We don’t often think of American towns in the context of ancient history. However, before the United States became the United States, the land was inhabited by a whole host of peoples from all different origins.
The town of Tubac, Arizona, pronounced to-back in English and to-bahk in Spanish, has undergone many changes in its 10,000 years-long history, dating back to prehistoric times. As a territory of the Hohokam peoples, followed by the Pima (Tohono O’odham), and later, a Mexican military post, Tubac was not considered a part of the United States until the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Just a thirty-minute drive from the Mexican border, the city’s Spanish influence is apparent in its architecture, art, and in the stories of its little more than 1,000 residents.
Each year, the Tubac Historical Society—established in 1967 as a way to preserve the town’s most historic buildings—opens up a number of the traditional adobe structures for a public tour. In November, visitors will be able to walk through these buildings and learn a bit about the foundations of Tubac history, from Spanish colonization to its modern-day artists’ colony, and beyond.
Upon starting the tour at the El Presidito-home—which houses the Tubac School of Fine Art—visitors will be given a pamphlet that includes a map and in-depth information on each of the historic sites and their occupants. Many of the buildings house work from Tubac’s former and current artists, but also information on existing preservation projects. Guides will be available to point out interesting tidbits and answer questions, as well.
Members of the THS have been working to not only preserve the town’s historic buildings, but it’s culture, too. Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding, THS offers a host of other events throughout the year, has conducted more than 100 oral histories from residents, past and present, and continues to work toward conservation.
In addition to the tour, visitors can participate in a number of Tubac’s other exciting shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, like the Tubac Center of the Arts, which will have a number of special exhibits on display in coincidence with the tour.
For those interested in natural wonders, there are plenty of ways to take in the beautiful landscape of the Santa Cruz Valley surrounding Tubac—via the Anza Trail and Santa Cruz River hike.
Tickets for the Old Town Tubac Historic Adobe Tour are available for purchase online, $40 for adults, free for children and students, and $35 for THS members.
For more information on this event, as well as other attractions to see in Tubac, visit www.ths-tubac.org/.