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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The short, good life of Tubac, AZ

In this era of unemployment, a federal government lacking in common sense, threats of terrorism, liberals clamoring for government entitlements, and the dreaded "spread the wealth" mentality endorsed by the current administration, it’s refreshing to recall some history of the small town of Tubac, AZ in the late 1850s.

According to local historian Marshall Trimble, A young guy named Charles Poston arrived with his crew of miners in Tubac late in 1856, the year that Mexico gave up Tucson to the U.S. Tubac was located about 45 miles south of the Old Pueblo and, although it had been abandoned, most of the structures were still relatively intact. The Santa Cruz river and plenty of grass were nearby and when Poston’s group started a mining operation, large groups of Mexicans from the south arrived looking for jobs. It didn’t take long before Tubac was a busy little town.

Residents lived well in Tubac. Being in the middle of nowhere, they didn’t have the bureaucratic problems associated with being a large city. Poston later wrote that "we had no law but love and no occupation but labor; no government, no taxes, no public debt, no politics. It was a community in a perfect state of nature."

Poston loved the ladies, especially the Mexican senoritas. With most of the men of that time going to California for the gold rush, the ratio of women to men in Tubac was about 12 to 1. Sit back a moment guys and think about that: 12 to 1! Even Middy and desert ghost could score under those circumstances.

Poston also was a sort of magistrate which entitled him to perform marriages, baptisms, grant divorces and do several other functions. Food was brought in from Sonora along with other goods and the mines were paying off well with plenty of silver.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the nirvana of Tubac wasn’t to last. Problems with Mexico and various Indian raids became common and by 1861 the Civil War had started which meant a couple of protective forts in the area were closed thus leaving the inhabitants to fend for themselves. After the Apaches destroyed Tubac in that year, Poston barely escaped with his life.

By the 1880's, Tubac was re-established and today is a quiet small town dominated with art galleries. It sounds very pleasant but I wonder if it can compare to the Tubac of the late 1850's when Charles Poston ran the town and the ratio of women to men was 12 to 1.

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