Your guide, dressed in authentic period costume, reveals Tucson’s history by telling the stories of the people and places that frequented the areas of downtown that you visit on this tour, making history come alive. Bette Richards is a curator assistant at the Sosa Carrillo Fremont House Museum and has trained numerous tour guides and docents.
Tour the area where the Spanish first built their presidio (fort) in 1776. See the reconstruction of the presidio tower and hear the stories of these first Anglo settlers of Tucson. This tour includes the mansions of Main Street, built around 1900; the homes of pioneers Sam Hughes, Hiram Stevens, Edwin Fish, the Steinfeld house, and Casa Cordova; and Tucson’s oldest shopping area, Old Town Artisans. The tour usually takes about 2 hours and varies depending on attendees’ interests.
Tour the area of old 1800s’ adobe homes and row houses common to early Tucson and Sonora, Mexico, including El Tiradito Shrine, Teatro Carmen, some of Tucson’s favorite murals, Chinese groceries, and the site of one of Tucson’s most horrendous crimes. This neighborhood had the town’s first public park at Carrillo’s Gardens. Tour includes Sosa Carrillo Fremont House when it is open. Many of the old adobe homes have been renovated and are occupied.
Your own shady lady tour guide will show you where the early red light district of Tucson was, including Maiden Lane and Gay Alley. You will hear the stories of the ladies of the night and their customers, as well as the police who looked over them. Learn the interesting stories of Anna Charaleau, George Hand, and Jesus Camacho.
Attendees: 4 min./25 max.
Length: 2 hours
Contact: Bette Richards
Arizona Historical Society
949 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ 85719