July 21, 2017

Saguaros to Barrios: A History of Mexican American Homesteaders and Downtown Adobe Dwellers

Event Description:

Join us for a one hour program about life in Tucson in the late 1800s. It starts with a film of early homesteaders and concludes with a presentation by ALEX LA PIERRE, National Park Service Latino Heritage Intern and MAGDA MANKEL, Saguaro National Park Next Generation Ranger.

Pre Statehood: Life in the late 1800s in Tucson (Arizona became a state in 1912)

The valleys of Rincon and Tanque Verde Creeks are part of what is now Saguaro National Park’s Rincon Mountain District. Saguaro’s visitor center film highlights early Mexican American settlers who built sprawling ranches on these wide open spaces during the 1890s. Most famously, La Cebedilla, the home of Emilio Carrillo, later owned by his son Rafael and still going strong today as the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, which lies just outside park boundaries today.

The homes of downtown Tucson’s Barrio Viejo tell the story of a broad pattern of American history: the growth and development of Spanish presidios into Mexican frontier settlements and, eventually, American cities. The Barrio has one of the largest concentrations of Sonoran Adobe architecture in the US, and its streetscapes express the Hispanic architectural traditions of Northern Mexico that migrated into the Southwest during the Spanish and Mexican periods.

Did any of these early ranchers also have homes in Barrio Viejo? Closer to schools? There is some indication they did, but more research is needed. In honor of the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) in 2016, new initiatives began to tell a more complete story of America’s diverse people and places. Among these is the NPS American Latino Heritage Initiative, which recognized Tucson’s downtown Barrio Viejo neighborhood as a site worthy of being designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Volunteers are needed to help research and document the people and the homes of Barrio Viejo. Come join us to learn more about this initiative and how to help Tucson’s Barrio Viejo become a National Historic Landmark.

What is a National Historic Landmark?
National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are cultural properties confirmed by the Secretary of the Interior as being nationally significant. Today, more than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Acknowledged as our country’s most important historic places, National Park Service staff help guide the nomination process for new Landmarks and provide assistance to existing Landmarks, which include buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States in history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. Today there are approximately 2500 NHLs in the country. Among these in southeastern Arizona are the San Xavier Del Bac Mission, Tumamoc Hill, Tombstone, and the Titan Missile Site.
Authorized by the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (Public Law 74-292) and administered by the National Park Service, the NHL program focuses public attention on places of exceptional value to the nation as a whole. While some NHLs are included within the National Park System, the NHL program also contributes to the preservation of many outstanding historic places under private ownership. Designation as an NHL increases public awareness of the importance of a historic resource. It opens opportunities for historic preservation grants and provides advice and technical support from NPS experts. It is important to note that listing as a National Historic Landmark creates no new property regulation.

Event Hosts:
Saguaro National Park, Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, NPS Urban Agenda, NPS Latino Heritage Internship Program, Western National Parks Association, Los Descendientes Del Presidio De Tucson

Date & time:
July 21, 2017
11 am  -  12 pm

Saguaro National Park Rincon Mountain Visitor Center
3693 Old Spanish Trail Road
Tucson, AZ, 85730

Open to the Public:


Questions: For Questions about this event, please contact Diana Rhoades with National Park Service Urban Agenda at 5209824178 or Diana_Rhoades@partner.nps.gov.

LCW is an Initiative of:

Latino Conservation Week is a collection of events from variety of organizations. Hispanic Access Foundation is only directly responsible for events in which it is listed as a sponsor.