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Dispatches from the President’s Desk 
           “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”

Greetings Members,

When last I wrote to you, we were all filled with optimism about the waning COVID 19 pandemic and the return to pre-pandemic activity. Despite the recent resurgence of this foe, the volunteers of The Tubac Historical Society have been hard at work preparing exciting events that highlight historical moments in our very interesting past. Please be assured that we will take all necessary precautions to keep everyone safe at all events. We are all in this together and I feel certain that we only want the best for each other.
Please visit our website for information on our current events and exhibits. We will continue to add to our "online exhibits" page for those of you who do not feel comfortable attending events in person.
We all thank you for your continued support. Together we will persevere!

Andrea (Andi) Miritello, President

Historic Tubac Golf Resort

Historic Hotels of America has named Tubac Golf Resort and Spa one of the top 25 historic hotels for 2021. Businesswire ( released an article, The 2021 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Historic Golf Courses List Announced. Each course has earned its reputation, in part, based on the many famous people who have played it, including U.S. Presidents, world leaders, golf champions, film and entertainment celebrities, and famous inventors and industrialists. Many amateur and professional golfers can look back to their first lesson or first golf game played with a parent or grandparent on one or more of these legendary golf courses. The golf courses are some of America’s most historic greens. The Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, located on the Santa Cruz River was founded in 1959 by a group of investors. It was the setting for scenes in the golf movie, Tin Cup.


The site of the golf resort has a revered place in Tubac’s long history. The resort started life as a ranch. In 1789, the land was granted to Toribio de Otero. It was the first land grant recorded in what is now Arizona, and the first individually owned property in our state. The grant was retained through both the Mexican and American periods. The Otero ranch was active until the 1930’s. Financial setbacks caused the selling of parts of the ranch until it was purchased by investors in 1959.

The Cost of Civilizing
In the late 18th century New Spain’s working poor had cash incomes between 60 and 300 pesos per year. The pequeña burguesía, the middle class of the frontier, had a starting income of about 300 pesos with 500 pesos enabling a comfortable living, Ordinary bureaucrats received between 500 and 1,000 pesos.
The income difference between the working poor and the rich was 1 to 1,000. The frontier economy around Tubac, unlike that of Mexico City, was based on barter more than cash, a situation further exacerbated by the lack of real coin at most frontier presidios. 

Tubac Historical Society Updates
Diane Brooks, Events Chair

The Events Committee would like to welcome you back to our program schedule, Fall 2021 to Spring 2022.  Our tentative schedule is coming together. We hope to bring it all back to our community (with the cooperation of the pandemic).  We’ll start slowly, with a limited attendance preview of our Harwood Steiger exhibit in cooperation with the Tubac Center of the Arts.  The exhibit runs through November 14, 2021 if you are not able to attend the preview.

Again, welcome back everyone and we look forward to a year of great events!

  • September: Harwood Steiger Exhibit Preview Reservation required
         September 30…Sold Out.
  • October: Harwood Steiger Exhibit continues through November 14 at the Tubac Center of the Arts
  • November:  Breakfast with History: With Reckless Indifference: The Tragic Tale of the Baca Float presented by Steve Gastellum
Includes access to the new exhibit: With Reckless Indifference
November 16, 8:30am…Tubac Presidio Historic Park
  • December:  Tour of a local historic ranch (TBA).
  • January:  Tubac Historical Society Annual Meeting (TBA)
    Breakfast with History: Tubac: The Big Picture Through Time presented by Dan Judkins
  • January 24, 8:30am…Tubac Golf Resort and Spa
  • March:  Reception for new exhibit titled Ranching in Tubac at the Tubac Presidio
          Date and Time TBA… Tubac Presidio Historic Park
  • April:  Tubac Historical Society Annual Picnic  (TBA). 
Watch for further announcements. Members receive special pricing on all events. 

History Bits
The characters that influenced Tubac and southern Arizona history, especially the Spanish and Mexican ones, are often faceless names with no background. It’s hard to imagine who they were, what they accomplished and often, where they failed. Author Mark Santiago paints us a portrait of a Spanish officer who lived a full life and had an impact on the Valley.
A Spanish Regular at the End of the World
by Mark Santiago
Don Pedro Tueros provides a good example of a regular Spanish officer sent to bolster the defenses of New Spain, who ended up on the northern frontier. Tueros was born in 1739, in northwestern Spain. His family must have been prominent, for on April 1, 1760 at the age of 21 he was commissioned a Cadet in the Regiment of the Spanish Guards which were regarded as the elite of the Spanish Army.

Two years later Tueros saw action during the invasion of Portugal when Spain entered the Seven Years War. It was as a result of Spain’s disastrous defeat in the conflict that King Charles III began an empire wide series of military reforms designed to prevent similar losses in the future. Large numbers of Spanish regular officers were dispatched to the New World to recruit, equip, and train new military units composed almost totally from American [New World] troops.

Serving under the auspices of Lt. General Villaba, Tueros was one of a large number of Spanish officers sent to the Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1764. Upon arrival, he was made a Lieutenant in the newly raised Dragoon Regiment of [the Spanish province of] Mexico. In 1771 Tueros was appointed the military governor of the newly discovered gold mines at La Cieneguilla, near the mission of Caborca.

After ten years of service in the Regiment of the Dragoons of Mexico, on January 28, 1775, Tueros was promoted to Captain. In 1777, Tueros transferred to presidial service when he assumed command of the Royal Presidio of Santa Gertrudis de Altar. Two years later, Tueros was named Interim Military Governor of Sonora, after Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza had moved on to the Governorship of [the Spanish province of] New Mexico.

In 1779, Adjutant Inspector Roque de Medina arrived in Sonora to review the military garrisons in the province. As part of his official duties, Medina compiled a service record (hojas de servicio) on most of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the presidios. Excerpts from Captain Tueros’ record reveal the following: “His age: 39 ½. His country: the Bay of Biscay. His character: Noble. His health: robust…Valor: he has it. Application: Accredited. Capacity: much. Conduct: distinguished. Status: single.”

Inspector Medina also noted that up to that time, Captain Tueros had participated in only a single foray against the Apaches but had failed to contact the enemy. Nevertheless, Tueros had not only performed competently as Interim Military Governor, but he had also overseen the royal interest in the rough and tumble mining boom at the Real de la Cieneguilla, “to which he continually marches and countermarches.”

In concluding his report, the Inspector concluded that Captain Tueros could expect regular promotions “for his notorious zeal and love of the royal service.”

In 1783 Tueros was appointed governor of Coahuila where he continued to campaign against Apaches and other Indians hostile to the Spanish. In 1791 he was named Castellan of the fortress at Acapulco but died several months after taking office.
Have you renewed your membership in the Tubac Historical Society? Your membership helps preserve Tubac’s incredible history and even its art! Your membership also helps to keep our research center open and digitize our collection for researchers and genealogists. A quarterly newsletter informs our members about things past and present, and sometimes the future, in Tubac's history.
Send a check to: Tubac Historical Society PO Box 3261, Tubac, AZ 85646 or complete the online membership form at: Support/Membership on our website (
 Extend your membership for two years and receive a discount. Join/Renew ONLINE Today!
Researching Tubac
Betsy Fearnow
The Tubac Historical Society is quickly becoming known as a prime source for information on Southern Arizona history and culture.  This year alone, we have added over 1,000 items to our collection with a focus on Tubac and the Santa Cruz River valley saving our past and increasing our knowledge base.  Our team has responded to about 55 research requests, coming from as far away as Belgium and Japan.  Generally, we are asked to assist families who are seeking information on family members who previously lived and worked in the area, but we frequently get some unusual requests such as:
  • A request came in from an art gallery in New York seeking permission to use one of our photos of artist, Dale Nichols. They wanted to advertise paintings they have for sale, priced at $98,000 each!  
  • A representative from Home Box Office (HBO) was location scouting in the area for a miniseries to be filmed this fall. No word on their progress at this point.
  • A representative from the Nogales School Board is seeking an out of print, self-published autobiography to help them compile information celebrating 100 years of the Little Red Schoolhouse in Beyerville, near Nogales.
  • A Tucson historian is seeking information on past Tucson law enforcement officers.  This request generated about 6 reams of paper. 
  • Gary Williamson is trying to track down a relative who lived in Tubac in 1987 named Mrs. John Hamilton with family in Choteau, Montana.  If you do remember her, could you provide the Historical Society with information?

We love researching families and buildings in the area, so contact us if you have any questions. 

Rojas House at the Tubac Presidio, 2019



 Olden Day Recipes

Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup is about as far from its origins as it can get. There is no denying that modern ketchup is full of sugar. In fact, a tablespoon has more sugar than a chocolate chip cookie. If you’d like to try your hand at the real thing then use this recipe from the New England Farmer in 1860.
Take ripe tomatoes, and scald them just sufficient to allow you to take off the skins; then let them stand for a day, covered with salt; strain them thoroughly to remove the seeds; then to every two quarts, three ounces of cloves, two of black pepper, two nutmegs, and a very little Cayenne pepper with a little salt; boil the liquor for an hour, and then let it cool and settle; add a pint of the best cider vinegar, after which bottle it, corking and sealing it tightly. Keep it always in a cool place.


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

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