History of the Presidio

Presidio San Agustín del Tucson was founded in 1775 by the Spanish military. The fort was located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River across from the Native American village of “Chuk-shon.”   It covered 11 acres, surrounded by a thick adobe wall. The museum is now located on the site of the northeast corner of the original Presidio, where it has been reconstructed to provide a glimpse of Tucson’s origins.

Group Tours of the Presidio (approximately 45 minutes) – $4 group rate: 

Although docents are generally available, groups of 10 or more must reserve in advance by calling 520-622-0594. Tours include:

* An explanation of the history of the Presidio
* A tour of the changing exhibits in the Jacome-Siquieros home that also houses the Museum  
  Shop (if requested)
* A glimpse into a Presidio-era home and barracks
* An opportunity to see an exact replica of an 18thcentury cannon
* An explanation of a 2,000 year old Native American pit house and what it represented
* A view of a store-room used for food and supplies
* An opportunity to learn from Presidio docents stationed around the Presidio Courtyard (when available). These stations could display Old and New World foods, cotton and wool carding, spinning, and the soldier’s equipment and how it was used. (These additional docents may or may not be available every day, based on availability.)

Optional Activities – Additional $3/person charge for each optional activity below

Tour planners may choose from the following options to enhance their group’s tour experience. These options can be incorporated into time available or added on to extend the tour. 

* Soldier Demonstration ($3/person charge is for each soldier reserved) – Presentation includes an explanation of the uniform, equipment and training and includes the firing of a musket)

* Old and New World Food Display – This display presents foods brought from the Old World as well as native foods found locally that were staples for Native Americans and settlers alike

* History of medicine – Presentation includes discussion on early surgical practices, pain remedies and medicinal plants used in Colonial times, as well as a display of medicinal tools of the period.

Cotton/Wool Carding, Spinning, and Weavingon a Loom – Señoritas of the Presidio era demonstrate an important skill of the period including carding cotton bolls that have come directly from the plant, spinning the fibers into yarn on a drop spindle and weaving on a loom.  

* Off-Site Walking Tour of Turquoise Trail (Additional price per person depends on how much of the 2.5-mile Turquoise Trail the group covers)The Turquoise Trail includes many of the historic buildings in Downtown Tucson.  Guides will also share some interesting stories of Tucson’s history.

All group tours must be booked at least one week in advance.  The number of people attending must be guaranteed two days before the event by 3 pm.  This guarantee number is the minimum amount you will be charged when your group arrives. Full payment is due the day of the tour.

Groups that enter with an outside tour company or walking tour guide must pay the $4 admission per person.  Guides and tour companies must pre-schedule a tour with a docent unless previously arranged otherwise. The Presidio Museum will not guarantee a docent tour unless groups are scheduled in advance.

Group Tour of the Presidio Museum

Group Tour Contact:
April Bourie
Group Tour and Marketing Director
Phone: 520-444-3687
Email: AprilB@TucsonPresidio.com

Meal Options are provided by La Cocina Restaurant, which is the contracted food and beverage provider for the Presidio Museum.  The restaurant is located across the street from the Museum. Please contact La Cocina directly for food and beverage orders:

Jo Schneider
La Cocina
201 N. Court Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701

Motorcoach parking is available on Telles St.