Entertainment Magazine: Tucson: Santa Catalina Mountains

Aquituni referenced west of Picacho Peak

1763, San Agustin de Tucson is mentioned as a rancheria de visita of the Bac mission. The native population in 1760-67 was 331, and 200 families were settled there in 1772; but in 1774, when Anza visited the place, he found but 80 families of " Pimas." It was occupied as a presidio until the beginning of the Mexican war, 1846. Font’s journal: “This pueblo de Tuquison is more populous than that of San Xavier del Bac; and the following year of 1776 the presidio of Tubac was transferred hither, where it remains still, and is called the Presidio de San Agustin del Tuquison." (“On the Trail of a Spanish Pioneer, The Diary and Itinerary of Francisco Garces,” Elliot Coues, 79)

1767, February 27, Charles II decrees that all Jesuits be expelled “from all my dominions of Spain and the Indies…” July 25, 1767, the priests heard read to them the royal order (ibid., p. 21). The Sonoran Jesuits remained under arrest from that moment on.  They were marched to the port of Guaymas, where they had to wait until their Franciscan replacements arrived for shipping to carry them southward. (“Tubac: Four Centuries,” vi, L).

1768-1775, Franciscans gain control of San Xavier and other missions that were abandoned and in disrepair. Renamed Santa Catarina as Aquituni. Akutciny. Map locates it west of Picacho Peak, west of the Santa Cruz probably near its earlier location. Former village of Aktciny, Papago Pimas (Ezell, Hispanic Acculturation, 50)

1768 June 30, August “Franciscan Friars sent to Pimeria Alta from missionary colleges of Jalisco and Queretar. Fray Francisco Garces took up his residence at San Xavier del Bac, on the Rio Santa Cruz.” He leaves August 8, 1771. He returned July 10, 1774 (“On the Trail of a Spanish Pioneer,” 5, 75)

1769, Apaches attack Guevavi and del Bac. After, del Bac and Tumacacori missions moved and rebuilt. 1771 Garces requests more missionaries for Tucson, Sonoita and other areas.

1774, Capt of the Tubac Presidio, de Anza, camps at El Aquituni, near Picacho Peak on banks of Santa Cruz. De Anza reports 240 people (Ezell, Hispanic Acculturation, 113, 334) Picacho de Tacca (Tacca being O’odham name for Picacho Peak or “the flat of El Aquitini. (People’s of Gila)

Today, in the Picacho Peak area, Aquituni is part of the Moyza Ranch, population 67, at about milepost 11 on the Arivaca Road where Papalote Wash intersects the Santa Cruz from the south. Eufemianio Moyza settled there in about 1879, a large 2 mile creek, an “acequia,” is nearby.

The Lost Santa Catalina Mission

Tucson Entertainment Magazine

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