Archive for the ‘Arizona History’ Category

Things to do in Tucson

September 20th, 2018 by samhughesinn

Things to Do, plus Places to See, Food to Enjoy

Tucson, AZ

Downtown Tucson
by John Burcham for The New York Times

Things to Do in Tucson

Travelers search for Things to Do in Tucson and the The New York Times posted a wonderful article in today’s paper. Subtitled 36 Hours in Tucson, it includes recommendations for sightseeing, most importantly, architecture & historical treasures.

Besides the usually available tourist information the article also touches on great food, the proliferation of new restaurants & local food. Also featured are biking & hiking plus some of the treasures of the University of Arizona including the Mirror Lab, and two small museums, (The Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Art Museum). It describes two of our observatories (Flandrau Planetarium & Kitt Peak National Observatory). Shopping areas (like 4th Avenue) and the lesser known Mercado San Agustin on the west side of town are profiled as well.

Many lovely photographs of the places featured, accompany the article. There are too many wonders to be enjoyed in just 36 hours but if visitors reach even half of these great recommendations, they will have a terrific first taste of Tucson, AZ.

The full article (including links to all their recommended sites) is available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/travel/what-to-do-in-tucson.

Some of the “must do” adventures in Tucson are not mentioned in the New York Times article, but there are only so many things a person can see in 36 hours. A more textured visit would have to include the Sonora Desert Museum on the West side of town, Pima Air & Space Museum, and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun to cite only a few. The Mission of San Xavier del Bac (the White Dove of the Desert) is only twelve miles south of Tucson and is one of the most historically significant remaining pieces of early Tucson. Begun in the 17th Century, the complex stands in the middle of the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. (Constant renovation has kept this beautiful building looking exactly as it did upon completion in 1797.) And with ample time it’s possible to combine your lodging in Tucson (hopefully at Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast) with a trip to the old mining towns of Bisbee and the cowboy historic Tombstone, AZ.

Thanks to the New York Times for this great advertisement for our sweet little city in the desert Southwest.

 

Important Birthdays August 20

August 19th, 2015 by samhughesinn

Tucson celebrates two important birthdays on August 20 each year.

Tucson began with the fort Tucson Presidio San Agustin, founded on that date in 1775 and it stood through the 1880’s. Only a portion of the wall remains today on the original site as the city has grown up around it. A territorial museum with courtyard and exhibits from early Tucson history has been created on the spot at the corner of Washington & Court Street. It comes to life during Living History Days (the second Saturday of the month, October through April) with performers in period dress going about the duties of early daily life, baking bread, blacksmithing, etc. There is a self-guided tour of the museum including a munitions room, tower, commissary & living space for the soldiers who lived here then. An open Hohokam pit house is also featured. Winter hours are 10AM-4PM and an hour less in the summer.

1775 Birthday Tucson

Presidio San Agustin

A 240th birthday celebration is held annually with birthday cake, cannon fire & living history demonstrations along with local groups and dignitaries making an appearance. Check the website for information about upcoming events and exhibits.

 

Reid Park Baby Elephant

Nandi’s First Birthday

And the second important birthday this August 20 is the very first one for the Reid Park Zoo’s famous baby elephant, Nandi.  A special birthday breakfast will be held for her at 7AM, and tickets sold out very quikly. Another event will be held on August 22 where the public can watch Nandi receive birthday treats and sing Happy Birthday along with the staff. Nandi  is a big baby now, weighing more than 900 pounds, but somehow she still appears tiny next to her much larger brother and parents. If you missed her birthday she’ll still be available during regular zoo hours, usually 9AM to 4PM. Don’t miss a visit to this special baby.

Tucson Historic Neighborhoods

May 18th, 2015 by samhughesinn

Sam Hughes Historic Neighborhood

In 1994 Sam Hughes became one of the official Tucson Historic Neighborhoods; 31 have been designated by the National Register of Historic Places. Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast is a contributing member of this large group of neighborhoods which make up most of the city of Tucson. Many historic neighborhoods received their designations earlier but this one was named to honor the early Tucson settler of the same name.20150518_094907

The neighborhood sits just east of the University of Arizona and is bound by 4 major arteries north & south, Campbell (Kino) Parkway and Country Club Blvd. and on its east and west sides are Speedway & Broadway. Almost 600 homes in the 1 square mile district are considered historically significant and represent 16 essential types of architecture including Craftsman, Bungalow, and Mission Revival. Most have Spanish elements of design.

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It was developed between 1920 and the 1950‘s although there are a few homes of more recent vintage. Settler, Sam Hughes, was instrumental in establishing Tucson’s free public school system and the excellent elementary school also pays tribute by wearing his name.20150518_094826

Although this is basically a residential neighborhood it has enough businesses along its edges to make it a handy walk around neighborhood while still retaining its residential feeling. At least one full service grocery store is close at hand, plus several smaller markets, banks, drugstores and many restaurants.. Highlights are the close-by University of Arizona (with three splendid museums on campus), Himmel Park and a major bike route which cuts through the university from 3rd 20150517_174430Street Blvd. spanning the distance from Wilmot Road on the far east side, to downtown Tucson.

Bus transportation is abundant in all directions and a short walk takes a visitor to the new Streetcar line.Reid/Randolph Park is within walking distance with its tennis courts, heated year round pool, zoo, fountain pond, and picnic sites making the area seem far away from the noise and bustle of the city.

On the other end of the time spectrum of Tucson Historic Neighborhoods is the neighborhood of El Presidio where Tucson began as a Spanish Colonial outpost in 1776, and where most structures date from 1860 to the 1920‘s. Architecture is varied with Transformed Sonoran houses as well as the larger homes which for years were located on what was called Millionaires Row. In the name of “progress”, some mansions in this area were destroyed to make way for major highway construction. But its North Main Avenue is still one of the loveliest streets in town with many beautifully restored buildings serving as homes and offices.Courthouse-Front-11x1-529x360La-Placita-Close-01x-539x360

Early architecture

El Presidiio Neighborhood St. Augustine Cathedral

Sam Hughes is a midtown neighborhood while El Presidio is in downtown Tucson. Check the Tucson Historic Neighborhoods link as well as www.tucsonishome.com for detailed information about the growth of Tucson since 1776 and all the historic neighborhoods that have evolved since then..

 

 

Atanacia Hughes – Arizona Pioneer

November 27th, 2014 by samhughesinn

 Atanacia Hughes, early Tucson history

Wife of Sam Hughes

Atanacia Santa Cruz Hughes

Last month’s blog featured Sam Hughes, an original Tucson, AZ pioneer settler. This month we feature his wife, Atanacia Hughes – originally Atanacia Santa Cruz. Her family lived in Tucson when it was still part of Mexico. At the time of her birth in 1850 the area now known as the Presidio historic neighborhood, was a military garrison housing approximately 300 people. Indian raids were not uncommon in those days.

There were no schools or churches at that time so young women learned to sew, and keep house, but not much else. Atanacia Hughes’ parents died when she was very young and she lived with her sister. In 1862 at the age of 11 years & 7 months, Atanacia married the 29 year old Sam Hughes. The huge age difference was not a problem legally or for them and the marriage endured for 55 years until Sam’s death.

According to Hughes family members who stayed at Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast for a reunion years ago, at the time of their marriage, Atanacia Hughes didn’t speak English and Sam didn’t speak Spanish. During their long marriage she is reported to have given birth to fifteen children, eight of whom survived. Twelve of these children lived long enough to have been given names.

Atanacia Hughes died on November 12, 1934 and is buried in Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson.

The Sam Hughes family home is still located at 223 N. Main St. at Washington Street, close to the Tucson Museum of Art. Its exterior is exactly as it was when the Hughes family lived in it although the insides are now apartments.

If you take the walking tour of Tucson, pick up a walking map called “The Turquoise Trail” at the Visitors Center at 100 S. Church Street. The Sam Hughes house is listed on the tour although there is no sign in front of the property.

Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast was named for Sam Hughes (the pioneer settler) and the historic neighborhood it resides in. Visitors here can find information about the life of Sam & Atanacia Hughes as well as photographs of them. Just as the University of Arizona is an easy walk from Sam Hughes, the Arizona Historical Society is also a short distance away and contains many artifacts from the Hughes life in Tucson.

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