As Arizona's first European settlement, the village of Tubac has seen its share of history and change. First settled in 1752 when Spanish soldiers built a presidio,
Tubac also bears evidence of mammoth hunters, who preceded the O'odham peoples (formerly known as the Pimas and Papagos). Five flags have flown over the town. Tubac has been an Indian community, a Spanish Colony, part of the New Mexico Territory, a Mexican community and an Arizona Territory.
Today, art and history are juxtaposed amid the stunning beauty in Santa Cruz County. After years of conflict over the land, the town had virtually vanished.
In the 1940s, the late painter Dale Nichols visualized an art colony and started a school in 1948. Fascinated with the seclusion and simplicity in the desert landscapes,
Nichols painted in a Tubac studio for six years.
Other artists came to Tubac and helped promote the town by showing their works to interested passers-by. In the early days, tourists who traveled from Tucson to Nogales often stopped for refreshments in Tubac, and the artists found that offering a cool drink was a necessity in developing their businesses.
Painters, potters, sculptors and carvers are among the many artists who make their home in the village and they produce works in every medium. Works by nationally and internationally known artists fill the galleries and bring national acclaim to the area and its humble beginnings.
In the mid-1900s, Teodoro and Emilia Ybarra donated their family cemetery, which was started around 1800, to the county for the burial of blood relatives. Pat Ybarra, their grandson, is now the cemetery caretaker. Fiesta de los Muertos, celebrated on the first Sunday in November with singing and procession, includes the entire community. Recently, the Tubac Cemetery Preservation Society, a non-profit organization was formed in order to preserve the historic cemetery.
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Enjoy living history programs while experiencing Arizona's first European settlement. Remnants of the military fort founded by the Spanish in 1752 have been uncovered by University of Arizona archaeologists and preserved by Arizona State Parks. An underground display features portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the Presidio (fort) de San Ignacio de Tubac. Spanish soldiers established the fort to control the local Pima and Apache Indians and serve as a base for further exploration of the Southwest. For additional information, please call (520) 398-2252.
Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Tubac Golf Resort & Spa is the most luxurious and tranquil vacation destination in the Southwest. Set on the historic 500-acre Otero Ranch in the Santa Cruz River Valley, the Spanish Colonial architecture and lush grounds are enhanced by magnificent views of the Tumacacori and Santa Rita mountain peaks. Tubac Golf Resort & Spa is a proud member of the Historic Hotels of America®, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, whose goal is to identify quality hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture, and ambiance. For more information, please call (520) 398-2211 and they are located at 65 Avenida De Otero, Tubac, AZ.
For more information, please contact the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Visitors Center at (520) 287-3685.