Between Tucson and Nogales (on the border) there are two missions worth visiting.  If you would like more information and additional pictures, please click here. This one dates to the late 1600s. It is a National Historical Park and I overheard a ranger telling someone that the Park Service preserves but does not restore/rebuild. I did not know that. When the mission was abandoned due to Indian raids the roof was taken for the lumber and the church was open to the elements for many years. You can see the damage. It is sometimes possible, inside these ruins, to imagine the local Indians and the Catholic priests living here.

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DSC_4529 This was the beginning of a new church building and this was the storage building  DSC_4519  DSC_4478 DSC_4463 DSC_4461  This is a picture of how it would have looked. The side niches (above) are barely discernable now.

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The Indians lived in mud huts like this one below. The roof is made from saguaro and mesquite (I think).

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While reading information in the museum I sensed a man and after a few minutes realized he had not moved and then I realized why.  He was actually life sized and really creepy and that is why I look like I do in this picture. Bob caught me moving quickly away!


As you exit the museum you pass this wonderful poster of a saguaro giving life to many in the desert.


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