Category: Uncategorized

Jan 30

Mexican Fortress to US Town: Tucson in the 1840s and 1850s

Homer Thiel winds the history machine back a few decades from the previous posts to look at life in Tucson during the time of transition from Mexican to US governance. Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821. In the years afterward, many changes occurred in the small fortress community of…

Jan 11

Stopping in at the Cactus Saloon

Following up on last week’s post about historic Block 83 in downtown Tucson, Homer Thiel takes us on a tour of the Cactus Saloon, which served railroad passengers and local Tucsonans from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Many businesses opened on the east half of Block 83 in…

Jan 2

Archaeology Archive: Block 83 in Downtown Tucson

Homer Thiel digs into the archives to tell the story of downtown Tucson's Block 83. The block is currently occupied by the MLK Apartments and the Ronstadt Transit Center, but over 100 years ago it was the site of single-family homes and saloons, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.  Desert Archaeology…

Dec 9

A Ceramic Firing by a Tohono O’odham Potter

Desert Archaeology project director Homer Thiel documents a Tohono O’odham pottery firing session. Twice in the last year, Tohono O’odham potter Dr. Reuben Naranjo has held pottery firings in the backyard of Desert Archaeology project director Homer Thiel’s house. University of Arizona professor Lisa Molomot’s students filmed the first firing…

Sep 20

2,000 Years of Human History at Mission Garden

For the last ten years, visitors to the Mission Garden, located at the base of Sentinel Peak ("A" Mountain) have watched as fruit trees grow from saplings into tall trees, seen an acequia (canal) built and stocked with an endangered species, viewed crops being harvested and food preparation methods demonstrated.…

Sep 14

Archaeology Archive: What Lay Beneath Spruce Street

Homer Thiel discusses what we learned about the Chinese men who came to Tucson while working on the railroad in the late 1800s and stayed here to make lives for themselves. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a housing development was constructed along the road leading to the summit…

Aug 19

New Insights on the Tucson Presidio from the Historic Pima County Courthouse

Homer Thiel discusses ancient and historical cultural resources encountered on the grounds of the Historic Pima County Courthouse in Tucson during renovations and the construction of the January 8 Memorial. Pima County has recently completed the renovation of the 1929 Pima County Courthouse, now the home of the Southern Arizona…