Saturday, March 5, 2016

3/4 Tumacacori National Historic Park

I stopped at this national park on my way to Tucson from Lake Patagonia.  This was a mission set up by Jesuit priests from Mexico in 1691. The area was the home of Pima Indians who farmed the Green Valley using irrigation ditches they had dug.  (I learned that the name is pronounced "Too-muh-kä'-ko-ree" with the accent on the second syllable.)

This is the visitor center, not an original building. 

Very pleasant garden next to the visitor center.  There was also a museum, but I was not able to take photos inside.

This is the original church in the distance.  Construction was begun in about 1800, and the church was first used in 1822, but it was never really finished according to plan.

The architecture of the church is interesting because it looks Egyptian or Greek, but the columns in the front are really just more adobe brick plastered over to look like columns.

The mission was abandoned in 1848. Note that the bell tower did not fall down--it was never finished.  The rounded area in front of the entrance DID fall down and was reconstructed during the CCC era when this became a national park.  The buildings have been stabilized by the park service, but no new reconstruction is planned.

The roof in this very narrow church was replaced in the 20th Century after the timbers had been removed earlier by local settlers.  This area is very dry and large trees are rare.  As I walked in, I wondered if the church was so narrow because no large timbers were available. It is certainly the narrowest church I have ever seen! 

You can see that the ceiling and nave were originally decorated with paint. 

Here is a drawing of what it originally looked like.

Looking back toward the entrance.

This is an outdoor store room.  It is believed grain was stored in pots similar to these, set into depressions on the bench.

Around back, by the cemetery, I found a couple of park rangers repairing a wall that had been damaged recently by rains.  Water got behind the cement covering and pushed it out.  It has been removed, and they are repairing the water-damaged stucco.

A small reconstructed native home.
If you are interested in visiting, more information can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment