A New Territory and a New State:
Many 'anglos' - so called by most historians - either came
to Tucson to establish new lives, or passed through
it on their way west.
here even before the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, in which
land that makes up present-day Arizona and New Mexico
We were then part of Donana County, New Mexico, which
split the two states latitudinally into the two counties of the
is found in some of the earliest records in the county
archives. The earliest books of the County Clerk show
entries that make fascinating and often amusing reading.
One person, who lived in the farms on the west banks
of the Santa
because her unfenced cows often had digestive problems
near his front door and the aroma offended him. Not
had to keep them confined.
Anglos continued to pour into the area, and the names
on early plat maps of Tucson and of elected officials
Oury, Tully, Warner, the above mentioned Meyers,
and others such as Carrillo, Samaniego, Elias, Bonillas,
leaders traded off the various County titles in an
even mix of anglo and Mexican names for years. (For
by Thomas E. Sheridan - a fascinating account of
the Mexican community in Tucson).
When Arizona was made an official Territory at the
height of the Civil War in 1863, it saw its only
action in that
Peak, a relatively small skirmish in which the
Confederate troops rather decisively beat the small detachment
of Union soldiers.
very much on the side of the South. Also in this
period was the construction of Fort Lowell, then
troops that helped
Tucson. As we all know, many of the building comprising
the Fort exist today right in Flecha Caida's front
Tucson and its environs continued to grow for the
rest of the century. The coming of the Southern
Pacific railroad to Tucson
in 1880 was
one of the most important events of that time.
during these years
business leaders such as the Steinfelds, the
Jacomes, and the Ronstadts began the businesses that marked
of the eastern
end of Pima County. The University of Arizona
was also founded in the 1880's,
a sure sign that the city was truly becoming
more urban and sophisticated. Neighborhoods such as
Hollow' to the west
of the old Presidio area were developed. Luckily,
some of these
stand to this day, such as Manning House on Paseo
Redondo, the Rockwell house on Main Street and
of these areas
Because so many of the old families have remained
here, we have a sense of history and tradition
that has saved
but a few
that have disappeared in other communities.
There have almost always been members of these families
government reminding Tucson's
of the rich history of the area.
This attitude has nearly always prevailed as
we grew, except for a brief period in the
some old homes
in the Barrio
down to build the new Tucson Community Center,
relocating some of the
city's 'first families'. Such a hue and cry
went up that subsequent 'master plans'
have usually been sensitive to our history
and its importance to those who live here.
As the Twentieth Century got underway, Tucson
became a 'destination' for adventurous
taking in guests,
the old El
Conquistador Hotel was built (now the site
of the El con Mall) and we added a new "C" to the traditional Copper, Cattle, and Cotton
that made up our industrial base - Climate. The Arizona Inn was popular
tourists beginning in 1930. To this day, it is a delightful spot for
weddings and other celebrations, and a perennial favorite of many visitors.
Horse Ranch opened in 1940, a guest ranch near Cortaro Road. The main
house was an expansion of an old, stone building that served as a stop
Butterfield Stage route. For commercial travelers, the Pioneer Hotel
on Stone and Pennington downtown was the accommodation of choice. It
with funds supplied by the Steinfeld family, who owned an upscale department
store across the street and who were tragically killed in hte fire that
engulfed the Pioneer in 1973. Golf became the recreation of choice and
many resorts were and are centered on lush golf courses.
Growth continued with careful planning
and monitoring. Within the next several years,
more than a thousand
south of the Flechas and north of Grant
Road. Plans to extend Alvernon Way across
the old Dodge Bridge that has stood for
so long. A linear park will extend
miles along both banks of the Rillito
as well, including what is, for some reason,
a 'wetlands' area
the river. Well, maybe occasionally.