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"Old Tucson; a hop, skip and jump history from 1539 Indian settlement to new and greater Tucson"

The classic novel, "Old Tucson; a hop, skip and jump history from 1539 Indian settlement to new and greater Tucson" was written by Estelle M. Buehman at the turn of the 20th Century. The book describes her journey to "modern-day Tucson." She covers the history of Tucson known at the time and its early settlers. The book was published in 1911 by State Consolidated Publishing Co. in Tucson, Arizona. It is now in the public domain.

Read the history of Tucson as it was being made in the 1880's. Discover how the early settlers dealt with the environment and native inhabitants. Photos from the book are reprinted.

"Old Tucson; a hop, skip and jump history from 1539 Indian settlement to new and greater Tucson"


Chapter 1

Tucson is a Pima word, and they pronounced it "Chook Son," and its meaning is said to be "Black Creek." Tucson, a pearl set in a land of blazing sands, of fertile valleys, and lode- rich mountain treasures, surpassing the wealth of Croesus.

Chapter 2

The Apaches. The insuurection of the Pimas. The decline of the missions. Erection of the presidios. Expulsion of the Jesuits. Arrival of the Franciscans. Abandonment of the Missions Presidio times. In 1765 a royal decree from Madrid ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain and her colonies, but as the order was not carried into immedi- ate effect, it was 1767 before they left this country. One authority claims that in 1800 Tucson was garrisoned by about one hundred regular Spanish soldiers, and consisted of one hundred and fifty adobe houses, with a population of three hundred and fifty, nearly all of whom must have been Mexicans and Indians.

Chapter 3

Treaties, concessions, American occupation, early landmarks. In 1855 American troops had taken possession of Tucson and Tubac. The Mexican colors had been lowered, and the stars and stripes unfurled to the Arizona breeze. In March of 1856 Solomon Warner opened the first store in Tucson. He brought in thirteen pack mules from California, laden with merchandise for this purpose, and for many years much of the necessary supplies for Tucson were brought in that way from Guaymas and Hermosillo under the protection of troops.

Chapter 4

Efforts at Territorial Organizatipon, secession, Civil War, Indian and the first mail facilities in Tucson. Also within the territory— at Tucson, as early as 1856— amass meeting had been called, and Mr. Nathan P. Cook chosen to represent Arizona at Washington, in an effort to secure recognition as a distinct territory, but his credentials being unauthorized by a formally organized territory, he could not be admitted to congress It was like telling a boy to stay away from the water till he had learned how to swim.

Chapter 5

In 1868 however Tucson came into her own, the capital being moved here, where it remained for nine years, then was transferred again to Prescott, and later still, as being more central, to Phoenix.

Chapter 6

Immediate Tucson (1911)- its munipal governmenty and growth. Schools and churches. In 1871 the citizens of Tucson organized a village government, with Major S. R. De Long as mayor; councilmen,Samuel Hughes, W. W. Williams and W. S. Oury; treasurer, Hon. Hiram Stevens; recorder and assessor, W. J. Osborn. During that year inquiry was made by the council relative to a congressional donation in 1864 of land for a townsite, when it was learned that though such donation had been made, yet it had lapsed through failure of Tucson to make it available. On May 3rd, 1887, the year following the close of our Indian troubles, Tucson experienced her first and last earthquake of any moment, for Arizona has not been within the memory of men living, or of any known history, one of seismic misfortunes.

Photo: Military Plaza in early Tucson, Arizona. Photyos by Estelle Buehman.

Tucson- the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States

Historical dates leading up to Tucson's establishment

700 A.D. Hohokams

Excavations in the Downtown area have unearth a Hohokam Indian pithouse dated at 700 A.D. They settled throughout the Arizona area eas early as 300 B.C. The Hohokam dug a 150 mile canal system along the Gila and Salt Rivers. The canals were used in th 1870's by the white settlers. The Hohokam abandoned their villages in the 15th Century for an unknown reason.

1500s Spanish Explorers

In 1540, Captain-General Francisco Coronado was dispatched to find "the seven cities of Cibola." Coronado marched through the area, about 25 miles from the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch.

1694 Father Kino

Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit priest, visited the Indian villages in 1694. He introduced livestock, fruits and grains from Europe. He established several misions throughout the southwest. Colonists build settlements around each mission.

1751 Rebellion

The repressive Spaniard priests and soldiers forced the Apache Indians living in the area to rebel. They killed all the Spaniards and plundered the outposts. The first Spanish post was established in 1752 in Tubac.

See more about Tucson's long history.

The entire book of "Old Tucson" is posted by chapter. Read it online by clicking the Chapter link above or download a free copy from one of the links below.

This book is available free in the public domain. Download a free copy of "Old Tucson" from Archive.org

The book is also a part of the Cele Peterson Arizona Collection: A Selected Bibliography at the Pima County Public Library.

Digital Commons at the University of Arizona has a copy available to read online.



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© 2010. EMOL.org / Entertainment Magazine On Line / AZentertain. All rights reserved.

by Estelle M. Buehman

Available from Amazon.com: This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. 82 pages. Publisher: Nabu Press (May 16, 2010).

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