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  • New Loop history map takes users on a trail through time

    Hop on your bike or take stroll along The Chuck Huckelberry Loop and travel on a trail through time.

    A trip along the Loop and nearby neighborhoods and communities offers a fascinating look at dozens of historical points of interest here in Pima County. From the iconic Pima County Courthouse near the Santa Cruz River to the site of ancestral homes of Native Americans at the confluence of the Rillito River and Pantano Wash, users will find cultural and historic points of interest on whatever path they choose.

    Now, the County has created a map to help users explore Pima County’s heritage resources along The Loop. 
    Steam Pump Ranch
    “Our water courses are places of permanence on the landscape and might testify to the ways people have interacted with their environment for millennia,” said Cannon Daughtrey, an archaeologist in the County’s Office of Sustainability and Conservation, which provided all of the historical information for the map and for use in an accompanying website. “We want to introduce the public to another way of understanding history, to connect events and values to a place. History becomes a lens through which stories are read from physical places. Without an understanding of history, you may otherwise not see or understand the stories manifested in places.”

    The map features 54 points of interest along the Rillito and Santa Cruz Rivers, and the Julian, Pantano and Cañada del Oro Washes. It also highlights several heritage resources in downtown Tucson, many of which are just a few blocks from the Santa Cruz. These resources are facets of the built environment that possess characteristics representing a time in history and the values of those that built and interacted within them.

    “The list is a subset of identified heritage resources in the County and is in no way intended to be comprehensive. That’s why we’re hoping users will access the website and become inspired to further explore the County’s collective heritage on their own and in their communities.”

    The Loop history map was actually the brainchild of County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, who asked the specialists in Sustainability and Conservation to work with County Communications and produce the map. It accompanies maps that users can find on the Loop website on the path itself, an interactive map, a Loop art map, a map featuring murals found in the downtown area and the Tucson Metro Bike Map, produced by Pima Association of Governments.

    Daughtrey said her office will be working on signs to place along The Loop that detail some of the human use of the river. It’s a history “tied to the landscape, a history you can’t always see. Through signage, it is our hope to ground people in the landscape, cultivate an appreciation for the living past and work together toward preserving the County’s heritage resources while maintaining its sense of place,” she said.

    Print copies of the map may be found at the following locations or by calling 520-724-9999.
    • First floor lobby, County Administration Building, 130 W. Congress;
    • First floor lobby, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation headquarters, 3500 W. River Road;
    • Southern Arizona Heritage & Visitor Center concierge desk, 115 N. Church Ave.
    Photo: Steam Pump Ranch along the CDO Wash houses the remains of an 1870s blacksmith shop and adobe building once protecting a prized groundwater pump driven by steam power.
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    Communications Office

    201 N. Stone Ave., 2nd Floor
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    (520) 724-9999

    Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - noon and 1 - 5 p.m., except on holidays.

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