La Tiendita Site #20

The "Little Store" was built by Manuel Lujan in 1947 to serve as a community center and grocery store. It survived for a very short time. The village it was meant to serve was dwindling. Traditional ways of living from the land were no longer possible by the late 1940s. The water table was dropping, the Rillito had stopped flowing and grasses were grazed to extinction. The men were forced to learn other skills. They became mechanics, house builders and restaurateurs. Many moved to Tucson to be near their jobs, some moved to California, some back to Mexico. In 1949, the Little Store was sold and Manuel Lujan and his family moved to Yuma where he had heard there was work.