Tubac's Pioneer Families & the Catastrophe of Baca Float No. 3 - Tucson News Now

Tubac's Pioneer Families & the Catastrophe of Baca Float No. 3

(Source: Public Domain) (Source: Public Domain)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tubac's Pioneer Families & the Catastrophe of Baca Float No. 3 An exhibition celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

The controversial placement of a "floating" land grant in the Santa Cruz Valley in 1863 brought disappointment and heartache to the families who lived in the valley prior to that time and to settlers who homesteaded the area. These folks built houses, outbuildings, fences, wells and irrigation systems in an effort to provide for their own livelihood and to improve their communities. They lost it all in 1917 when the Supreme Court reversed numerous decisions by the Department of the Interior and, in effect, evicted families from their homes. 

This exhibit explains the origin of the Baca Float land grants and examines the histories of some of families that were affected by the Supreme Court decision. With an interactive component, the exhibit also invites other families from Southern Arizona and beyond to add their stories to the ones told here.

The exhibit features family photographs and numerous household and ranch artifacts from members of the Gastellum and Cota families, as well as an 1893 Roskruge map of Pima County that shows many of the family names and the location of their claims.

Although the Baca Float has been addressed in a few scholarly books -- such as Tom Sheridan’s Landscapes of Fraud -- it has never been the subject of an exhibition. It is the story of local homesteaders losing their lands to real estate speculators and political actions beyond their control.

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park will be hosting an opening reception on Saturday, October 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. when members of the Gastellum and Cota families will share memories of their family history. Dr. Tom Sheridan will have books for sale. Refreshments will be served.

Call (520) 398-2252 to make your reservation for the Opening Reception today. Thanks to the generosity of the Gastellum family, there is no charge for the opening reception. 

Regular admission to the Park is $5 adults, $2 Youth 7 to 13, Kids under 7 FREE. 

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is located at 1 Burruel Street, Tubac, AZ at Exit 34 on I-19 south of Tucson.  

For more information call the park at 520/398-2252 or visit TubacPresidio.org.

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