Patagonia, approximately 18 miles north of the inter-national
border, lies in a narrow valley surrounded by the Santa
Rita Mountains to the north and the Patagonias to the south.
This contemporary town was founded in 1898 by Rollin R.
Richardson and incorporated in 1948. Both the town, at an elevation
of 4,044 feet, and the mountains take their name from
the Patagonia Mine.
Wholesale, retail trade and services are the predominant
economic activities in Santa Cruz County. Most of the trade
occurs in Nogales, an active produce-shipping point. The largest
private sector of employment in Patagonia is retail trade and ser-vices.
The business district is concentrated around Scenic Route,
state Highway 82, which passes through the center of the town.
All of Santa Cruz County is an Enterprise Zone.
Extensive mineral exploration is being conducted in the vicinity.
Construction activity is expected to increase with the building of
numerous planned communities within 15 miles of Patagonia.
The area has some of the finest ranches in the Southwest, with
specially bred cattle and quarter horses.
Nearby points of interest include recreational areas of the
Coronado National Forest, the Santa Rita Mountains to the
north and the Patagonia Mountains to the south. Lake
Patagonia, 10 miles from the town, and Parker Canyon Lake, 40
miles away, provide facilities for fishing, boating, camping and
picnicking. Less than 20 miles from Patagonia are numerous
ghost towns. There are five art galleries in Patagonia which feature
many local artists.
The Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Sanctuary, with its 300 species of
birds, is visited by people from all over the world. Santa Cruz
County has many National Register sites, two of which are of the
Spanish colonial period. Tumacacori National Monument was
visited by Father Kino in 1691, but its period of greatest activity
began 100 years later and continued until about 1821. The
ruins, grounds, and museum, administered by the National Park
Service, are open to the public. Tubac Presidio, a Spanish colonial
site valuable as a microcosm of Southern Arizona before
statehood is now a State Historic Park. The village was first settled
by Indian farmers, then by Spanish missionaries, soldiers,
and farmers. It was the repeated victim of Apache raids for
approximately 100 years. In 1854, American mining interests
established themselves in the adobe ruins.
Another National Register site, the Old Tubac Schoolhouse was
built in 1885. Other nearby historic sites are Calabasas, an Indian
village, and Guevavi Mission Ruins, the center of Jesuit mission
activities in Arizona.