San Xavier to San Agustin: An Overview of Cultural Resources for the Paseo de las Iglesias Feasibility Study
By Scott O’Mack and Eric Eugene Klucas
Technical Series 81
240 pp. / 8.50 x 11.00 / 2004
Price : $27.50
Paseo de las Iglesias, “Walk of the Churches,” is a pending plan for cultural and environmental restoration of a section of the Santa Cruz River valley near Tucson. This book surveys Native American and Euroamerican culture history in the study area and provides detailed descriptions of 11 archaeological sites: West Branch, Tumamoc Hill, St. Mary’s Hospital, Dakota Wash, Martínez Hill Ruin, Clearwater, San Xavier Bridge, Valencia, Julian Wash, Mission San Agustín del Tucson, and Mission San Xavier del Bac. The Paseo de las Iglesias project area saw a succession of Native American, Spanish, Mexican, Mexican-American, Anglo-American, and other settlement during the historical period. San Xavier to San Agustin reviews the historical and ethnographic literature documenting this complex history, placing an emphasis on the role of water in determining both the attractions and limitations of the Santa Cruz River. Ironically, the water that made the valley an oasis of abundance was subject to such waste and misuse in the historical period that the perennial flow that once characterized portions of the river subsided out of reach in the early twentieth century. The overview includes a discussion of the many attempts to exploit the surface and subsurface flow of the Santa Cruz River and the eventual failure of each one. The Paseo de las Iglesias project will not return the river to its original condition, but San Xavier to San Agustin suggests that the project is a suitable memorial to a long-neglected part of Tucson’s cultural and natural history.
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