Projects

New Book on Tubac:

Volunteer Patty Hilpert has completed her colorful new book which combines images such as maps, photos, paintings, and prints from THS and other local collections with watercolor illustrations by prominent local artist, Roberta Rogers.

Funded by a grant from The Country Fair White Elephant, the book’s focus is Tubac’s history, culture, and resources. This wonderful new book is a must-have for every home in Tubac! It also makes the perfect gift for your house guests!

The cost of the book is $24.00 and is available at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, The Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, The Wild Rose store in Tubac Village, and the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company in Tumacacori.

You can also order your copy on the THS website for $24.oo plus $3.oo shipping per book.  Click here to order. 

$24.00 plus $3.00 shipping, $27.00.

The Pennington-Cabot House” from 1868,
watercolor by Roberta Rogers.

Preserving Tubac’s Adobe Buildings:

Tubac has thirty-four buildings of significance in our National Historic District, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Most of these are made of adobe and define the charming character of the Old Town. At THS we strive to bring attention to these treasures and to advocate for their preservation.

Oral History Project:

The THS Oral History Project has a twofold mission. The first part of our mission is to preserve our archives of Oral Histories about Tubac’s history and the people who have lived here.

Thanks to a contribution by generous donors in memory of the late Shaw Kinsley, we have completed the digitizing of our fragile old tapes. Transcribing these records is ongoing.

The second part of our mission is to interview current residents of Tubac and the Santa Cruz River Valley who are long-time residents or who have contributed to our community in unique and significant ways.

The Oral History committee is very organized and active.  If you are interested in volunteering for this effort please contact us.  If you would like to suggest someone to add to our list of interviewees, please call us.  We currently have a fluid list of more than 45 people to interview.   Meetings and training workshops are held frequently.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Tubac:

This free guide, available at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park & Museum, shows twenty sites of historic significance, nineteen of which are an easy walking distance of the Presidio.

Tubac Artist Files:

With help from dedicated volunteers and a grant from  The Country Fair White Elephant Foundation, T.H.S. has put together an impressive collection of biographical files on over one hundred artists who have lived in Tubac. These volumes include the Early Artists who created Tubac’s Art Colony beginning in the 1940s.

Thistles,” Wax Resist Painting by Marion Valentine

Updating of Online Catalog:

Volunteers Mary Bingham and Betsy Fearnow are working together to update and simplify searches of our “Online Catalogue”.  This online tool is connected to our PP5 Museum software where our collection of historic objects, books, photos, and archives are listed and organized. Click here to visit our online catalog. Explore our library online from the comfort of your own room!

History of the Cow Palace Restaurant:

The Cow Palace Restaurant – Arivaca Junction/Amado
Research by Mary Bingham

The Cow Palace Restaurant came into prominence soon after Otho Kinsley purchased 420, or maybe it was 600, acres of land for a reported down payment, or full payment of $40, or maybe $100, in the early 1930s. The acreage and price seem to vary with the source.

Kinsley built a roadside complex that included a restaurant, grocery store, gas station, dance hall, swimming pool and two beautiful lakes across the road. He even built a 3 cell jail in case someone got drunk or disorderly and needed a place to sleep it off. No one escaped from the jail after he penned up a live baboon outside the window.  He also had a pair of lions. And, of course, he built an airport. Perhaps Kinsley’s biggest attractions were the rodeos, held behind the stores next door.

Kinsley sold the ranch to Hayden Tidmore and a group of developers in 1959, three years before his death, for $421,000.  They opened the Cow Palace Restaurant and renamed the property the Kinsley Ranch Resort. A planned housing development never got off the ground. The dance hall burned in 1965, and the lakes dried up in the 70s. The next owner, Dean Short, is credited with placing the iconic bull on the roof.

In 1987, Frank Bertolino bought the Cow Palace. According to Regina Ford, of the Green Valley News, when Frank took over, he invited local ranchers to come in and brand the wooden walls with their branding irons. He said he “wanted them to feel at home”. Frank tried to sell the Cow Palace several times over twenty-five years in business but always bought it back. During his last tenure, Lynn Greenes, the current owner, helped Frank bring the Cow Palace back to life.

Many famous people, from John Wayne to Whoopee Goldberg and Diane Keaton, have visited the Cow Palace. Ann Boyer Warner, owner of the Sopori Ranch,  widow of Jack Warner of Warner Brothers, is credited with supplying many publicity photos for the walls.

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