Veinte de Agosto Park is named for the birthday of Tucson, August 20, 1775. On the site is the original foundation of the San Augustin Church. The park contains a circle of flagpoles used during the commemoration of Tucson's birthplace and the six flags that have flown over Tucson over the years.
It is also the home of the infamous Pancho Villa statue, a gift from Mexico to the United States. To many, Pancho Villa was a criminal, but to others, he was a freedom fighter. One of my close friends growing up said her grandmother rode with Pancho Villa and much that was said that he did was not true. Yet, history is recorded either bad or good.
The first Pima County Courthouse, a single-story adobe structure built in 1868, was replaced in 1881 by a large two-story stone and red brick victorian building which, in turn, was removed in 1928 to make way for the present structure. This distinctive building, designed by Tucsonian Roy Place and completed in 1929, reflects the Spanish colonial and Moorish influences on the architectural heritage of the southwest. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Near this site on December 16 – 17, 1846, the U.S. 101st Infantry ("Mormon") Battalion under the command of Colonel Philip St. George Cooke peacefully occupied the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson.
Organized in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to reinforce General Stephen Watts Kearny's Army of the West during the Mexican – American War, the battalion marched 2,000 miles to San Diego, probably the longest march in the U.S. military history.
By the time the battalion reached Tucson, it was reduced in numbers and sorely in need of provisions. Despite the fact that this was Mexican territory, the opposing military forces avoided hostilities, agreeing instead to a peaceful barter.
Buttons, clothing, and other items were traded for Mexican grain and salt. The United States Flag, the first to fly over Tucson, was posted briefly on December 16, 1846.
The following day, the battalion continued its march northward toward the Gila River.
The figures depicted on this monument represent the "Mormon" Battalion and residents of Tucson. They personify the uncommon dedication, courage, and desire for peace that was demonstrated here. In addition, they symbolize the harmonious blend of cultures in what is now the City of Tucson.
Dedicated December 14, 1996 on the sesquicentennial of the event This memorial sculpture is a gift to the people of Tucson from Tucson Mormon Battalion Monument Foundation through the support of many individuals dedicated to preserving and honoring Arizona's historical heritage.
Individuals depicted here are Teodoro Ramirez, Christopher Layton and Jefferson Hunt.
There Five Plaques, but three are dedicated to the individuals in the statue: I only took a picture of one.
1803 - 1879
Captain, Company “A” of the Mormon Battalion. While in Tucson, Hunt was in charge of negotiating the exchange of goods with the local citizenry. Days later on the trail, Hunt made friendly contacts with Pima Indians along the Gila River. This contact very likely aided the Mormons in their colonization of the Salt River Valley, where Phoenix is now located. Called by Brigham Young in 1851 to colonize San Bernardino, Hunt remained in California until 1857, when he finally returned to Utah
The Mormon Battalion
In July 1846, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“Mormons”) were in desperate condition. With their prophet, Joseph Smith, martyred, they had fled their homes and farms in Illinois and were living in makeshift shelters along the banks of the Missouri River in Iowa. Seeking escape from further prosecution, Mormon leader Brigham Young decided to resettle his people in the Far West. Early in 1846, he wrote to President James Knox Polk requesting federal aid for their exodus. Before a response could be received, the United States declared war on Mexico. In answer to Young’s request General Stephen W. Kearny was authorized to enlist “a few hundred Mormons” as part of his Army of the West. Sensing the opportunity to move a large number of his people west with federal support, Brigham Young encouraged the Mormons to volunteer. On July 16, 1846, the five companies of the 101st United States Army Battalion were enrolled at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Twenty-Two officers and 474 enlisted men made up the first official roster, along with 37 woman and 53 children, many of whom were totally unfit for a march of more than two thousand miles to their destination in San Diego, California. Three times during the journey disease, hardship, and near starvation forced battalion officers to send women and children along with sick enlisted men to a small Mormon settlement at Pueblo, Colorado to wait for Brigham Young and his people who were slowly making their way west from Council Bluffs to what is now Utah. On December 16, 1846, with their numbers reduced to 350 men and four women, the Mormon Battalion reached Tucson. After resting and bartering for needed supplies the following day, this lean and hardened contingent continued north to the Gila River and thence to their destination. They arrived in San Diego on January 29, 1847. Covering more than 2,000 miles of harsh, unforgiving territory, the march of the Mormon Battalion has been called the longest in United States Army history. The trail which they followed was instrumental in the settlement of what would later become southwestern United States.
While exploring and once you pass the Leonardo Romero home is this small section of adobe wall with a plaque on it and it reads:
About 400 people, including 100 soldiers, lived inside the fort. When not performing their military duties, the soldiers grew crops in the Santa Cruz River floodplain and tended livestock herds in the surrounding area. Many of the soldiers were married. Women cared for the children, washed clothing, tended gardens and baked bread in outdoor ovens. Children also worked tending fields and watching the cattle and sheep herds. Near the fort were O'odham and Apache Manso settlements.
The Plaza de las Armas was a center of actitivity within the presidio. In this view, looking to the south towards the mountains, two mounted light cavalry soldiers are returing from traveling a mule train traveling from the Presidio of Altar. Nearby an Apache Indian leads a carreta(cart) loaded with mesquite logs to be used in the construction of roof vigas (rafters). Other presidio residents are engaged in their daily chores in front of their homes lining the interior of the presidio walls.
This charming, historic hotel is located in the heart of downtown Tucson's East End. 40 rooms retain their timeless appeal with vintage radios and antique iron beds, and feature private bathrooms and air conditioning. A fully operational 1930s-era switchboard and the rumble of occasional trains contribute to the ambiance. Downstairs, enjoy our beautiful lobby, or dine in the award-winning Cup Café. Pull up a stool in the Tap Room, enjoy a show at Club Congress, or book a special event in the Copper Hall banquet facilities.
Hotel rooms $75-$129.
A small adobe house stood on the south side of this lot when it was purchased by Charlie Brown in 1868. Brown, a pre-Civil War settler and prominent citizen, built the Congress Hall Saloon, the town's most popular gaming place and meeting hall.
Near this site was the southwest corner of the adobe wall that surrounded the Spanish Presidio, an enclosure of 11 ¼ acres which included most of the present city – county governmental complex and the Art Museum block. Tucson was the largest fort in a chain of Spanish frontier posts extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of California., designed to protect the northern border of New Spain. Main Street, originally the "Camino Real," paralleled the west side of the presidio and linked Tucson with Spanish settlements from Mexico to California.
Muro Presidial y Camino Real
Cerca de este sitio establa la esquina suroeste del muro del presidio español, encerrando una superficie de casi cinco hectareas, incluyendo hoy la mayor parte de las cuadras del gobierno regional y del Museo del Arte. Tucsón era el fuerte más grande de una gardena de puntos fronterizos españoles extendiendo del Golfo de México al Golfo de California para guardar la frontera norteña de la Nueva España. La Calle Main, antes el Camino Real, corriendo al lado oeste del presidio, enlazó Tuscón con poblaciones españolas desde México a California.
The venerable Hotel Congress, designed by well-known architect, Roy Place, is the last surviving historic hotel in downtown Tucson. This three-story landmark was built in 1919 with exposed masonry construction and marble details. The hotel, south of the railroad depot, was convenient to railroad passengers arriving in Tucson. The elegant lobby and dining room provided a degree of refinement for winter visitors on their western adventure. A January 1934 fire destroyed the original third floor and inadvertently resulted in the capture of John Dillinger and his gang several days later. The Hotel Congress and the Rialto Theatre defined the east end of the commercial district on Congress Street.
El reconocido Hotel Congress, obra del afamado arquitecto, Roy Place, es el único sobreviviente de los hotels historicos del centro de Tucson. Este edificio de tres pisos fue construido en 1919 de ladrillo a la vista con detalles de mármol. El hotel, al sur de la estación del ferrocarril, era conveniente para pasajeros llegando a Tucson por tren. La recepción y comedor elegantes ofrecían un alto grado de refinamiento a los visitantes que durante el invierno venían a su aventura del oeste. Un incendio en enero de 1934 destruyó el tercer piso e inadvertidamente llevó a la captura de John Dillinger y su pandilla pocos días después. El Hotel Congress marcaban el limite oriental del sector comercial de Tucson.
4th Avenue is part of the historic Pie Allen Neighborhood which is listed as a National Historic District. 4th Avenue has a number of interesting shops, bars, and restaurants to tempt you, or you can just enjoy walking down the street watching the people. On weekends and during special events a restored antique trolley runs on the Old Pueblo Trolley Line along 4th Avenue. As you walk down the road you may see people wearing gold polo shirts with a 4th Avenue logo on them. These are the 4th Avenue Ambassadors and are there to answer any question you may have and advise you on how to best enjoy your visit.
On this site stood the first Presbyterian Church, and the second Protestant Church in Arizona. It was organized in 1874 for Presbyterian Missions in the Territories by the Reverend Sheldon Jackson and constructed by the Reverend J. A. Anderson, with financial support from the citizens of Tucson. The cornerstone of the Gothic style, adobe church was laid June 13, 1878 on land purchased from the City of Tucson within Courthouse Plaza. The building was sold to the Congregational Church in 1881. Construction of a new city hall in 1917 caused the church to be demolished. A new Presbyterian congregation, organized in 1902, erected the Trinity Presbyterian Church at Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard.
La Primera Iglesia Presbiterial de Tucsón
En este sitio fue colocado la primera Iglesia Presbiterial y la segundo Igelsia Protestante en Arizona. Fue organizada en 1874 por Las Misiones Presbiteriales en los Territorios por el Rdo. Sheldon Jackson y construida por el Rdo. J.A. Anderson, con el apoyo de financia de los ciudadanos de Tucson. Se fijo la piedra angular de la iglesia estilo Gotico hecha de adobe el 13 de junio de 1878 dentro de la Plaza del Palacio de Justicia en terreno que fue comprado de la Ciudad de Túcson . El edificio se vendio a la Iglesia Congregacionalista en 1881. La construcción de un nueva ayuntamiento en 1917 causó la derribarción de la iglesia. En 1902 se organizó una congregación nueva de Presbiterales y fabricaron la Iglesia Presbiterial de la Trinidad en la Avenida Cuarta y Bulevar Universidad.
While exploring old downtow Tuscon, while I was taking a picture of a Little Piece of History tip, this wonderful lady was standing there checking her phone. I was a little surprised because I came up behind her and she paid me no mind. (Do NOT do this when your downtown and always be aware of your surroundings and people PLEASE!) Well I coughed and said excuse me so she would know I was coming up behind her so I could take a picture. She was excited I was exploring Tuscon and started to tell myself and my hubby the whole history of the Tuscon and the Presidio. She asked if I was following the Blue Line and I said no. She said look down and we did and there was this somewhat faded blue line. She said follow it and it will take you to all the historic buidings or sites of Tuscon. We asked if she was a teacher of history, she no, but she said she works for the city and arranges the cities events. So follow the BLUE LINE...lol!
Downtown Walking Tour Map in PDF
The railroad reached Tucson in 1880. The current building is the "new" station that was built in 1907. Legend has it that Wyatt Earp pursued and shot the man he accused of murdering his brother, Morgan, on the tracks here. The S.P.R.R., building the nation's second transcontinental tail line eastward from California, reached Tucson on March 20, 1880. It was the occasion for one of the greatest celebrations in the history of the city and foretold the coming of a new era of fast, reliable and inexpensive transportation, bringing increased growth, development and prosperity. The original station, built in 1880, was a large wooden structure with offices, freight and passenger accommodations. It was replaced by the present depot, built on the same site in 1907.
This area at the base of Sentinel Peak, or A Mountains, has been called the birthplace of Tuscon. It has been a place of human habitation agriculture and irrigation for several millennia. Tuscon is derived from teh O'odham word "Chuk Shon", which means "at the foot of the mountain." Sentinel Plaza honors the early cultures of this area. The main features of the Plaza are the Sentinels, four sculptural monoliths which face Sentinel Peak. They are constructed of rammed earth. Earth was one of the building materials of the early peoples, as can be seen today in the great ruins of Casa Grande National Monument. The smaller tiled monolith is a symbol for bultural origins. The black "spirit" line is a symbol for cultural energy, as it flows through and unites the site. It is also a water symbol, an echo of the adjacent Santa Cruz River, which was an important resource drawing human settlement. Water symbols are also seen in the curving pavement design, and in the wave patterns of the bronze cap and tiles of the small monolith. The motifs of the other applied tiles on site are the artist interpretations of Hohokam pottery designs and the flora and fauna of our Sonoran desert.
by RLV Arts (Judith Stewart, Chuck Sternberg, Andrew Rush, Joy Fox, Bob Vint)
This house is named for its first know residents, living here in 1868. Although construction dates are not known, the Washington Street wing lies along the course of the Presidio wall, completed in 1783. Leonardo Romero, a carpenter whose shop was located on the Meyer Street side, was well-known for his work on such landmarks as San Augustine Cathedral, the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and early restoration at San Xavier Mission.