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THS 2020 Spring Newsletter

A message from THS President, Andi Miritello:

Greetings to all our THS members! We hope this newsletter finds you all well and safely staying at home during this challenging time. As announced in an earlier notice, the BRC Research Center has been closed due to the COVID 19 pandemic and remains closed until further notice. We are sorry to announce that due to the guidelines of avoiding gatherings of ten or more people we are canceling the Annual Picnic that was scheduled for April 19th. Despite all this THS has had a very active first three months of 2020. Please see below for a recap of our activities. We also invite you to visit our “virtual” research center at where you can explore Tubac’s history from the safety of your home. Stay well!

Annual Meeting:
The THS held their annual meeting on January 17th. Outgoing president Karen Wilson gave a recap of a very productive 2019 and board members were elected to open board seats. In a special presentation Karen was thanked by the board for her service as President these past three years. Andi Miritello read a list of Karen’s accomplishments as president and presented Karen with a gift from the board. John Cloninger, a former THS president, also got up to say a few words about Karen and presented her with his own special gift. Thank you again, Karen!
Karen honored Andi Miritello as “Volunteer of the Year” for her work on the Oral History Committee, Newsletter, Website and as a board member. A video was shown of a 2014 “Breakfast With History”, where then President Mindy Maddock introduced speaker Will Scott, who talked about the development of the Tubac Golf Resort. Will was the legal counsel for the original investors and told a great story! If you missed the meeting and would like to see the video, you can come over to the BRC (Brownell Research Center) to view it once office hours resume. Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting!

The THS participated in the Southern Arizona Genealogical Society’s genealogy workshop held on January 18 in Green Valley. Volunteer Betsy Fearnow developed a presentation on “Who Settled Tubac” which was well received by an interested audience. Betsy was joined by Dimity Hammond and Andi Miritello who helped with outreach to event attendees.

We were also able to host our first “Breakfast with History” of the year on February 27th at the Tubac Golf Resort. Andi Miritello and Betsy Fearnow collaborated to develop this presentation, which was given to a packed audience who enjoyed learning about the history of the European settlement of Tubac. Attendees were treated to a delicious breakfast, the company of good friends, and an overview of this fascinating place, “Where Art and History Meet”.
Collections Committee Update:
Since December, we have added 97 new records to our website including 42 new books, 40 archival records, 7 new photos and 8 new objects.
We are still processing new acquisitions and expect to add nearly the same amount next quarter.
Volunteers and Visitors!
We get lots of visitors at the BRC! Some come in doing research, some just to visit with our volunteers. Below are a few examples:
Harriet and Dave Aiken came in from Kanab, Utah to do some research on the Pennington house, which they were interested in buying. Volunteers Carolyn, Diane and Andi worked with them. They decided against the purchase but hope to find property in Tubac. Dave and Harriet also became members of THS! Welcome Harriet and Dave!

New THS members Joan Gordon and Sam Asbell were pleasantly surprised by our book collection. Sam, a collector of antique fire arms and books said of our collection “there are some unique and special title here” noting our edition of Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal”   It is exciting to see the quality of book you have in your collection”

Terry & Garrett Phelps, descendants of the Garrett family, also stopped by to see what information we had on the family. Diane showed them the video that was made for the Presidio Water/Ways project that featured Jesse Garrett Pafford, and was recorded on 11-07-86. Terry was thrilled when Andi offered to make a copy of the presentation and entire oral history recording for them. Terry told us that she has photos & letters dating back to 1913, they would love to share with THS. We cannot wait to see them!
THS member Barbara Hill came by the BRC to donate a dress she had made many years ago from fabric designed by Tubac artist Harwood Steiger. She is pictured here with volunteer Barbara Espinosa. Barbara had also worn her beautiful dress during the TCA Home Tour in January, when she was a docent at the Valley Verde Ranch owned by members Kelly and Nancy Rivers. Kelly and Nancy had her stationed in the “Harwood Steiger” room! A “Harwood Steiger” project is in the works at THS with an unveiling scheduled for 2021!
THS plays a role in the Tubac Wild Javalina Project:

We were thrilled when artist Myrna York came in to THS to research Tubac artists, pre-2000, for the creation of her Javalina family. Myrna honored these artists by naming each one on her Javalina “Maestra Juanita Javelina”. Maestra, who was sponsored by THS members Deidre & Dennis Eshleman, resides at the Tubac Presidio along with “Estudiantes Mijito y Mijita”, also Myrna’s creation. 
“Tubac Tortillas” project: We are pleased to announce that Penny Niemi has completed her project of documenting the “Tubac Tortillas, the 1980 Tubac newsletter created by Tubac artist Olga Leone, and they have been added to our online catalogue. If you are looking for something to do and are interested in 1980s Tubac try googling (yes, googling) Tubac Tortillas and look for the link that says We think you will enjoy what you find!

Book labeling project: To make it easier for to find books on a specific topic, we have started placing color coded labels on the spines of some of our books at the BRC. Volunteer Marcia Mason, a trained archivist who worked at the Henry Ford Museum and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, has been labeling the Kenyon Ranch collection. When completed all Kenyon books will have an orange tag, usually at the top of the spine. The Rogers collection has yellow tags, Tubac artists red tags, etc.
In memory: Sally Day “Bunny Hanson” 2/27/32-3/3/20
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of long time THS member, and friend Sally, “Bunny” Hanson. At a young age, Sally moved to Arizona with her parents, Chay and Sally Day. She was raised on a cattle ranch, La Posta Quemada in Vail, Arizona.  In 1958, she moved to the San Cayetano Ranch in Tumacacori, and had lived there ever since. Sally was an active member of the Tubac community, and she will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences go out to her family.
The Board would like to thank Lynn Reed for her work on reviewing the THS 2019 financial records as part of our annual financial audit. Lynn, an accountant by trade, reports that everything is in good order concerning our financial records. Pictured below is Lynn and her assistant “Zinny” (short for Zinfandel). Thank you, Lynn, and Zinny!
Thank you all for your continued support! If you are looking for something to do please visit our website online catalogue at and discover all the interesting material we have saved at our BRC research library.
We look forward to seeing everyone again when this difficult time passes. Best wishes to our Tubac community!
If you have not renewed your membership for 2020, or would like to donate, you may click here.
Annual memberships for 2020 dues:
Single:      $25
Family:     $35
Business:  $50
Lifetime is $250 per individual

A special "Thank you" to our Business Members!
Fiesta Travel-Cathy & Marshall Giesy  
Historic Valle Verde Ranch-Nancy & Kelley Rivers
Tubac Old World Imports-Paula & Lincoln Wilson
Wisdom's Restaurant- Celeste Wisdom
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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