|Rocks outline where presidio walls were once|
Father Kino, a Jesuit priest from Spain, arrived in the 1690s to establish a mission at Tumacacori and Tubac. He later would go on to found the San Xavier del Bac Mission just nine miles from downtown Tucson.
In 1752, Spanish soldiers built the presidio, or fort, at Tubac. The Presidio Real San Ignacio de Tubac became the first European settlement in what is now Arizona. Friendly Indians, from the Pima and Papago tribes, lived in the area. In 1775, Spanish soldiers from the garrison were sent further west where they founded what is now San Francisco, California. Their departure left the fort unable to defend itself from unfriendly Indians, so the fort was closed and everyone moved to Tucson. The presidio would be re-established there in the 19th century, but was vulnerable to attacks from the invading Apaches.
|First printing press in Arizona|
Little is left of the presidio today. Rocks form an outline of where some buildings used to be. A section of the presidio can be seen underground where it was excavated in the 20th century. Buildings were constructed over the presidio; only a few remnants of these buildings remain. Park staff says they are being allowed to deteriorate naturally since they were not their when the presidio was constructed.
|A chalkboard in the old schoolhouse|
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park was the first state park in Arizona. It was established in 1958. Old adobe houses surround the park. Many of these old buildings have been converted to art galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
The park charges an admission fee and is handicapped accessible. It is located about 45 miles south of Tucson. Take exit 34 off Interstate 19 and follow the signs.