The Spanish Colonial architecture Franciscan
church at San José de Tumacácori dates to the late 18th century.
The earlier Jesuit missions that were established at Tumacácori
and Guevavi in 1691 are the two oldest missions in southern
The third unit, San Cayetano de Calabazas, was
established in 1756. The Guevavi and Calabazas units are not open
to the general public and can only be visited on reserved tours
led by park staff. The main unit of the park, the Tumacácori
Mission, has a visitor center and museum and is open to the public
every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
A 4.5 miles
segment of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail lies
along the Santa Cruz River between Tumacácori National Historical
Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
The site was
originally proclaimed Tumacácori National Monument on September
15, 1908, and was listed on the National Register of Historic
Places on October 15, 1966. On August 6, 1990, it was redesignated
a National Historical Park and the Guevavi and Calabazas units
were added to the park.
History of San José de Tumacácori
The Tumacácori Mission was established in 1691 by
Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. It was established one day before
the Guevavi Mission, making it the oldest Jesuit mission site in
southern Arizona. The mission was originally called San Cayetano
de Tumacácori. It was established at an existing native O'odham or Sobaipuri settlement on the east side of the river.
Pima rebellion of 1751, the mission was moved to the present site
on the west side of the Santa Cruz river and renamed San José de
Tumacácori. By 1848, the mission was abandoned and began falling
into severe disrepair. Preservation and stabilization efforts
began in 1908 when the area was declared a National Monument by
President Theodore Roosevelt and continue today.
Tumacácori Museum was built in 1937 within what was
then Tumacácori National Monument and is now Tumacácori National
Historical Park. Designed by Scofield Delong, it contains
interpretative displays relating to three historic missions
preserved within the park, The Museum was re modeled in 2009,
updated theries and time line. and includes artwork created by
artist Herbert A. Collins.
The museum building, a fine
example of Mission Revival style architecture, with Spanish
Colonial Revival details, was declared a National Historic
Landmark in 1987.
The museum and park are on the NPS Juan
Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, as the site was on the
route of the 1775-1776 Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition from New
Spain to Las Californias.