In 1966 an organization was founded by Wally Vegors with the mission to preserve the history of Tubac and the Santa Cruz Valley. That organization is the Tubac Historical Society, and since it’s founding, it has been overwhelmingly successful. Over the last several decades they have managed to collect and preserve a number of important and valuable exhibits and artifacts that demonstrate the depth of history behind the Santa Cruz Valley in which we live.
Perhaps the Historical Society’s success is best demonstrated through their efforts, and the efforts of a few other organizations, to preserve what is not only an important historical landmark, but is also Arizona’s first state park. In January of 2010, the State of Arizona made the difficult decision to do away with thirteen of it’s state parks in an attempt to save money. One of these parks was the Presidio located in Tubac.
The Historical Society along with the Tubac Chamber of Commerce, and the Art Center of Tubac, fought to keep the park open. In March of 2010, the state handed the park over to the Historical Society who for the last two years has successfully maintained the park, even adding more to it since the state gave it up. It was as Shaw Kinsley, the President of the Historical Society says, “ a collaborative effort of so many individuals and organizations working together to keep an important historical collection open and available to the public.”
These days the Presidio is still managed by the Historical Society and over 60 volunteers, all working hard to keep it going. Attendance has increased substantially as they have boosted their efforts to promote the park by hosting a number of events there throughout the year. The Historical Society also works very closely with the Anza Trail Coalition to assist in the maintenance of the park grounds.
The Presidio is just one example of what the Historical Society has done to preserve the history of the area. They also maintain a historical library in Tubac filled with rare books and photos and received accreditation by the Arizona Historical Society. This May, to commemorate the anniversary the Historical Society, they will display a rare collection of artifacts that are too sensitive to display throughout the entire year.
To find out more about the Historical Society, or to check out what events they have planned for the future, go to www.ths-tubac.org or www.tubacpresidiopark.com.