|From 2010 Tumacacori|
About 1800 the Franciscans began to build a large church to replace the modest structure the Jesuits had built at Tumacacori (pronounced Too-muh-CAW-ca-ree). Poor funding and the Mexican wars slowed down construction and modified the grand building design. Other factors also intervened, and the hard winter of 1848 drove the last residents out of Tumacacori and neighboring Tubac. The 157 year thread of continuity begun by Father Kino ended. The church was left uncompleted, with scaffolding around the bell tower, which never received its dome.
Today, Tumacacori is a National Historical Park, a tribute to the brave and sometimes perhaps foolhardy mission priests, and to the courage of the Pima Indians who lived in the area and supported the mission with their labor and their conversion to Christianity.
Today the old mission church is illuminated only by daylight and flash cameras. Entrance is through the front door and down the handicapped-accesible ramp.
In its heyday, the church must have been beautiful, from what is seen in this diorama.
Today, of course, all religious symbols and statuary are gone, save for remnants of the original painted murals.
There are a few "outbuilding" ruins remaining, and it's fun trying to get creative with photography!
While we visited Tumacacori, we enjoyed meeting and photographing Guadalupe Gutierrez, who was demonstrating the art of making and serving la tortilla de harina, which we would simply call a flour tortilla.
Sra. Gutierrez, born in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, is a master tortilla maker. At age seven, she and her older sister were making the tortillas for her family.
She makes the tortillas with flour, water, salt and a little bit of lard, then pats them out to just the right thickness, size and shape. Then she cooks them on a metal plate over an open fire, the traditional way.
When Sra. Gutierrez was finished with two tortillas, she handed one to each of us, spread with refried beans and a mild salsa (for our gringo palates).
Behind the mission church lies the mission cemetery and its chapel, which was never completed. A few marked graves remain, including the last burial, tiny Juanita Allegria,. born in 1915, buried in 1916.
We had a fine time visiting Tumacacori Mission, and we hope you enjoyed the trip with us. To see more pictures of this historic park, please visit our web album , 2010 Tumacacori.
Before we close, let's welcome our newest followers: John, who runs a blog called John and Aileen on the Road; Carol K about whom I can find very little; our friends of a few years Bill and Mabel; and Pam DeVault. Where do all these fine folk come from? Darned if I know, but Suzy and I are most pleased to welcome them to ... Our Life on Wheels!