Regional Histories

Mission Churches of the Sonoran Desert

In the spring of 1687, an Italian Jesuit missionary named Father Eusebio Francisco Kino started work among a group of Indians on the far northwest frontier of New Spain. The Indians he visited called themselves "O'odham" or "the People" in their own language and were called "Pimas" by the Spaniards. The region where Kino worked, which he called the "Pimería Alta," or "Upper Pima Country," is now divided between the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona. Geographically, most of it falls within the Sonoran Desert region.

Maps of the Pimería: Early Cartography of the Southwest

This website illustrates and describes a selection of original rare and historic maps chosen from the Map Collection of the University of Arizona Library. They portray a region of New Spain once called Pimería and chronicle four centuries of mapping from the earliest map of the region in the collection, a 1556 view of North and South America, up to the Gadsden Purchase of 1854 when Pimería Alta--or southern Arizona--was acquired by the United States from Mexico.

Just Memories

In Just Memories, Roy P. Drachman shared his memories from a lifetime in Tucson.

The original volume was printed and distributed in July, 1979. The electronic version was orginally created in December 1997 and the re-designed interface published to the Web in November 2004. Just Memories contributes to preserving Tucson's twentieth century history as experienced by the grandson of a pioneer family. Click on any of the chapter titles that appear at the top of each page to navigate through this electronic text.

Hooves & Rails


A History Of The Tucson Street Railway (1897-1906)

by W. Eugene Caywood in collaboration with Keith Glaab
Outside of the Carbarn

In the late nineteenth century, Tucson was a growing town with a strong desire to project a metropolitan image.

One key to continued development was the establishment of dependable public transportation to move Tucsonans around their newly bustling city. This is the story of the first streetcar line: the horse-drawn Tucson Street Railway.

Trek of Seven Sisters

Among the pioneers that came to Tucson in the 1870's were seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. They opened a school next to San Agustín Church for the children of Tucson and three years later one for the native American children at the San Xavier Mission. Later the parochial school was put under the direction of the Sisters and an orphanage was begun. In 1880, they took in the first patients at St. Mary's Hospital caring for the sick and injured of the Southern Pacific Railroad, County patients, and all who came.

War Relocation Authority

On March 18, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9102, "Establishing the War Relocation Authority in the Executive Office of the President and Defining its Functions and Duties." This order created a civilian agency in the Office for Emergency Management to provide for the removal of persons or classes of people from designated areas as previously denoted under Executive Order No. 9066.