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"This is hallowed ground, and as the years roll by it will be known by millions of people as the most historic spot in the Southwest."

- Arizona Governor Ernest S. McFarland

The story of the Tubac Presidio is one of passion and persistence.

From as early as 1957, community founded non-profits ensured that this invaluable piece of history was preserved. In 1958, pieces of land were donated to the newly-established Arizona State Parks Board by Frank and Gay Griffin, William C. Morrow Sr.and the James Garrett family.

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park was dedicated on September 28, 1958 in a ceremony featuring the Ft. Huachuca Army Band and remarks from four speakers. When the park opened, it did not include the 1885 Schoolhouse, Otero Hall, or Rojas House. A temporary museum was opened in 1960, with a larger formal museum opening in 1964. The following year, the 1885 Schoolhouse was closed when a new school was build for Tubac's schoolchildren and was later acquired by the State Parks Board in 1973.

In 1974, a three-month excavation of the Presidio ruins was done by the University of Arizona and the Arizona State Museum. Following the excavation, the underground archaeological exhibition was completed by 1977. The park and museum continued to grow in the following decades.

Budget cuts threatened the park in 1991, until a community-led petition to the State legislature ensured that the park would continue operating. Later that year, Arizona State Parks purchased Otero Hall. Living history programs were established, and the visitor center was improved in 1995-1996. 1999 saw the purchase of the Rojas House, completing the current makeup of the park. The House was restored for several years before opening to the public in 2006.

The park was once again threatened by budget cuts in 2002, this time closing from July 7 to August 9 of that year. The community and the park managers and staff continued to pour love into the grounds and historic buildings for the next several years. Finally, in 2010, budget cuts due to the national recession caused Arizona State Parks to announce that the park would close on March 29, 2010. The community of Tubac rallied together to save the park, and after agreements between the State and Santa Cruz County, care of the park was turned over to the Tubac Historical Society.

In 2013, the Tubac Historical Society stepped back from management of the park and a new non-profit was formed to manage the park. The Friends of the Tubac Presidio and Museum was approved as an Arizona corporation on February 20, 2013. On March 13, 2013, the Friends officially took over management of the park, with Shaw Kinsley acting as the park director.

Since then, the Friends have been responsible for the funding and management of the park in partnership with the State of Arizona. The tireless work of our dedicated volunteers has brought new gardens, programs, and events to life, and our generous donors ensure that the Tubac Presidio can reach all members of our community through affordable entrance fees and free community days.

As we move forward, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park will continue to serve the people of Arizona and beyond by cultivating curiosity and appreciation of local history and diverse cultural traditions through education and stewarding the Presidio’s resources for past, present, and future generations.

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