kids encyclopedia robot

Tubac, Arizona facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Tubac, Arizona
St. Ann's Church, Tubac, 1937
St. Ann's Church, Tubac, 1937
Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of Arizona
Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of Arizona
18th century map of Tubac and surroundings
18th century map of Tubac and surroundings
Country United States
State Arizona
County Santa Cruz
 • Total 10.85 sq mi (28.10 km2)
 • Land 10.85 sq mi (28.09 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
3,209 ft (978 m)
 • Total 1,581
 • Density 145.75/sq mi (56.28/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP codes
85640, 85646
Area code(s) 520
FIPS code 04-75940
GNIS feature ID 0035489

Tubac is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,191 at the 2010 census. The place name "Tubac" is an English borrowing from a Hispanicized form of the O'odham name Cuwak, which translates into English as "place of dark water". When first taken into Spanish speech, it was spelled Tubaca. Finally, over time, the latter "a" was dropped. Tubac is situated on the Santa Cruz River.

Tubac was the original Spanish colonial garrison in Arizona. It was depopulated during the O'odham Uprising in the 18th century. During the 19th century, the area was repopulated by miners, farmers and ranchers, but the town of Tubac is best known today as an artists' colony.


Tubac is located at 31°37′32″N 111°3′7″W / 31.62556°N 111.05194°W / 31.62556; -111.05194 (31.625462, -111.051921).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28.0 km2), all land.


Established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio, the first Spanish colonial garrison in what is now Arizona, Tubac was one of the stops on the Camino Real (the "Royal Road") from Mexico to the Spanish settlements in California.

Tubac's most famous Spanish resident was Juan Bautista de Anza. While stationed at Tubac (1760–1776), de Anza built the chapel of Santa Gertrudis, the foundations of which lie beneath today's St. Ann's Church.

Apaches attacked the town repeatedly in the 1840s, forcing the Sonoran Mexicans to abandon both Tumacacori and Tubac.

Tubac was the scene of a four-day siege in 1861, between Tubac's male population, Confederate militia and Apache warriors.

In the 1930s - 1960s Tubac became an art colony. Painter Dale Nichols opened an art school in the small desert village in 1948 and restored some of Tubac's historic buildings. Students included watercolorist Al Romo and sculptor Bob Brisley. In 1961, the Santa Cruz Valley Art Association was formed with 80 members and the group founded the Tubac Festival of the Arts in 1964.

Dale Nichols School of Art brochure
Dale Nichols School of Art brochure, 1949.

Other significant artists in the Village included Sophie and Harwood Steiger, Hal Empie and Hugh Cabot.


The remains of the old Spanish presidio are preserved by Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. The park also features a regional museum, an underground archeology display, and other historic buildings.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 1,581
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,191 people residing in Tubac. The racial makeup of Tubac was 76.7% non-Hispanic White, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.59% Asian, 6.5% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 20.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In Tubac 1.5% of the population was age 0–4, 4.7% from 5 to 17, 51.0% from 18 to 64, and 42.5% 65 years of age or older. The population of Tubac is 52.4% female and 47.6% male.

Notable people

Congressman Will Rogers, Jr. retired to a ranch near Tubac and is buried at the Tubac Cementery.

kids search engine
Tubac, Arizona Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.