ARIZONA’S FIRST STATE PARK
El Presidio Real San Ignacio de Tubac
A Tucson local, I’ve been to Tubac many times passing the brown information signs saying Tubac Presidio Arizona State Historic Park, but in more than twenty years, I’ve never looked for where those signs lead. I stop in the village and never get beyond the shops and restaurants. One cold morning, I joined Nancy Reid and Lisa Smith with Big Blend Magazines at the Visitors Center where the Director of the Park, Shaw Kinsley, met us.
It’s a bit embarrassing, but I realized I didn’t know anything about El Presidio Real San Ignacio de Tubac, but Shaw Kinsley’s enthusiasm and knowledge changed that. The Presidio was established in 1752 to protect the European settlers from the area’s native inhabitants who were called the Pima Indians. Even with the protection of adobe walls, over the years, the Presidio was abandoned and rebuilt nine times. In 1958, the Tubac Presidio became Arizona’s first state park. As you step outside the Visitors Center, you notice a line of rocks forming a long divided rectangle. This outlines where the original Presidio walls were located.
Eva’s full article covering the unique exhibits and history of the Tubac Presidio, along with images, are featured in the winter 2017 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.