Tumacácori National Historical Park

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Tumacácori National Historical Park is located in the upper Santa Cruz River Valley of southern Arizona. The park protects the ruins of three Spanish mission communities, two of which are National Historic Landmark sites, and it also contains the Tumacácori Museum, a historic landmark building built in 1937 that is also a National Historic Landmark. The park consists of 360 acres (1.5 km2) in three separate units.

The Spanish Colonial architecture Franciscan church at San José de Tumacácori dates to the late 18th century. The earlier Jesuit missions that were established at Tumacácori and Guevavi in 1691 are the two oldest missions in southern Arizona.

The third unit, San Cayetano de Calabazas, was established in 1756. The Guevavi and Calabazas units are not open to the general public and can only be visited on reserved tours led by park staff. The main unit of the park, the Tumacácori Mission, has a visitor center and museum and is open to the public every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

A 4.5 miles (7.2 km) segment of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail lies along the Santa Cruz River between Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.

The site was originally proclaimed Tumacácori National Monument on September 15, 1908, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. On August 6, 1990, it was redesignated a National Historical Park and the Guevavi and Calabazas units were added to the park.

History of San José de Tumacácori Mission

The Tumacácori Mission was established in 1691 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. It was established one day before the Guevavi Mission, making it the oldest Jesuit mission site in southern Arizona. The mission was originally called San Cayetano de Tumacácori. It was established at an existing native O'odham or Sobaipuri settlement on the east side of the river.

After the Pima rebellion of 1751, the mission was moved to the present site on the west side of the Santa Cruz river and renamed San José de Tumacácori. By 1848, the mission was abandoned and began falling into severe disrepair. Preservation and stabilization efforts began in 1908 when the area was declared a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt and continue today.

Tumacácori Museum

Tumacácori Museum was built in 1937 within what was then Tumacácori National Monument and is now Tumacácori National Historical Park. Designed by Scofield Delong, it contains interpretative displays relating to three historic missions preserved within the park, and includes artwork created by artist Herbert A. Collins.

The museum building, a fine example of Mission Revival style architecture, with Spanish Colonial Revival details, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The museum and park are on the NPS Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, as the site was on the route of the 1775-1776 Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition from New Spain to Las Californias.

Films shot in Tumacácori National Park
  • 1990: Young Guns II directed by Geoff Murphy


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