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Fri Dec 19, 2014

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Historical Rundown

Tucson - The Beginning of a Rich Western Culture
Tucson was originally founded in 1775 by Spain to serve as a military garrison (presidio) to protect settlers from Apache Indian raids. Tucson's rich Native American traditions began with prehistoric Indian cultures that settled in the region, and continued to grow richer through the centuries with the influx of Spanish, Mexican, Anglo, and Asian immigrants.

Judging from agricultural settlements found along the Santa Cruz River, archeologists believe that life in the Tucson Valley began as early as 10,000 B.C. with the arrival of the Paleo-Indian culture, (the earliest recorded inhabitants of the Americas who originated from Asia), and other Archaic civilizations who migrated to the area. Tucson's earliest inhabitants roamed the area hunting mammoth and bison between 10,000 and 6,000 B.C. They were followed by the Cochise culture, who built pit houses and used stone tools, and the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

tribe, who began farming the valley floor in 300 A.D.

And They Vanished Into the Thin Air...
The Tucson valley is rich in archeological remains that include pit houses, adobe huts, and stone tools that were once occupied by the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

Indian tribe approximately 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. According to historical finds, the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

tribe was a vigorous and thriving culture up until 1450. Then, they mysteriously vanished. To this day, why and how the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

culture disappeared from the Tucson area, remains a mystery.

Since the disappearance of the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

, the Pima and Tohono O'odham Indian tribes, both descendents of the advanced Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

civilization, inhabited the region. The Pima and Tohono O'odham were fierce enemies of the Apache, but tolerant towards the arriving Anglos.

In the mid-1500's, the Coronado Expedition crossed Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

searching for the "Seven Cities of Gold."

Father Eusebio Francisco Kino Builds the "White Dover of the Desert"
In 1692, Catholic Spanish missionaries, searching for religious and political converts for Spain, arrived in the desert valley and found the Indian village of Stjukshon at the foot of the Santa Cruz River.

In late 1699, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian Jesuit monk who served as a missionary for the Spanish church, visited the Tucson area. In 1700, Father Kino began the construction of the Mission San Xavier del Bac in the village of Bac, 10 miles west of Tucson. Mission San Xavier del Bac was the region's first Spanish mission. Some reports state that the Mission was completed in 1783; others say the date was as late as 1797. The truth is, the Mission was never fully completed. The reason for this was that local tax laws required all Missions that were not under construction to pay taxes. To avoid taxation, the last dome of the Mission was never completed.

Note: The historic Spanish Mission San Xavier del Bac (Papago Wahk), dubbed the "White Dove of the Desert," is still used as a church today and can be found approximately 10 to 15 miles south of Tucson off Interstate 19. The Mission hosts the Annual San Xavier Fiesta, held on the first Friday evening following the Easter holiday. The festivities include a torch-lighting parade presented by Tohono O'odham and Yaqui tribal members. The Mission's interior is a rich ornamental mixture of New Spain and Native American artistic themes.

Tucson's Rich Native American Roots Survive
When Father Kino first arrived in Tucson, he found the Pima and Tohono O'odham Indians tribes living in and farming the regions near Tucson. The Pima Indians are a group of Native Americans who presently live primarily in central and south Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

and the present country of Mexico. Descendants of the Uto-Aztecan culture, the Pima were frequently visited by early Spanish missionaries. The Pima tribe used advanced agricultural techniques that included irrigation, and were known for their beautiful basket weavings.

Tohono O'odham is a Native American tribe formerly known as the Papago. Today, the vast Tohono O'odham tribe primarily inhabits four reservations located a few miles west of Tucson in southern Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

.

Note: The City of Tucson got its name from the Papago word "Chuk Shon" (Stjukshon and/or S-tukson), meaning "Village of the spring at the foot of the black mountain." There are disagreements as to the exact spelling and translation. Papago is the language of the Tohono O'odham Native American tribe and is closely related to the Pima language through their common Uto-Aztecan heritage. The term "black mountain" refers to the "Sentinel Peak" summit or "A Mountain," which is located just west of Tucson's present downtown area.

The Uto-Aztecan languages are part of a Native American language family. Uto-Aztecan languages are found in regions stretching from the Great Basin of the western United States (Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

), through Mexico south to El Salvador. Utah is named after the indigenous Uto-Aztecan Ute people.

A Dusty Adobe Village Called "Old Pueblo"
On August 20, 1775, a few months after Paul Revere's famed ride, the Spanish Crown sent Hugo O'Connor, and Irishman who came to be fondly referred to by the locals as Don Hugo O'Connor, to Tucson to survey the region, locate sites to be used as military posts (presidios), and establish trade routes. In 1776, Don Hugo established the first site: Presidio San Agustin, a site near the center of what is now downtown Tucson. The walled Presidio San Agustin became the northernmost outpost of Spain in the New World, providing refuge for residents and travelers, and soon was nicknamed the "Old Pueblo," an endearment still used today. In Spanish "Pueblo" means Town or Village.

Note: "Old Pueblo" was, and still is, located in the high desert valley of south-central Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

along the banks of the Santa Cruz River where Interstate 10 and 19 intersect. The city is the gateway to Saguaro
Saguaro(suh-WA'R-o)

An arborescent cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) of desert regions of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico that has a tall columnar simple or sparsely branched trunk of up to 60 feet (18 meters) and bears white flowers and edible fruit.

National Park, which is located on both sides of downtown Tucson. The valley is bordered by four mountain ranges: the Santa Catalina's (north), the Santa Rita's (south), the Rincon's (east), and Tucson's (west).


By 1804, approximately 1,000 people lived in the dusty adobe town known as Tucson. Residents were primarily Spanish, Mexicans, and Native Americans who raised agricultural crops and livestock. At this point in history, the residents of Tucson still had little contact with the outside world.

Mexico Stakes Its Claim to Tucson
The capital of New Spain became Mexico City. Ruled by a Viceroy appointed by the Spanish Crown, New Spain's territory included all of present-day Mexico, Central America down to the southern border of Costa Rica, and portions of the United States, including the present states of California, Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

, New Mexico, and Texas. The northern boundary of New Spain was not clearly defined until the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819.

Note: New Spain included Nueva Extremadura, Nueva Galicia, and Nueva Vizcaya. The Philippines were also administered as a colony of New Spain. "New Spain" (Nueva Espaņa) was the name given to the Spanish colonial territory in North America from 1525 to 1821.

When the Mexican Revolution of 1821 ended and Mexico gained its independence, Spain lost its claim to Tucson and the region became part of Mexico.

Trade Increases When the Stagecoach Comes to Town
With the influx of Anglo-Americans streaming into the Tucson area, there came the Butterfield Overland Stagecoach line, which opened services to the Tucson region. As trade opened up between East Coast and California settlements, Anglo and European trappers and traders began traveling through Arizona.

Where the West was Wild and the Folks were Rowdy
The lively town of Tucson soon developed a reputation as a "rowdy" frontier town, which was tempered by social refinements brought by incoming city settlers. Shootouts took place frequently and men rarely ventured unarmed onto the streets. Still, the town prospered, and by the early 1800's, Tucson's population was over 7,000.

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought even more outsiders to the region - an influx of Easterners seeking their future in the mines. Some saw opportunity in the rough frontier town of Tucson and stayed to begin families.

Looking for a southern rail route, the U.S. negotiated the Gadsden Purchase Treaty with Mexico in 1854 and Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

became a U.S. territory. As greater numbers of newcomers came into the Tucson region, the area's native inhabitants defended their territory. Battles between the settlers and the Apaches paralyzed Tucson for several decades, distracting it from the Civil War activities taking place between the states.

The Wild West Town Grows Even Wilder
Throughout the 1860s, Tucson lived up to its reputation as a rough, rowdy, Wild West town, with frequent arguments continuing to take place in the downtown streets and yep, more gunfire.

In 1867, Tucson became the territorial capital for the newly formed Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

Territory and remained the capital for 10 years, from 1867 until 1877, which accelerated the city's grow and progress. The city grew rapidly, and the population rose to 7,000. Near the turn of the century, Tucson started marketing its solar resources and soon became known as a "sunshine state." This attracted thousands of tuberculosis victims seeking a cure to the warm, arid climate. Unfamiliar with the desert climate, many newcomers embraced the architectural designs, foods, and traditions developed by the Mexican culture to adapt to the arid climate. Today, Tucson is a rich, cultural melting pot that offers the best of Angelo, Hispanic, and Native American architectures, foods, and traditions.

The Southern Pacific Railroad Arrives
In 1880, the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in Tucson and was greeted with great excitement by the townspeople. Tucson was now connected to the rest of the world. Tucson's growth was further stimulated by the discovery of silver in the nearby City of Tombstone, the discovery of copper in Bisbee, and the development of irrigation. Tucson was incorporated in 1877, and today remains the Pima county seat.

In 1891, Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

Territorial University was opened on land that was donated by a local saloon owner and two gamblers. The city entered the "air age" with the arrival of World War II and the establishment of Davis Monthan Air Field. The Davis Monthan Air Field became an important training base for the US air force during WW II.

Note: Since World War II, Tucson had experienced remarkable growth, which was due in part, to the developing suburbs. Tucson's dry, sunny climate and unique desert locale have made it a popular tourist and health resort and retirement community. The city's postwar industries have centered on aircraft and missile manufacturing, dude ranching, and electronics research and manufacture.

Arizona Joins the Union
The capital was moved north before Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

became the 48th state to enter the union in 1912. Tucson eventually established another prestigious state institution, the University of Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

, which remains one of the area's major employers and an institute of educational excellence.

To date, "Old Pueblo" has lived under four flags: Spanish, Mexican, Confederate, and the United States of America.

And the Beat Goes On...
True to its Wild West beginnings, modern day Tucson is peopled with artists, adventurers, and visionaries. After WWII, many airmen returned to desert valley to settle or retire. Fueled by post-war industries and tourism, the city's population grew rapidly, and at one point was welcoming 1,000 newcomers each month. By 2000, Tucson's population had ballooned to 800,000.

Note: With its mixed cultural heritage and international population, Tucson provides a fitting backdrop for the University of Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

. Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences are resplendent throughout the City of Tucson, which celebrates its differences and preserves its traditions. Today, Tucson is known for its colorful and creative culture, its lively resort areas, it's educational excellence, and for its rich copper and mineral resources. A true cattle town, Tucson's major markets are cotton and cattle. Tucson also serves as the headquarters for the Coronado National Forest.


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