Tumacacori Mission . Arizona . Circa 1820 . National Park Service . Department of the Interior . Aerial Perspective Illustration . Watercolor & Gouache. 27" x 30"
... this mission was established in 1691, in what is now Arizona... about 20 miles north of the present border between Mexico and the United States... by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit Catholic missionary under the sponsorship of Spain. It was located near a congregate village of indigenous O'odham peoples. Father Kino named the site "San Cayetano de Tumacacori", conducted a Mass and began to teach the O'odham, European ways. In 1751, the community moved to the mission's current location on the west side of the Santa Cruz River. Construction of a church building was completed in 1756 and the mission was renamed "San Jose de Tumacacori". Franciscans replaced the Jesuits and erection of a second church building (existing) commenced in 1800. Irrigation had been introduced, allowing for bountiful improvements in agricultural cultivation and the mission thrived until about 1848. Hardships and open hostilities between the increasingly aggrieved Apache, and an onslaught of migrating settlers leaving the United States for "free land out west", had made communal life here, for the peaceful O'odham, unsustainable... culminating in the US/Apache Wars, lasting from 1849 to 1886... a conflict in which the United States Army did not distinguish between any Native American peoples. Following abandonment... the complex deteriorated until Arizona was granted Statehood in 1901 and the Federal Government acquired the site in 1908. The church & sanctuary, cemetery, storehouse, 2 roofless rooms of the Convento and a few foundations, remnants & artifacts survive. For more information visit Tumacacori National Historic Site.