A crossroads community for a thousand years, wants you to experience its unique shopping, historical, and cultural adventures. The name Nogales comes from the Spanish word "walnut" and Walnut trees once grew abundantly in the mountain pass between the city of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico.
Thousands of years ago, before European explorers ever dreamed of sailing across the Atlantic, Nogales was part of a migratory path and trade route much later called El Camino Real (The King's Highway). Much later, regiments of armor-clad Conquistadors forayed north along this very valley in quest of precious metals and gems. Today missions built by the Spanish colonials still dot the valley's landscape.
Beginning in Nogales you will also encounter and even explore a national trail known as the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail first started in 1774 by Juan Bautista de Anza in Culiacan Mexico. Taking approximately 200 settlers and their escorts including cowboys, translators, mule packers, indian guides and over 1,000 head of livestock.
Their mission was to make a land trail that would take them to the San Francisco Port leaving behind trails and missions as a historical beauty. Now a days you can either walk the trail, experience through a horse back ride, or go on the trail by vehicle and encounter historical buildings left behind. You can also find an illustration on this trail by visiting our 1904 Courthouse.
Today, you'll find Nogales a far more hospitable place. Life on the border would not be complete without the influence of Pancho Villa, whose army occupied Nogales, Mexico in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution. The U.S. military's garrison in Nogales swelled to over 10,000 mostly black soldiers of the highly decorated 25th Regiment mostly detached from Washington, D.C. The military buildup and related business growth attracted many businesses to Nogales, some of which remain today.
The Hilltop Gallery was first opened in 1972, since then it has enriched the art of both sides United States, and Mexico by present- ing over 20,000 works of art including local artist as well. The Hilltop Gallery currently opens from 12:30 to 4:30 every day. It is not only an art gallery it focuses on the education of art as well for all ages.
They host a Summer Art Program from June to July. For information call (520) 287-5515 or visit 730 N. Hilltop Dr. Nogales, AZ 85621.
The Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
The Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail begins in Nogales, travels to San Francisco, California, and continues east around the San Francisco Bay. The national trail celebrates the route followed by Anza in 1775-76. Anza, a tough frontiersman who spent much of his life in Sonora, led a party of 30 soldiers and their families to found a presidio and mission on the San Francisco Bay. For further information and seasonal events, please visit www.anzadays.com
For more information, please call the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Visitor Center at (520) 287-3685.
Crawford Street Historic District
Take a stroll through downtown Nogales, Arizona and experience a cultural fabric that is woven from the cattle, commerce, retail, mining, and military and produce industries. The self-guided walking tour takes you through the commercial and residential sections of the city’s center, where legends abound. It is rumored that Pancho Villa hid in secret compartments of houses along Crawford Street. Former Mayor’s and owners of prominent businesses have taken up residence in this historic district. And history is still in the making. Ambassador and former Arizona, Raul H. Castro and his wife have restored their home on Crawford Street to its former elegance. Attorney and renowned conservationist Cabot Sedgwick rents out a suite of professional offices on Crawford.
Stop by or call the Pimeria Alta Museum or Historic Nogales Main Street offices to get your tour. For more information, please contact the Historic Nogales Main Street Office is located at 75 N. Terrace and for any additional information, please call (520) 397-9219.
Eventually a new sense of law and order was established by the sheriff, Tom Turner, along with a brand new courthouse. It still stands in all its Neo-Classic splendor on a hill off Main Street. We call it the 1904 Courthouse. It cost $35,000 to build and was made of stone quarried in Nogales.
You must also see the Old City Hall and is celebrating it's Centennial Celebration in 2015. It was built in 1914, and It was used as the Office of the Mayor, the Sheriff's office with two holding cells, and the Fire Department. Now, it houses the Pimeria Alta Historical Society and has fascinating displays of how things used to be and houses many of our historical treasures.
The U.S. Custom House at Nogales located on N. Terrace Ave. was funded by the Public Works Administration in 1934 and constructed in 1935 by Louis A. Simon in the Spanish Eclectic style, the imposing U.S. Custom House is a reminder of the importance of Nogales as a primary port of entry from Mexico along the Arizona border.