open by signing an agreement last May 17 to operate and maintain the Park.

     Great strides have been made in the last 11 months to make a visit to the Tubac Presidio an educational, rewarding and engaging experience.  We expanded park hours to 7 days a week (9:00-5:00), rewrote the walking tour guide, refurbished park signage, revitalized the park grounds, reinstated the school and living history programs, rearranged the Visitor Center to provide a clear message of what the park has to offer, and actively encourage local groups and individuals to rent the park facilities for their own special events.  None of this could have been done without a core of enthusiastic volunteers who have so far donated over 3,000 hours of their time.

            On Sunday, May 15, there will be a celebration of Tubac’s great accomplishment from 5 to 7 pm at which we hope to accomplish several things: 1) to raise money to get us through the slow days of summer; 2) to celebrate and share our accomplishment; and 3) to have fun and to keep the enthusiasm and buzz going. We will show off the improvements, pour wine, cider, and sparkling waters for your refreshment, offer you scrumptious appetizers, provide guided tours, and several of our Living History experts will be on hand to talk about Spanish Colonial foods (and serve samples of posole made to a 200 year-old recipe), demonstrate Arizona’s first printing press, and discuss various aspects of life in Tubac’s past.

Please come to our Celebration from 5 to 7. Tickets may be puchased at the door for $35 and we would love to have as many people as can come to be with us to celebrate our first year.  I think you’ll love it, and I will be in your debt for your help in supporting our cause and for telling other people that they should do the same — come celebrate Tubac’s community-run Presidio.

Donations are heartily appreciated, and will be very helpful through the slow visitation summer months. Checks made out to Save the Presidio can be sent to THS, PO Box 3261, Tubac, AZ 85646, and are 100% tax-deductible.

All proceeds from our on-line Gift Shop also go directly to support this same cause.

Hope to see you Sunday!