The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood


Saturday, February 11
Special 2012 Arizona Centennial Event
Fort Lowell Day Celebration
see the schedule of events

The earliest settlers in the Fort Lowell District came around 300 A.D. Since then, different communities have come and gone leaving behind their characteristic remains. These people were attracted to the area for the same reason: an abundance of water and fertile soil. Here the Tanque Verde and Pantano washes come together to form a new waterway, the Rillito. The land along the banks created an oasis in the midst of the dry Sonoran Desert. This is the story of the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood as told by Rosamond B. Spicer, the neighborhood ethno-historian. In her words, "the story is like that of other areas across the country. It is the microcosm of the history of many communities over time."

This exhibit traces the history of the people who settled in the Fort Lowell area. Each button above represents a group of people who settled in the area: the Hohokam Indians, the Settlers between the years 1500-1850, the establishment of the Fort Lowell Military Camp, the Mexican settlers of El Fuerte (the Fort), the Anglo families who moved to the area after the 1920s, and Fort Lowell as it is today. Click on the buttons in the navigation bar above to learn more.


About The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Website


The original Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood exhibit went public in April 1996, under the direction of Micaela Morales, then a systems librarian with the University of Arizona Library. Its appearance was revised in the summer of 2000 and again in the summer of 2001. The current interface (September 20, 2004 - ) was designed by Andrew Bareham of the UA's Learning Technologies Center in the fall of 2004. The online OFLNA's walking tour was added to the website in 2000.

The project, of course, would not have been possible without the support and participation of the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association and, in particular, the late Rosalind Spicer's participation. We regard the website as one of her many legacies to this community. Special thanks go to Lannie Hartman who has contributed corrections and updates to this version of The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood identified from her research.

Photo Credits

Click on the highlighted number in brackets by each image for ownership information. No photographs may be copied or referenced in other WWW exhibits without permission from the owner of the photograph that the image was rendered. Visit the photo credits page for more information.

Video Credits

We are streaming video for the site from the UA's Learning Technologies Center. The video of the army band linked to the courtesy of community member, Garry Forger, who recorded several events during La ReuniĆ³n de El Fuerte, February 5, 2000. The video was digitize for streaming as Real video by Jeff Imig in the UA's Learning Technologies Center. You will need the free RealPlayer plug-in for your computer and the capability to play audio. We recommend a highspeed Internet connection, such as DSL or cable modem, to view the video. Information about the video of Luttie Wilson can be found on that page.


Through Our Parents' Eyes gratefully acknowledges Rosamond Spicer for writing the historical text of this exhibit.

Anonymous. They Turned a Deserted Ruin Into a Beautiful Home. The Seagram Spotlight, January, Seagram Distillers Corp., New York, 1944.

Berry, Wendell. The Country of Marriage. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York and London, 1971.

Bourke, John G. On the Border with Crook. Rio Grande Press, Glorieta NM, 1981.

Browne, J. Ross A Tour Through Arizona, 1864, or Adventures in the Apache Country. Arizona Silhouettes, Tucson AZ, 1950.

Dees, Margaret. Binghampton: A Study of Mormon Pioneering in Miniature. Ms on file, Special Collections, University of Arizona Library, Tucson, AZ, 1961-62.

Deshon, Shirley. Anthropological field notes, including interviews with former residents of Mexican rancherias east of Tucson. On file, Fort Lowell Historic District Board, 1954.

Dobyns, Henry F. From Fire to Flood: Historic Human Destruction of Sonoran Desert Riverine Oases. Anthropological Papers 20. Ballena Press, Socorro, N.M., 1981.

Fife, John. Binghampton: History of a Mormon Settlement. Ms on file, Fort Lowell Historic District Board, 1981.

Gregonis, Linda M. and Lisa W. Huckell. The Tucson Urban Study. Arizona State Museum Archeological Series 138, University of Arizona, 1980.

Gregonis, Linda M. and Karl J. Reinhard. Hohokam Indians of the Tucson Basin. University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ, 1979.

Haury, Emil W. The First Masters of the American Desert. National Geographic 131:671-83, 1967.

Haury, Emil W. Hohokam, Desert Farmers and Craftsmen. University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ, 1976.

Hayden, Julian P. Excavations, 1940 at University Ruins. Southwestern Monuments Association, Gila Pueblo, Globe AZ, 1957.

King, James T. War Eagle: A Life of General Eugene Asa Carr. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1963.

Lister, Florence C. and Robert H. Chihuahua: Storehouse of Storms. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque NM, 1966.

Lockwood, Frank. Pioneer Portraits. University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ, 1968.

McWilliams,Carey. North From Mexico. J.P Lippincott Co., Philadelphia PA, 1948.

Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, Inc. Old Ft. Lowell Neighborhood Inventory, Present Facts and How They Got to Be That Way. Published by the OFLNA, Inc., Tucson, 1983.

Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, Inc. Neighborhood Plan. City of Tucson, County of Pima, 1984.

Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, Inc. Old Fort Lowell Gazette. David A. King, editor. July 1981-present. Published by the OFLNA, Inc., Tucson, 1981.

Peterson, Thomas H., Jr. Fort Lowell, A.T.: Army Post During the Apache Campaigns. The Smoke Signal 8, Tucson Corral of the Westerners Tucson A.Z., 1963.

Rusling, James F. Across America: Or, The Great West and Pacific Coast. Sheldon & Co., New York, 1874.

Russo, David J. Families and Communities: A New View of American History. The American Association for State and Local History, Nashville, TN, 1974

Sheridan, Thomas E. Los Tucsonenses, The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1986.

Smith, Cornelius C. Tanque Verde: The Story of Frontier Ranch. Privately printed, n.d.

Smith, G.E.P. Groundwater Supply and Irrigation in the Rillito Valley. University of Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 64, 1910.

Spicer, Edward H. Ft. Lowell Historic District. A Sense of Time and Place. In, A Portfolio, designed and issued by the Ft. Lowell Historic District Board, Tucson, 1979.

Stegner, Wallace. Mormon Country. Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1942.

Stewart, Janet Ann. Arizona Ranch Homes. Arizona Historical Society, Tucson AZ, 1974.

Summerhayes, Martha. Vanished Arizona: Recollections of My Army Life. J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia PA, 1908.

Thomas, Estelle Webb. Uncertain Sanctuary: A Story of Mormon Pioneering in Mexico. Westwater Press, Inc., Salt Lake and Chicago, 1980.

Turner, Teresa. "La Reunion de El Fuerte: Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Historic Sites Tour."Tucson: Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, 1987.

Turner, Teresa. The People of Fort Lowell. Tucson: Fort Lowell Historic District Board, 1990.

Weaver, John M. The History of Fort Lowell. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, 1947.