Sunday, May 28, 2023


Arizona’s Tumacacori National Historical Park worth a stop

I just love to take short trips to historic sites, and Tumacacori National Historical Park in Tubac, Arizona, was no exception. Getting to go with our friends, Leslie and Jay, made it even more special. Tumacacori is near Tubac, in southern Arizona, about 19 miles from the Mexican border. It is an area filled with history and art.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Tumacacori National Historical Park

This is the ancient land of the O’odham. They farmed, hunted and lived in extended family villages. In 1691, the first Spanish priest, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, came to Tumacacori. The O’odham began to follow the Spanish priest’s methods of farming and caring for livestock. In 1757, a mission, vista, without a resident priest was begun.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Father Eusebio Francisco Kino
Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Tumacacori Priest’s house

Jesuit priests helped protect the O’odham culture, but when the Jesuits were expelled from Spain, caring for the mission fell to the Franciscans. The Franciscans began the foundation for a new church in 1800. The church and mission were completed in 1824. Heavy timbers were carried 35 miles to provide support for the roof, and walls were raised with mud adobe and plastered with lime.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Tumacacori Mission Church
Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Tumacacori Mission Church Altar ruins

It was more than a church. It was designed as a community with orchards, wineries, fields and homes supporting several hundred people. The O’odham worked three days a week for the mission, attended mass daily and made their home within the safety of the mission.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Winery jugs

Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821, and in 1828, Mexico expelled the Spanish priests from Tumacacori. By 1856, at the end of the Mexican/U.S. war, the O’odham peoples left the mission and it was abandoned.

It is a place steeped in history. As I walked the paths and visited the ruins, I could feel the ground holding the footsteps of many before me.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Tumacacori Cemetery

If you’re in the area, or even if it’s just a little out of your way, plan a trip to the Tumacacori National Historical Park. It’s worth it.


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


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Bob Walter
1 month ago

I’ll add it to my list. It looks like just a few miles from the Titan Missile site – another cool attraction.

1 month ago

This is a stunning area of Arizona. Thanks for writing about it. Plan to make a lunch trip with an easy 90 minute drive to Tombstone.

Leslie P
1 month ago

We very much enjoyed going with you Nanci! We have visited this site many times, weekends have special people that come in and demonstrate ancient skills, but going with you was special. Your very enthusiastic and inquisitive mind made it even better.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

Looks like something straight out of an early Clint Eastwood movie!

1 month ago

We love to visit historical sites like this. Thx for the nice review. 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Spike

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