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Halloween in Old Tubac Arizona

Updated on October 31, 2015

A Visit to Tubac on Halloween

Tubac, Arizona is a small town between Tucson, Arizona and the Mexican border. It is situated in beautiful Santa Cruz county, Arizona right next to Interstate 19 about a thirty to forty-five minute drive from Tucson.

Founded in 1752 with the building of the Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac, the town has the distinction of being the first permanent European settlement in Arizona.

While Tubac's importance as a frontier outpost of Spain's North American empire was diminished after Hugo O'Conor, Spain's acting governor of Texas, moved the garrison from Tubac to a new Presidio (fort) he had built in what is now downtown Tucson the town continued to survive and today is a thriving artist colony and a reminder of Arizona's Spanish colonial past.

The Four Flags that Have Flown over Tubac, AZ

Like the rest of Arizona, Tubac has been ruled by Spain, Mexico, Confederate States of America and Now the United States
Like the rest of Arizona, Tubac has been ruled by Spain, Mexico, Confederate States of America and Now the United States | Source

At the right are the four flags that have flown over Tubac since the arrival of Europeans in the New World.

At the far right of the photo is the Confederate States of America flag which temporarily controlled parts of the Arizona territory during the Civil War.

Next to it is the Mexican flag. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, it took what is now the Southwestern U.S. with it. Under Spanish rule, the present American Southwest, the area from Texas to California along with Mexico was administered as the colony of New Spain. The American Southwest was a part of Mexico and remained a part of Mexico following the overthrow of Spanish rule.

Moon rising behind a Creepy Figure

Moon rising behind a Creepy Figure
Moon rising behind a Creepy Figure | Source

The flag to the left of the Mexican flag is that of Spain which ruled Southern Arizona and Mexico from the time its explorers first entered this area to 1821 when Mexico gained its independence.

The last flag is that of the United States. Mexico lost Texas when it split from Mexico and became an independent republic in 1836. Texas later joined the United States and in the war between Mexico and the United States (known in the U.S. as the Mexican War), which lasted from 1846 to 1848, the United States ended up capturing from Mexico most of what is now New Mexico, Arizona and California. However, the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war and awarded these areas to the United States, did not include southern Arizona and parts of southern New Mexico.

Being in southern Arizona, meant that Tubac remained a part of Mexico. I wasn't until the 1854 Gadsden Treaty, which was negotiated by James Gadsden, the U.S. Minister to Mexico, that the United States acquired the territory that now makes up southern New Mexico and southern Arizona. The U.S. received this 45,000 square mile area, which included Tubac, in exchange for $15,000,000, a deal that has come to be known as the Gadsden Purchase.

With the exception of a short period when the area was under the control of Confederate forces during the Civil War, the American flag has flown over Tubac since 1854.

Source

A Shopping Trip for Wind Chimes

Deciding that wind chimes would be a nice addition to our patio, my wife and I took a Saturday drive to Tubac, certain that wind chimes could be found there.

However, this particular Saturday happened to be October 31st - Halloween. It was a beautiful day and, being just before the big influx of winter tourists from up north, there were just enough other outsiders, like us, visiting Tubac for some shopping to give the town an air of activity without being crowded.

While my wife shopped for wind chimes I busied myself watching merchants set up for what was billed as Tubac's first annual Terror of Tubac Halloween celebration.  A celebration that included a haunted house, a costume parade, foods from local vendors, a pumpkin carving contest and Halloween Party.

Going to the Dogs

Dog in Halloween Costume
Dog in Halloween Costume | Source
Dog in costume sniffing at a giant spider web decoration
Dog in costume sniffing at a giant spider web decoration | Source

Skeletons Dressed for Nov 1st Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos skeletons in traditional Mexican attire
Dia de los Muertos skeletons in traditional Mexican attire | Source
Pumpkins lining a sidewalk in Tubac, AZ
Pumpkins lining a sidewalk in Tubac, AZ | Source

Creepy Decorations

Giant Halloween Bat
Giant Halloween Bat | Source
Creepy Skeleton Decorations
Creepy Skeleton Decorations | Source

© 2009 Chuck Nugent

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    • sabrebIade profile image

      sabrebIade 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      That does look awesome!

    • profile image

      Sandi3m 8 years ago

      This is great, makes me want to go to Tubac.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Nice pics, Chuck! Tubac is an interesting little town.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Great pictures. It looks like a fun place to visit.

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