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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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Don Carlos Siguenza y Gongora-Astronomer and Intellectual

One of the first great intellectuals produced in the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain was Don Carlos Siguenza y Gongora.  Born in Mexico City in 1645, Don Carlos was the youngest of eight children.  His father was a Peninsular (a privileged residential colonist born in Spain) who had been a tutor for the royal family while living in Spain.  He was also related to the famous baroque poet, Luis de Gongora.  Don Carlos was a polymath and writer who held a number of colonial government and academic positions during his lifetime.


Don Carlos took simple vows and entered into the Society of Jesuits at the age of 15, leaving (or possibly expelled) in 1667 or 1669.  In 1672, he was named to the chair of mathematics and exact sciences at the University of Mexico and was ordained as a priest the following year.  He was the chaplain of the Hospital del Amor de Dios (now Academia de San Carlos) from 1682 until his death.


In 1681, Don Carlos wrote the book Philosophical Manifest Against the Comets, citing authors like Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Kepler and Brahe, in an attempt to dismiss the people’s fears incited by the arrival of Kirch’s Comet, which was reputedly so brilliant that it could be viewed in the daytime.  Superstitions and predictions of impending disaster that were based on astrology surrounded comets and, in this work, he tried to separate the fields of astronomy and astrology.  For this he was strongly criticized by jesuit Father Eusebio Kino, himself a learned man, because the views expressed by Don Carlos contradicted the established Catholic beliefs in the Heavens.  Don Carlos audaciously defended his work by publishing Libra Astronomica y Filosofica in 1690.


Don Carlos prepared the first-ever map of New Spain in its entirety and drew hydrologic maps of the Valley of Mexico after which King Charles II named him official geographer for the colony in 1692.  As royal geographer, Don Carlos participated in the expedition to Pensacola Bay, Florida led by Andres de Pez later that same year.  He mapped the area as well as the mouth of the Mississippi in 1693.


While chaplain at the hospital Amor de Dios, Don Carlos became acquainted with the last king of Texcoco, Juan de Alva Ixtlilxotchitl, who put at his disposal a rich collection of documents of his ancestors.  Included in the ancestry were the historian Fernando de Alva Cortes Ixtlilxotchitl and the kings of Texcoco.  Don Carlos began his study of Aztec history and Toltec writing in 1668 and devoted the later years of his life to the continuous study of Mexican history.  Ixtlilxotchitl bequeathed his documents to Don Carlos upon his death.  These valuable documents later became part of the Boturini Collection sometime between 1735 and 1743.

Virgin of Guadalupe Devotee

Among the Ixtlilxotchitl documents was a purported map, or codex, documenting the 1531 apparition of the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Because of the association of Don Carlos with these early documents, he is credited with playing a significant role in the development of the legend.  He was a devotee of the Virgin and wrote poems to her as early as 1662.  His most lasting impact on the history of the apparition, however, was his assertion that the Nican mopohua, the Nahuatl-language rendition of the narrative, was written by Antonio Valeriano and this conception persists today.  He also identified Fernando Alva de Ixtlilxotchitl as the author of the Nican motecpana in response to a declaration made in Francisco de Floencia’s Polestar of Mexico, which claimed that the original Nahuatl account had been written by Jeronimo de Mendieta.

Near the end of his life, Don Carlos Siguenza y Gongora retired from the University and reentered the Jesuit Order.  He died of a kidney ailment in 1700 in the Hospital del Amor de Dios in Mexico City where he had spent so much of his career.  He left his body to science and his library to the Jesuit Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo.  Don Carlos led a full, rich  life and left a valuable legacy of study, faith, creativity and exploration.

Information included in this article was taken from Wikipedia and an article previously published in The Villager and written by Shaw Kinsley.

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Tubac Presidio Park on-line Gift Shop


NEW! Custom Laptop, MP3, iPod,Cell Phone Doodle Portable Speaker from OrigAudio

Click a Pic for Info or to Buy

Completely Customizable

Now available in the Tubac Presidio Park on-line Gift Shop, the Doodle is the first ever portable speaker customized with art, photos, and text. We offer a number of designs featuring artwork by our contributing artists, Alice Keene, Roberta Rogers and Richard Lasley as well as historical maps and photographs.  Once you choose a design, your Doodle is vibrantly printed in full color to make the perfect custom speaker. (Design is more vivid than shown in the product pictures.)

Universal Compatibility

The Doodle features a 3.5 mm. headphone jack input that is compatible with any standard music device. Simply plug the Doodle speaker into your iPod, laptop, iPhone, cell phone or any other device for instant sound.

Ultra Portable

Lightweight and small enough for a jacket pocket, the Doodle is perfect for vacations, events, parties, and more. The Doodle can be powered through a USB cord (included) for endless playback or by two AAA batteries for 8-9 hours of listening enjoyment.

Your Photo or Artwork

Submit your favorite photo or artwork for placement on a Doodle speaker and purchase from the gift shop for $39.95 (plus $6.49 S&H).  All proceeds from your purchase help preserve the Tubac Presidio Park and you will receive a one-of-a-kind Doodle speaker for yourself or to give as a special gift.  Contact us at and include an image at a resolution of at least 150 dpi with any special instructions for text or filler color.  Please write DOODLE in the subject line to differentiate your email from spam.  Design will be available within 24 hours and a link will be provided that will take you directly to your custom Doodle Speaker.  No obligation to buy, no hidden fees and you are free to suggest changes until you are completely satisfied.

How does the Doodle Speaker sound?

Click video below for an independent review.

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Zazzle Doodle Speaker Marketplace

Tubac Presidio Park on-line Gift Shop

Oral Histories Part II

The following is a continuation of an article by Shaw Kinsley  taken largely from taped oral histories and appeared previously in the Villager.

Personalities of Tubac-Maxine Guy Part II

Maxine Guy in Tubac

Maxine, having fallen in love with the concept of craftsmen/artists doing their own high-quality work, moved to Tubac in 1969, and, after sharing a studio on Tubac Plaza with Marcia Palmer, she opened her own studio and gallery, The Potted Owl, in 1972.  There, she threw her own clay creations and generously shared her skills with a number of young artists who later became successful potters themselves.  Maxine was especially proud of her specialty glazes.  (Tubac Historical Society would very much like to have photographs of Maxine’s pottery.  If you own a piece, please call 398-2020 so we can photograph it for our collections).

Influenced by her mother, Maxine developed a love for wildlife and often cared for injured creatures. Over the years, her experience and related knowledge in this vocation grew and veterinarians often asked for her advice.  She and her friend, Mae Hickman, wrote a book on the subject, Cure of the Wild, Feathered and Furred:  A Guide to Wildlife Handling and Care.  Lauded by Cleveland Amory as the best guide available, reprints are still found in the marketplace today.  She took in all sorts of animals, from hummingbirds to eagles, and was one of a very few people to be licensed by the federal authorities to care for wildlife.  She, herself, bore the expense, and she was often able to release animals into the wild with the help of Arizona Fish and Game.

In 1988 George McGill and Edith Bobbitt conceived a benefit evening they called “For the Love of It” to raise funds for the Maxine Guy Wildlife Trust Fund.  Maxine received certificates of appreciation from the United States Congress and Santa Cruz County as well as a Letter of Commendation from the Humane Society of Santa Cruz County.  Her work continues today at the Simpson Wildlife Sanctuary at Montana Vista in Green Valley and is run by Ken and Sue Simpson, who are grateful to Maxine for her help in getting them properly licensed and for all she taught and shared with them.

Maxine died at home on a Sunday in 1992 of an apparent heat attack.  She is sorely missed by all who knew her and by all the wild, feathered and furred creatures she helped.  Her impact is aptly expressed by Guy and Mary Ellen Blakeslee who said this, “Maxine Guy is a total package; a whole person in her attitude and action toward nature an in the clear aesthetics of her art”.  Thank you Maxine, for your lovely legacy.

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Tubac Presidio Park Gift Shop where proceeds from your purchases help preserve this cultural treasure.

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!


Tubac Historical Society–Oral Histories

     The Tubac Historical Society has a fascinating collection of taped oral histories, and THS is looking for more individuals to conduct oral history interviews.  It is important to record the details of the lives of our Tubac residents, (whose common trait of “conspicuous individuality” has served to shape our unique village), so that their stories will be available in the future. 

     The following article by Shaw Kinsley is taken largely from these taped histories and appeared previously in the Villager.

      Personalities of Tubac-Maxine Guy

     It’s been said that “Tubacans, in spite of their conspicuous individuality, love to have fun.”  This is true for many personalities of Tubac, but it is especially true of Maxine Guy, the Nebraska native who came to Tubac as a potter and wildlife rehabilitator after a distinguished career in the Army.

     Maxine graduated from the University of Nebraska with a major in Art before moving to Chicago to attend the Art Institute after a brief spell as a furniture buyer for Marshall Field’s.  When the Second World War broke out, Maxine was in the first graduating class of officer candidates in the Women’s Army Corps.  She had a variety of jobs from quartermaster to processing officer before becoming one of eighteen WAC officers chosen to serve in the Far East.  After she completed a rigorous course of instruction in Asian languages, topography, and sociology, plus firearms training, she was appointed to the staff of General Douglas MacArthur during the postwar occupation of Japan.  Her job was to encourage trade between Japan and the United States in carefully chosen products, and in her oral history at the Tubac Historical Society, she takes great pride in the compliments she received from the Japanese artisans she assisted.  She also tells how she inadvertently slammed the door on General MacArthur himself as she was leaving headquarters in the Daichi building in Tokyo in addition to an amusing riff on the designers of women’s military headgear.

     Maxine rose to the rank of Major and took up the study of pottery in 1953 in Washington, D.C.  She found Tubac in 1965, thanks to the wife of the commanding officer at Ft. Huachuca, who told her about the fledging arts community.

Next week-Maxine Guy in Tubac

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Tubac Presidio Park Gift Shop where proceeds from your purchases help preserve this cultural treasure.

Arizona’s Tubac Presidio Park-Where History Lives!

The Park

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is Arizona’s first state park and is situated on the grounds of the state’s oldest European community.  Visit the underground exhibit of the Presidio ruins, tour the museum, see Arizona’s first printing press or visit the furnished 1885 schoolhouse. The schoolhouse, Otero Hall and Rojas House are all on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Anza Trailhead and a picnic grounds are also featured.

The History

The church and the military were the vanguards of Spanish frontier expansion throughout Mexico.  The Jesuit, Eusebio Francisco Kino, established missions in Pimeria Alta (part of which is southern Arizona) from 1687 to 1711 to convert and control Indians in the area. He established Tumacacori in 1691, and Tubac, then a small Pima village three miles to the north, became a mission, farm or visita.  Spaniards began to settle here during the 1730s, and eventually controlled the land and the lives of the Indians.

In 1751, Luis Oacpicagigua, a Pima chief stirred by many grievances, led a revolt which drove the Spaniards southward.  A military detachment was sent to the area, and peace was  reestablished within three months.

The Presidio (fort) de San Ignacio de Tubac was founded in 1752.  The fifty cavalrymen garrisoned at this remote outpost were to control the Pimas, to protect the frontier from Apaches and Seris, and to further explore the Southwest.

Juan Bautista de Anza II, the second commander of the presidio, organized two overland expeditions consisting of  240 colonists from the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora (63 of whom were from Tubac), military personnel and 1000 head of cattle, horses and mules, which resulted in the founding of San Francisco in 1776.  When the military authorities moved the garrison from Tubac to Tucson, the settlers were unprotected from  the persistent threat of Apaches and soon left their lands.  In 1787, Spanish officers were once again posted at Tubac along with Indian soldiers.  Apache reservations were established and the government provided supplies in an effort to keep the peace.  In 1821, Mexico won independence from Spain and the new government lacked the funds necessary to continue supplying the Apaches, many of whom returned to a life of raiding .  Between the raids and the lure of California gold, the area was abandoned once again.

Tubac was included in the Gadsen Purchase of 1853, and was soon being resettled and developed by adventurers from the States as well as former landowners.  Charles D. Poston was instrumental in forming the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, which acquired a printing press in 1859 which printed Arizona’s first newspaper, The Weekly Arizonian.

Tubac’s population grew steadily until , in 1860, it was the largest town in Arizona.  The American Civil War, however, drained the region of troops and Tubac was deserted again.  The town never regained its earlier importance.


In 1974, archaeologists from the University of Arizona excavated portions or the presidio and was then backfilled as a preservation measure.  In 1976, a section was reexposed in an archaeological display enclosure where visitors can view the portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the 1752 structure.


Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is located amid art galleries, gift shops, clothing boutiques,  restaurants and the scenic beauty of Southern Arizona.  Visitors from around the world, as well as from all over the United States, come yearly to take in the mixture of historical charm and southwestern hospitality of this  fascinating place.

Take the Tubac Presidio Park Walking Tour

Enjoy the Park’s museum

See Arizona’s First Printing Press

Own a piece of history and help preserve this cultural treasure.  Visit the Tubac Presidio on-line Gift Shop and find postcards, t-shirts, stainless steel mugs, maps, historical photographs and more!  All proceeds from purchases go directly to the park and are greatly appreciated.

Donate your original drawing, photograph or art work by email ( giftshp@tubacpresidio,org ) and we will feature it on products in the gift shop.  You will be credited and your website promoted.  We could use anything from a nature snapshot to an artistic masterpiece.  This is a fun and painless way to help a worthy cause.  Thank you!

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