The History of Tucson, AZ

The history of habitation in Tucson, AZ dates back to 10, 000 BC when a community of Archaic and Paleoindian hunters and gatherers migrated into the area. However, there is no documented evidence that suggest whether or not this area was a permanent habitation for these ancient communities or not, though there is little evidence that points of a possible agricultural settlement along the Santa Cruz River from as early as 1000BC.

The Hohokam culture thrived in this place in 200 AD- 1400. When the Hohokam declined in the late 1400, they were succeeded by the Tohono O’odham and Pima communities, which was more advanced and civilized. 

The 16th century was the beginning of the Coronado Expedition whose main aim was to find the seven cities of gold. This expedition passed Arizona in 1540.

Spanish settlers started streaming into this area, and in 1699, Father Francisco Kino established a mission and named it San Xavier Kino, which was completed in 1797. Its completion saw the sprouting up of several other missions in the area including the Mission San Augustin, which was built on the western bank of the Santa Cruz River. It was completed in the 1790’s and was regarded as a ‘vista’ of the Mission San Xavier.


In 1775, the Tucson Presidio was established by Hugo O’Connor, and the year marked the birthday of the city of Tucson.

In 1821, Tucson fought for its independence and became part of Mexico. Nevertheless, the Gadsden Purchase in 1854 saw this city fall in the jurisdiction of the US. In 1863, Arizona was declared and official territory. Thanks to its strategic location and being one of the fastest growing towns in this newly formed territory and even famous places like Mission San Xavier Del BAC has been a great attraction, Tucson became the territorial capital in 1877.

The end of the 19th century came as a blessing to this city. The Southern Pacific Railroad reached the town, and eventually, the population increased tremendously. By the end of 1880, the population had hit 80, 000 people. The economy started booming, with several businesses being set up in the area to service this growing populace.

In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the United States. The population in Tucson continued growing as more people started settling here, and by 1950, there were over 120, 000 people, a number that doubled to 220, 000 by the start of 1960. The amazing history of Tucson was recognized by the Pima County, and in 1972, the historic district ordinances were adopted. In 1990, the city of Tucson was declared the 33rd largest city in the United States with the population reaching 400, 000 people.


Tucson is an interesting city, and you can tell that from its simple, yet eventful history. In the 21st century, this city is highly civilized, and is the hub of various socio-economic activities. Whether you need a place to settle, do business, or explore the Mountain Park, then this is a destination that you cannot afford to ignore.

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