The Visitor Center is located in the historic teachers' quarters for the 1885 Old Schoolhouse. It contains an orientation movie, introductory exhibits, and a first-class gift shop and bookstore. It also serves as the Arizona Center of Tourism for the Village of Tubac.
The Griffin Museum houses interpretive exhibits with many original artifacts that reveal the many layers of Tubac’s 2,000 years of history.
The museum contains the cherished original Washington Printing Press, brought from Ohio, down the Mississippi River and overland from Corpus Christi, Texas in 1859. Arizona’s first newspaper, The Weekly Arizonian, was printed on this press in 1859.
In addition to the regular exhibit gallery, the museum features a changing gallery of important regional history
The Otero Family, who received the first Spanish land grant in present-day Arizona in 1797, built this building as a community center in 1914. They used the foundation from a previous building which the Spanish had built in the late 1700s.
Tubac can also claim to be the home of the first school since Otero Hall served as a schoolhouse even before the 1885 schoolhouse was constructed.
Otero Hall, on the National Register of Historic Places, houses a restored 1850s mud wagon or light stagecoach, referred to in Tubac's early days as an "ambulance" due to the heavy leather spring system that created a more comfortable ride. During the Civil War, the soft ride of the ambulance made it a good vehicle for delivering the wounded and resulted in the modern use of the name of emergency vehicles.
Otero Hall also features a rotating art exhibition in the Shaw D. Kinsley Gallery. The exhibition is titled, The Cavalcade of History. This collection is made by renowned Western artist William Ahrendt and was donated to the Presidio by anonymous donors in the name of Alan B. Davis. The Cavalcade of History was featured as a special 16-part series in the Arizona Highways magazine and is on loan from the Tubac Historical Society.
The Rojas house built in the 1880s, is a classic Sonoran “row house,” a single-story home built close to the road allotting private space to the interior and rear rather than near the front of the structure.
The house, on the National Register of Historic Places, is decorated with the furnishings of Luisa Rojas, a lifelong resident of Tubac. Her family occupied the home for over 100 years. The house sits on the early Tubac to Tumacácori road.
The schoolhouse, on the National Register of Historic Places, is the second oldest schoolhouse in Arizona. With original floors and walls, you can sit at the desks and imagine yourself learning math in a one-room school. Take the 1895 eight grade final exam to see if you can pass!
Stairway to the Past
This stairway to the underground exhibits demonstrates the real layers of Tubac history. Signs explain the archaeological excavation done in 1974. The excavation revealed the multiple structures and cultures that have occupied the space.
Living History Patio
Visit the heritage gardens where historic crops are grown and used at the Park. Push the arrastra, the mining ore crusher and grindstone.
During the winter season experience demonstrations of the printing press, chocolate making, blacksmithing, woodworking, and other skills
The Tubac Presidio is a central site in the history of the Native-American, Spanish, American Southwest and the quintessential Arizona experience in the town where “art and history meet.” Our Park allows you to explore this spectacular history, bringing relevance and the power of history to today’s global society. We are so grateful for your support in helping the Presidio continue to serve as a cultural, social and intellectual hub for Southern Arizona.