Tubac Historical Society Updates
Event Committee Report
Currently the Event Committee is in a holding pattern. We have discussed potential plans for a fall picnic and presentation, possibly related to the history of ranches in the area. Much depends, however, on the status of the pandemic in our area. The committee would appreciate any feedback and interest in a picnic this fall, and we will be asking for your input on the matter later this spring.
Diane Brooks, Event Committee Chair
In 2020, the Tubac Historical Society team processed 71 research requests, 6% more than in 2019. 48% of our requests came via email, 36% were related to local history and 14% were genealogical requests. Most requests came in March (17%) and June (17%). Our average response time was 5.4 days. Since the beginning of 2021, 8 requests have been fielded. These are incredible statistics. It is worth remembering that THS is operated by volunteers.
Seeking Rare Book for Library
THS would like to add the following title to our library:
History & Humor of the Tubac Post Office: Who Me Operate a Post Office? The book was written by Dorothy A. Mitchell, who became Postal Clerk in 1969. If you have a copy you would like to sell or donate, or if you know where to find one, please let us know. Email THS-Tubac.org with attention to Mary Bingham
Reaction to the Tubac Festival Exhibit
We received favorable comments on our exhibit, Tubac Festival: Then and Now, featured at the Tubac Center of the Arts. This exhibit, done in partnership with the Tubac Historical Society and TCA, featured historical posters, programs, and documents from the Tubac Festival of Arts archive dating back to the 1970’s. The exhibit, which, hopefully, will be the first of many, ran from January 15 through February 21.
A few comments...
“…as gift shop manager, was heartened to see the very positive comments and enthusiasm for this exhibit evidenced by many poster sales. Several guests shared fond memories of specific years they have attended so it created a dialogue with us, which is always a hallmark of a successful show, in my view. This was the perfect retrospective for a pandemic season.
Hope to see more of these! Thanks for your good work in our community!”
Viva Intl. Partners
“Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit at the Center for the Arts. It was a fun and interesting thing to see the changes through the years. I hope everyone will take advantage and see the exhibit before it comes down. Thank you for all the work on putting it together.”
“I enjoyed the show It brought back a lot of memories. I do find it interesting that a negative aspect was missed. That was the issue of the years that Mr. Troy would put on a back to back or simultaneous festival on his land (which is now where Wisdoms is located) …”
Editor’s note: This aspect was covered in the show.
“Terrific job on the exhibit at TCA!! Well done. I was expecting something modest, and it was a show-stopper.”
If you did not get a chance to see the exhibit at TCA, we have moved the posters and all other information to our office at the Tubac Community Center. Call us at (520) 398-2020 to make an appointment for a private showing.
Helpful Web Link
A new addition has been added to the "Useful Links" list (About/Useful Links) on our website. A young student, Amelia, taking an on-line course in historic research and preservation, was able to use our resource link list to aid in her research. And she helped us add an important link to the list. Instructor Carol Briggs noted that the below link has “a great breakdown of the research process, census records, helpful search resources, former owner databases.”
The link takes you to: A Guide to Researching the History of A House. The site is sponsored by Home Advisor.
Thank you, Amelia!
The long history of the O’odham in the Santa Cruz Valley and Tubac is a history of a people deeply involved in trade. An important aspect of O’odham life was gathering salt, both as a condiment and preservative for meats.
The interview with Dr. Wright demonstrated how tough and capable the O’odham were, and are, in trekking the region. “We know a little about the O’odham salt pilgrimage (to the Gulf of California). There was no waterhole 25 miles or more from the beach. They collected the salt, slept that night on the beach, and then returned to the waterhole. That water source was likely a tinaja in the Pinacates, or a spring. According to personal accounts, which were documented in the early 20th century, the O’odham traveled about 40 miles a day on the salt pilgrimage. Recently, the O’odham have re-started the salt trail runs.”
The February 2021 issue of Desert Tracks, the news magazine of the Oregon-California Trails Association, featured an interview by THS member and Desert Tracks editor Dan Judkins, and Dr. Aaron Wright, a preservation archaeologist.
The Captain’s House
The Captain’s House, the only known photographed structure at the Presidio of Tubac, began as a private residence, paid for and built under the direction of Tubac’s first Captain, Tomás Belderrain. The structure enclosed the commander’s housing, administration area, and the room where the guard was headquartered. The open center of the structure corralled the small herd of horses kept ready to respond to any raids. The house was a defensive structure. The tower in the northwest corner served as a “castle keep,” a bastion of final defense if the presidio was attacked.
After Captain Belderrain’s 1759 death in battle against the Seri Indians on the Gulf of California, his widow sold the house to the new commander, Juan Bautista de Anza, for 1,000 pesos (equal to $1,000 dollars at that time). Anza would later sign it over to the government when he left to become Governor of New Mexico.
Have you joined the Tubac Historical Society? Your membership helps preserve Tubac’s incredible history and even its art! Your membership keeps our research center open and our digital collection available for researchers and genealogists. A quarterly newsletter informs our members about things past and present, and sometimes the future, in Tubac's history.
To join us, send a check to: Tubac Historical Society PO Box 3261, Tubac, AZ 85646, or complete the online membership form at: Support THS/Membership (ths-tubac.org).
Extend your membership for two years and receive a discount!
Please patronize our loyal business members:
- The Country Shop
- Rillito Racetrack Events
- Cloud Dancer Jewelry Studio
- Santa Cruz Chili Company
- Russ Lyon Sotheby's International
- Historic Valle Verde Ranch
- Hal Empie Studio and Gallery
- Tubac Old World Imports
- Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
- Wisdom's Restaurant
- Fiesta Tours
Would you like us to recognize your business or organization?
Call us at 520-398-2020
The Tubac Historical Society wishes to extend our deepest sympathy to long time member Jennifer Tougas on the passing of her husband Daniel “Danny” Day on March 9, 2021. May his memory be a blessing.
Tumacácori Corn Bread 1917
Tumacácori National Historical Park offers sleepovers in the church on occasion. The sleepover event is themed, and participants are invited to immerse themselves in the newly created Park Service and imagine they are participating as part of the preservation crew. Games and entertainment are devised to help visitors find their way to 1917.
This recipe is an old cornbread recipe and uses stone ground corn and very little flour.
2 cups stone ground corn meal
4 TBLSPN flour
1 TBLSPN salt
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1.5 cups buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
2 TBLSPN oil or bacon drippings
Sift the dry ingredients.
Mix the wet ingredients and pour into the dry
Stir just enough to mix well
Place in 10-inch Dutch oven (5 charcoal briquets beneath and 15 briquets on the lid) Grease well.
Or if in oven:
Use a 9” x 9” baking pan. Grease well. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 mins.
Or if on stove top:
Use a 10 or 12 inch frying pan and heat slowly.