Appendix I - Architecture


644Excavation may discover traces of the Jesuit mission ranch and the Piman Indian ranchería at Tubac occupied from about 1732 until the Pima Revolt of November 21, 1751. The ranch buildings and the Indian dwellings were probably located some distance apart, so the temporal identity of the two may be difficult to establish by stratigraphic means if, indeed, remains of one or both have not been destroyed in the construction of the later fort and town or agricultural operations.

A. Mission Ranch

The excavator may expect to encounter the floor and wall bases of a burned church and foreman's family dwelling at the Tubac mission ranch.

The most direct historical evidence of the existence of these structures and their incineration is Ensign Joseph Fonte's report on a trip by the native alcalde of Huachuca who was looking for his relatives who had lived at Guebavi and fled to the mountains immediately after the Pima Revolt. "He had passed on to Tubac and found the church and the house of the Father burned..." (Fontes Dec. 17, 1751:19v). The 645term church allows no quibble: there was some sort of structure at Tubac prior to the Pima Revolt which was used for religious ceremonies. Most probably it was only a ramada or a wattle-and-daub structure. This inference is based on entries in the burial register of Santos Angeles Gabriel and Rafael at Guebavi Mission. For example, on August 28, 1743, at least four years after the Guebavi Mission was refounded, Father Torres Perea recorded "María Rosa, child, was buried in the enrramada between the first and second pilar to the east" (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Entierros p. 47).  Torres Perea evidently employed the term pilar for the wooden posts supporting the roof of the ramada.

If the mission community had only a ramada church after four years of continuous occupancy by priests, it seems very likely that a visita situated several miles off like Tubac had only a ramada church in 1751. The possibility that the Spanish overseers of the Tubac mission ranch constructed a more substantial chapel for themselves cannot, of course, be overlooked.

The term "house of the father" is somewhat more difficult to interpret than "church." This could mean quarters for the priest to occupy when he visited the settlement, or it could mean a dwelling belonging to the priest (and the mission) but occupied by his Tubac ranch foreman and his family. There was one Spanish overseer with a wife at Tubac at the time of the revolt (Sedelmayr, Estiger and Nentuig, Nov. 30, 1751:67).  A decade before there had been at least four Spanish families 646living at Tubac (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Casamientos p. 9), implying the possibility of multi-unit dwellings or multiple dwellings. The Spanish quarters presumably were constructed more in accordance with Spanish architectural ideas than Indian-with foundations, surface flooring rather than a floor in a pit, square- cornered rooms, lime plastering, fireplaces in walls or corners rather than firepits, etc. The basic structure of the Spanish quarters might be expected to have been adobe, but in this isolated outpost Spanish overseers may simply have drafted some local Indian labor to build a native-style grass-thatched pole-framed house or requisitioned standing Indian housing as the first Spanish colonists in New Mexico did.

B. Piman Rancheria

Somewhere in the vicinity of the Tubac mission ranch were the dwellings of the native Piman Indians. The site occupied in 1751 presumably had been continuously occupied by these Indians since the establishment of the Guebavi mission about 1739. The missionaries would have tried to keep the Indians settled in one spot.

This ranchería site had not, on the other hand, been occupied continuously prior to about 1732. For in that year Father Phelipe Segesser recorded visiting the Tubac Indians and finding that they had abandoned their houses because of the death of their "magistrate" setting fire to them with 647only partial success. The Indians themselves moved to a new site which Segesser had difficulty locating (Treutlein 1945:158). The site occupied in 1751 was occupied only between 1732 and 1751, therefore, and accumulation of cultural debris was probably relatively small. The excavator may expect to find the dwellings of this settlement burned like the church and Spanish quarters. Captain Ruiz de Ael (Dec. 17, 1751:18v) reported that a detachment of Pima Captain-General Luis's warriors "burned the Pueblo of Tubac." The term pueblo could refer to the Spanish area at Tubac, however, and the excavator should keep in mind the possibility that the Indian houses remained unburned.

While the accumulation of debris during the period 1732 to 1751 was probably relatively small, the excavator should not discount the possibility that the Tubac people removed back to a site of earlier occupation in 1732.

The 1732-1751 ranchería should be found under the remains of the European fortifications and/or dwellings at Tubac. A priest who went through the Pima Revolt stated that the first Spanish fort was built "on the spot where the town of the same name stood before the rising of the Pimas" (Nentvig 1951:141).

This suggests the possibility that the natives who returned to Tubac in March or April of 1752 may have built anotherranchería, leaving the burned pre-revolt site open for the Spanish garrison to occupy later that year. It also suggests the possibility that if Ruiz meant the Spanish mission 648farm by pueblo, the native houses remained intact, were reoccupied by their owners in the spring of 1752 and these Indians were then dispossessed by the Spanish troops who utilized the Indian dwellings as temporary shelter until they could make adobes and erect their own more permanent presidio.

C. The 1752-1776 Post

1. Wall

High thick adobe walls around all the Sonoran frontier posts were recommended as a defensive measure by the public meeting convoked at San Ignacio Mission by Captain Joseph Diaz del Carpio on April 10, 1752 (f. 88v). The Tubac post remained unwalled, however, until at least 1766, probably later.

The Jesuit missionary Ignaz Pfefferkorn was stationed at Guebavi Mission and administered to Tubac from late in May of 1761 until early June of 1763 (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos p. 128, Libro de Casamientos p. 40). In writing of Sonoran frontier posts in general he had first-hand knowledge of conditions at Tubac until mid-year of 1763. He stated with regard to the post dismounted guard detail: "They would be of little help against a courageous and determined enemy in a place open on all sides, protected by neither wall nor rampart" (Treutlein 1949:294).

The army engineer Joseph de Urrutia presumably mapped the Tubac post during the inspection by the Marqués de Rubí649in December of 1766 or later at some time during the Elizondo campaign of 1768-1771. His map shows a straggling, scattered settlement with no sign of a wall-not even the U-shaped headquarters and captain's quarters being closed by a wall across the fourth side.

2. Dwellings

The excavator will do well to keep Urrutia's map in hand while seeking to locate structures of the 1752-1776 post. It shows a total of seventy-one structures besides the church, general headquarters and captain's quarters. Four large buildings east of the headquarters U-shaped building probably were a military stores warehouse, the post commandant's store, the armorer's smithy and related workshops, unmarried troopers' barracks, possibly a post hospital, etc. The small structure below the main irrigation ditch might have been the powder magazine which was supposed to be placed far enough from the post so as not to endanger it should it explode. Storing the powder in a wet field area would expose it to dampness, however, and very likely one of the smaller structures on the mesa was used as the magazine.

3. Captain's Quarters

One half of the U-shaped major structure at the post was the captain's quarters according to Urrutia. This may have been one of the first Spanish buildings erected, and dated from the period before September 7, 1759, when Captain Juan650Tomas de Beldarrain died (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Entierros p. 95) since he built it (Croix Dec. 23, 1780). This structure was ceded to the crown in 1780 by Captain Anza, who had purchased it from Beldarrain's widow for 1,000 pesos (ibid.).

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4. Church

The church shown on Urrutia's map was started after Captain Juan Bautista de Anza took command of the post in 1760, and evidently completed by December of 1766 or by mid 1771.  There was not even a chapel at Tubac (Tamarón 1937:305) on the visit of Father Lizasoain in November of 1761 (Santos Angeles de Guebavi p. 129-130) in behalf of the bishop of Durango and Lizasoain motivated the temporary chaplain to start one (Tamarón 1937:305).

5. Corrals

It is almost certain that the 1752-1776 post must have had stock corrals within or very near the heart of the settlement. When Adjutant-Inspector Hugo O'Conor (Aug. 1, 1775) approached the post in the summer of 1775 he ordered the remount herd corralled close to the parade ground for his convenience, indicating his expectation that Tubac would have a corral comparable to those at other posts near the plaza.

When Tubac was abandoned in 1848 there were definitely stock corrals there. The fact that Judge Benjamin Hayes (1849) remarked that they were still standing on December 12, 1849, 651suggests that they were made from some relatively impermanent material so that their continued existence seemed to him worthy of note. Quite possibly the corrals were mesquite log fences, possibly they were made of adobes.

6. Field Fencing

Some form of field fencing was employed at Tubac. Such fencing may have been used at the 1752-1776 post, since Urrutia's map of the place shows cultivated fields very sharply differentiated, possibly indicating presence of boundary fences.

In December of 1849 a fifty-tree peach orchard was located within an "enclosure" (Hayes 1849). The Forty-niner who used this term had noted just before arriving at Tubac a trail of ashes along the road from Tumacacori and guessed the "fence of an extensive enclosure" had burned, so he may have meant by "enclosure" a combustible barrier of some sort rather than an adobe wall. A mesquite log fence seems most likely. Since the peach trees would have required irrigation the peach orchard in question probably was located below the acequia madre in the irrigated field area where the high water table would soon have toppled an adobe wall through salt erosion.

7. Irrigation Ditch

A main irrigation ditch large enough to carry water to the extensive fields cultivated at Tubac should have been used 652long enough to leave a firmly established contour which can be located by excavation where the ditch has not been destroyed by modern bulldozing. The main ditch apparently ran just at the foot of the small terrace escarpment below the townsite and at the west edge of the fairly level river flood plain. The lower (north) end can be located with precision in relation to the 1859 flour mill, which seems to have taken water from the old main ditch.

D. The 1787-1848 Post

1. Wall

Since no evidence for construction of a defensive wall at Tubac during the 1752-1776 post has been found, the wall which certainly did exist there in later times was evidently constructed by the Pima Indian company moved to Tubac in 1787. No direct documentation of the date of construction of the wall has been found, but a general statement by the Commandant General of the Frontier Provinces in 1794 indicates that all of the frontier forts were surrounded by defensive walls by that time. He reported "The walls of the presidios are of adobe and within their square or precincts are the small dwellings of the troops and their families" (Nava Aug. 6, 1794).

The fairly massive exterior wall may have been constructed entirely of adobe without any stone footings. Depending 563on the mode of construction the wall may have been set on top of existing surface, in which case it was built on top of erosional debris washed off the adobe walls of the dwellings and military structures erected from 1752 to 1776, or the wall was built on a foundation set in a trench excavated into the existing surface, in which case there will be a disconformity between the erosional debris from the earlier structures and the wall.

The exterior wall was in relatively poor condition by the 1848 abandonment of Tubac. A United States Forty-niner described Tubac on October 6 as appearing to have been deserted much longer than the two months he had been told at Santa Cruz it had been abandoned (actually ten months). "The walls are all punched with holes for musketry, etc." (Watson 1931:142).

J. Rose Browne's (1950:148) sketch of Tubac in 1864 suggests that the body of the church projected west outside the exterior wall, forming a part of it-if the wall drawn by Browne was not constructed by the Anglo-American miners at Tubac in the late 1850's. The earlier sketch of the town in the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company report to stockholders in 1857 suggests such a wall as Browne showed north of the church, but only an enclosed area which could well be a cemetery south of it. This view shows no complete exterior wall, in fact, although several long expanses of wall appear, with vertical ends!

6542. Dwellings

The adobe houses constructed by the troopers and citizens at the first Tubac post in 1752-1776 were probably still in sufficiently good condition in 1787 to be taken over by the Indians of the Pima company and the non-Indian settlers who moved to Tubac in its wake, providing hostile Indians had not burned out the place during its four-year abandonment. Some dwellings such as the Toribio de Otero house were evidently added during the late colonial period, and some of the poorly constructed early dwellings probably were allowed to fall into ruins.

The wholesale deterioration of dwellings at Tubac evidently began about 1832 with resumption of intensive raiding by formerly peaceful Apache bands. The effect of raiding and lack of strong reinforcement from the south on Tubac was a steady diminution of population from at least four hundred to only two hundred fifty on the eve of abandonment. As population dropped, houses were undoubtedly abandoned and allowed to deteriorate. On October 6, 1849, Tubac was characterized as a "mere pile of tumble-down adobe houses" (Watson 1931:142).

Apparently the captain's quarters and general headquarters building were maintained in useable condition and put to their original uses up to final abandonment of the post.  On the northwest corner of these buildings the two-story lookout tower was erected which was parapeted, at least by Poston.

655The windows and doors in the main buildings shown in Browne's sketch are almost certainly modifications made by Colonel Poston during the 1850's. The Sonora Mining Company report sketch suggests that the company took over a simple multi-room adobe dwelling on the north side of the parade ground in front of the church and headquarters, but Browne's suggestion of an arched colonnade there indicates either very substantial improvement by Poston or a wide divergence in observation between the two artists!

The mining company report view does confirm that the basic settlement pattern at Tubac always during Hispanic times remained scattered village rather than compact walled fort. Defensive wall or no, there were adobe dwellings outside that wall and scattered much as the original 1752-1776 post buildings were.

Roofs were uniformly flat, or more accurately sloped in one direction from front to back of dwelling-probably vigas were set on adobe walls to carry crosspoles, heavy grass and mud.

Tubac. Source: Browne: (1869:148) Courtesy of Special Collections -- University of Arizona Library
Tubac. Source: Browne: (1869:148)
Courtesy of Special Collections -- University of Arizona Library

3. Church

The church constructed by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and his brother-in-law after 1761 and prior to 1766-1771 undoubtedly continued in use until a much later date. The citizens of Tubac after the transfer of its garrison in 1776 would have maintained the post chapel as their own church 656until the total abandonment of the settlement in 1783. The four years which passed before the post was regarrisoned with the Pima Company in 1787 should not have brought much deterioration unless some passing Apaches decided to set a torch to the abandoned buildings. Then the original chapel or a replacement built during the early years of Pima Company occupancy continued in use until the end of Mexican sovereignty so far as availabledocuments show.

The church building surviving at Tubac at the time of the 1848 abandonment was a cruciform structure which had lost its roof (Watson 1931:142). One Forty-niner who considered Tubac too ruined to be worth sketching tacked the comment "main building 9Ox25" on the end of a sentence about the church, but evidently referred to the general headquarters rather than the chapel. Another Forty-niner, obviously a Protestant, thought the "mouldering remains" those of an " ancient cathedral. A part of the Cross still stands to tell the story that Christianity had been planted here..." (Miles 1851:22). Judge Benjamin Hayes (1849) confirmed the condition of the Tubac church on December 12, noting that its walls stood but it had no roof and only the upright piece of its cross.

The Sonora Mining Company sketch shows the south wing of the transept, but if Powell had not called the church cruciform, one might easily mistake it for a buttress such as those bracing the mission at San Ignacio. The south wing may have been the sacristy with a door on the west side

657The good condition of the south wall and west end of the church indicated in the Sonora Mining Company sketch of Tubac suggests that the roofless church had been re-roofed by the mine company or some of the Tubac residents of the 1850's.

Both the mine company and Browne sketches show clearly a two-level bell tower over the church facade. The 1850's view shows three openings and a surmounting cross, complete. The 1864 view shows no cross, the top half of the top opening gone. Browne's view looking toward the church entrance does show a facade with decorative pillars at the exterior sides, and surrounding the doorway, with a level cornice at the top of the decorative columns and another on the upper edge of the bell tower.

B. The 1851-1854 Post

The Mexican military colony established at Tubac in the fall of 1851 seems to have been little more than a holding operation which did not utilize all the existing housing at Tubac, and probably constructed nothing new there.

When U. S. Boundary Commissioner John R. Bartlett (1854:II:302) visited Tubac late in July of 1852, he characterized it as "a collection of dilapidated buildings and huts, about half of which were tenantless, and an equally ruinous church." Remarking that a traveler in strange countries is expected to describe every town he visits, Bartlett (II:304) wrote "as for 658this God-forsaken place, when I have said that it contains a few dilapidated buildings, and anold church, with a miserable population, I have said about all." Commissioner Bartlett was normally much more sympathetic toward Mexicans, so his run-in with the post commandant at Tubac either soured him completely on the place or it was indeed inpoor structural condition.

The troops of the Tubac military colony at Tubac may have carried out some repairs on the existing structures at the post when they reoccupied it. There is evidence that the military colony garrison jregarded the exterior wall as an important defensive structure (Zenteño Aug. 11, 1853:1) so its holes may have been patched. The church may have been re-roofed, since a Texan referred to it in the fall of 1854 as the most prominent building in the town along with the watch tower on the general headquarters building (Bell 1932:311), which he probably would not have done had it been the roofless ruin seen by the Forty-niners. There were only a "few adobe houses" at that time and church and tower were also adobe.

One other type of domestic housing remains to be considered-that of the Peaceful Apaches of the military colony and the previous post. Possibly the military colony Apaches were sufficiently acculturated to live in adobe houses, but this is very doubtful since those at Bac a generation later still lived in wickiups. Therefore wickiup rings with post holes should be discovered in the course of excavation somewhere on 659the perimeter of the adobe dwelling area. Most likely there are a very large number of such wickiup remains inasmuch as Apaches made up the larger part of the population of the military colony-some 120 individuals in probably thirty to forty households.

Certainly the first Apaches who settled at the post in the late 1780's or early 1790's and thereafter lived in wickiups of their own construction somewhere near the post but not right up against it, and very likely the Apache ranchería shifted its location several times during the period of Apache residence at Tubac.

In the 1850's when Anglo-Americans were using Tubac as a mine development centre, a large ranchería of Pápagos lived at Tubac in native ki type houses-also grass-thatched, pole dwellings (Hodge 1910:II:820). The identification of Apache wickiups and Pápago kiki, and the differentiation between them promises to furnish the excavators of Tubac with many interesting problems.

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