Tubac Presidio State Historic Park preserves the remnants of a military fort established by the Spanish in 1752 to control the local Pima and Apache Indians and to serve as a base for further exploration of the Southwest. The old Spanish fort has been excavated by archaeologists from the University of Arizona. An underground display features portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the fort uncovered by the archaeologists. A museum at the site exhibits archaeological remains of Arizona’s first European settlement, and displays on the pre-European, Spanish colonial, Mexican Republic, and territorial periods. The park also preserves the historic Old Tubac Schoolhouse (circa 1885) and Otero Social Hall (circa 1914), which are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park is located 45 miles south of Tucson off Interstate 19 near the community of Tubac.
The 1916 mansion of the James S. Douglas family sits on a hill overlooking the scenic Verde Valley, which was once the Arizona Territory’s most productive copper mining area. The Douglas family made a fortune in copper mining, and lived in the house during the heyday of copper mining in the area. They also used the mansion as a “hotel” for visiting mining officials and investors. The Arizona copper mining industry collapsed when copper prices plummeted during the Depression. The state of Arizona now preserves the mansion as an historic site. The mansion’s well-appointed interior and adobe-brick architecture reflect the high-life of copper mining magnates before the decline of their industry. Exhibits in the house display local mining history and methods. The site also preserves archival records such as photographs, newspapers on microfilm, correspondence, publications, manuscripts, and ephemera.
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Links: Jerome State Historic Park