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THS 2020 Summer Newsletter

A message from THS President, Andi Miritello:

Greetings from the Tubac Historical Society! As we move into the fifth month of the Covid-19 virus pandemic we hope you are all well, practicing safe social distancing and wearing your face masks. We would hate to see history repeat itself. Remember the Spanish Flu?

We have been busy at THS thanks to modern technology and our ability to work from home. I am particularly excited about the progress being made on adding our Oral History Collection to our website by volunteers Mary Bingham and Betsy Fearnow. They did not want me to announce this yet, but I cannot resist! Go to our website and select the “Online Catalogue” tab, then hit the “Oral Histories” button to see what we have added! We do not have the recordings up yet but there is an impressive amount of information there!

Another exciting project that has been completed is our “Invasion of the Javelinas” video, produced by Karen Wilson with videographer Kai Wilson! It is a wonderful documentation of the Javelina Project and we look forward to sharing it with the community sometime in the coming season so keep an eye out for more information.

I am happy to announce a new editor for our newsletter, Rick Collins! Rick will bring a new perspective and some history tidbits to our quarterly report. We are after all a “Historical Society”! Learn a little bit about Rick and the rest of our board members by visiting our website and clicking on “The Board” under the “Contact” tab, or just click here:

We are still able to accommodate research requests and limited library research work, so the work goes on! Please stay safe everyone and enjoy your summer!

If you need to contact us, please feel free to send us an email at or leave a message at 520-398-2020. It may take a couple of days, but someone will get back to you!
We hope you, your family and friends stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you again soon. 
                                                                                                                                 Andi Miritello, THS President

Mixed Race
Next to Russia, Spain is the most invaded nation on earth. The Celts are believed to have been first, followed by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Vandals, Alani, Suevi, Byzantines, Visigoths, Moors and Franks. In the 8th century, the Muslims captured much of the Peninsula and held sway until the 15th century.
Spain is ribbed by coarse mountain ranges and divided into 4 geographic regions, retaining 5 separate languages with Castilian the dominant language. 

Membership is vital to the success of the Tubac Historical Society.
We are grateful for our supporting businesses:

Fiesta Travel - Cathy & Marshall Giesy            Historic Valle Verde Ranch - Nancy & Kelley Rivers
Tubac Old World Imports - Paula & Lincoln Wilson           Wisdom's Restaurant - Celeste Wisdom
Upcoming Events:

While summer months are always quiet as far as events are concerned, the Event Committee is beginning to discuss ways to have events again in the fall.  Much of it depends on how open venues and participants are for things such as Breakfast with History.  All of us at THS hope to continue to share with you the wonderful history of our area, be it through breakfast events or other means.  Meanwhile, we all hope that you and yours are well.
Diane Brooks, Chair
Pandemic Oral Histories:
On May 19th Kai Wilson and Karen Wilson completed documentation of how the Pandemic has affected Tubac (to date) by way of fifteen short video interviews of Tubac residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Also included were interviews with the Chief of Tubac Fire District and the Head Golf Pro at Tubac Golf Resort.   The resulting film will be used in future projects, such as exhibits, both physical and online, and future publications.  These interviews will be placed in a special collection in our archives, available to the public for research and educational purposes.
Karen Wilson
Liquor is Quicker 
In time for St. Patrick’s Day in 1859, a local entrepreneur engaged the services of around 100 O’odham to begin the distillation of mescal to create a ready local supply of mescal and tequila.

Many citizens in the region worried the enterprise would foster a plethora of stills. Judging by the rate of alcoholism in Arizona at that time, one suspects the fears were justified.
Tubac Historical Society 2nd Quarter Update
Though research requests have been limited during the virus lock down, THS has continued to work hard. Prior to the stoppage THS researches had responded to research requests in an average 5 days, and those requests had increased by 55%. During April, the collection committee approved adding 189 items to our collection and discarding 3 items.  New items include 138 photos, 3 calendars, 25 posters, 5 books, 9 postcards, a map and 2 menus from the Tubac Valley Country Club. A large accession was done of the Sosa family which included 250 photographs.

The PastPerfect team, along with the webmaster, have reached the point where THS can now produce virtual exhibits.       
                                                                                                                                 Betsy Fearnow

All Roads Lead to Tubac

Tubac's role as a starting point and an important way station in history shouldn't be overlooked. All roads lead to Tubac. Four roadways rendezvous at Tubac. The road to Magdalena, the road to Altar, the road to Tucson and San Francisco, and the road to the Sonoita Valley and Texas, all link up at Tubac.

The most wonderful thing is that the intersection of those roads still exists. A visitor can actually stand on the spot! One of the oldest still-traveled roads in the U.S. is Calle de Iglesias, which leads from the St. Ann's Church (where the Anza Expedition was launched) down to the Santa Cruz River and the various trails. People still drive on it!

Tubac, was the 1775 launching site for the Anza Expedition which founded the city of San Francisco, CA. During the American Civil War, San Francisco served as an important outpost to protect the delivery of goods north from the port of Guaymas, supplying Union troops on the western frontier. Tubac was considered important enough during the Civil War for the Federal Army to send three troops of cavalry to defend Tubac and the Valley.


Tell your story of life in Tubac during the Covid-19 pandemic!
We are all too aware that we are living through an extraordinary moment in history. The Tubac Historical Society believes it is important that we create a record of life in Tubac during this historic time so that future generations will have an authentic picture of what was like in Tubac during this dramatic moment in time.
We have already created a video with pictures of the village and interviews from leaders of a variety of organizations around town, which we hope to have available on our website in the near future. We would also like to include stories in our archives from as many local residents as possible that document the lives of everyday residents in Tubac. Your stories will give prospective to future understanding and reveal aspects of our what it was like to live through the Covid-19 pandemic.
To help you gather your thoughts we have created the following questionnaire. You can download the form and return it by mail or email. Or visit our website to complete the form online.
We are proud of our well-qualified super volunteers who make so much happen!  If you would like to know more about volunteer opportunities, please call 520 398-2020 or email  
2019 Tubac Historical Society Board members from left around the table:
Karen Wilson, Diane Brooks, Carolyn Fowler, Brenda Camou, John James, Nancy Valentine-Holub, Betsy Fearnow, Steve Gastellum, Andi Miritello.
Donate to Help Preserve Tubac's History!
We hope you have enjoyed this edition of The Tubac Historical Society newsletter. You can find previous issues on our “information page” of our website. We welcome any suggestions for future editions!

The Tubac Historical Society’s Brownell Research Center, located at the Tubac Community Center, is temporarily closed. When we reopen, we encourage you to come by and meet the volunteers who are diligently working on a variety of projects, helping to preserve our community’s rich history, click here for more information. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Karen Wilson at 520-398-2020.

To find out more about the work of the Tubac Historical Society we invite you to explore our website (click here) You will find the latest events, research, and information on the history of Tubac-Where Art and History Meet!

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Our mailing address is:
Tubac Historical Society
P.O. Box 3261
Tubac, Az 85646

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