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Canoa Ranch Timeline

Prehistoric Period

2500 B.C. - 1450 A.D.

  • Evidence of human occupation within the Canoa Ranch Landscape dates as far back as 2500 B.C. The Santa Cruz River Valley was used by Native Americans for shelter and habitation, growing and harvesting foods, and for culturally important traditions. The landscape demonstrates a dynamic occupation by native peoples that includes evidence of the Hohokam cultural tradition from 600 to 1450 A.D.

Spanish Colonial Period



The O'odham people inhabited the area between 1600 and the 1800s.   
In the 1690s Father Eusebio Kino travelled through a place which was called La Canoa on his way to Bac (later San Xavier) and Tchuk Shoon (now the City of Tucson) where he established the San Xavier Mission, now a National Historic Landmark.  Church at San Xavier Mission ca. 1890. Photograph courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society.
In 1775 Juan Batista de Anza led the expedition to establish a Presidio (fort) and Mission of San Francisco in Alta California. Canoa was the first night camp for the 198 settlers and 1000 livestock on their trip after leaving the Tubac Mission. The first baby born on the expedition occured at Canoa at 9pm and the mother past away at 3:45 am next morning. This was the only death on the whole Anza expedition.  Deptiction of de Anza Expedition traveling near Canoa. Artwork by Bill Singleton.