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San Xavier del Bac Virtual Cache

Hidden : 10/13/2004
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:

San Xavier del Bac (added 1966 - Building - #66000191 National Registry)
To claim this virtual cache, you need to upload a photo of yourself with GPSr in front of the church. From the parking lot, not a mile away.

As of 12/16/04 I am pointing out with bold the requirements. Thanks
The Sobaipuri Indians had a farming village here when the spanish pioneer Father Eusebio Francisco Kino first came here in 1691. Father Kino is a figure that looms large in the early history of the southwest. The Spanish then called their northern frontier the Pimeria Alta, an area now encompassing southern Arizonaand the state of Sonora, Mexico. As a representative of the Jesuit order Father Kino was responsible for establishing a chain of missions extending north into the wilderness. Among the northernmost of these were Tumacacori and San Xavier del Bac. He ordered the construction of a church at the indian village of Bac. Although foundations were laid the structure was never completed. Sometimes later a modest church was indeed built , but nothing now remains. The first structure was likely ruined by the Pima indians in their revolt of November 1751.

It is apparently in 1783 when the foundations for the current structure were laid out by Father Juan Bautista Velderrain after borrowing the amount of 7,000 pesos for the construction. Father Velderrain died at San Xavier in 1789 or 1790. Thus it was Father Jaun Bautista Llorenz who completed the bulk of construction. It is known that the church was substantially complete by 1797.

In 1767 the tenure of the Jesuits in Mexico came to and end, victim of the politics of the spanish court in Spain. On June 25, 1767 the order arrived in Mexico City that the Jesuits were to be expelled from their mexican holdings. Thus the missions of the Pimeria Alta entered control of the Franciscan order and Father Francisco Hermenegildo Garces arrived at Bac on June 29, 1768.

The land along the Santa Cruz was good farmland but there was the constant menace of raiding Apaches. Living in the surrounding mountains the Apaches regarded the missions and the indian farming settlements as good targets for raids. They would take food, cattle, horses and women. When colonizing the area the Spanish established a chain of "Presidios". These were a combination fort and administrative center used to establish control of the region. Presidios were built at Tubac and under where present day downtown Tucson now stands. From these strongholds the Spanish would mount punitive raids against the Apaches, often with soldiers and members of the allied indian tribes that also regarded the Apaches as enemies. But the Apaches were not to be deterred for long and raiding continued into the mid 19th century when the Apaches were defeated by the U.S. Army.

Because of the climate, the Apache raids and ebbing support from Spain, Spanish civilization grew ever more tenuous in the Pimeria Alta. When revolution swept Mexico in 1810 and a succession of new governments took power in Mexico City the priesthood was thrown into turmoil. Eventually the mission was abandoned and visited only irregularly by priests. For the better part of a century the building suffered from neglect.

In 1854 the area became the territory of the United States with the ratification of the Gadsen purchace. In 1859 the Catholic Church sent Father Joseph Projectus Machebeuf from St. Louis to San Xavier del Bac. There he surveyed the area and performed basic repairs on the church, saving it from destruction by the elements. In 1864, as U.S. control of the area increased, two priests, Father Aloysius Luis Maria Bosco and Father Carolus Evasius Messea, again took-up residence at Tucson and San Xavier . Ever since the building has served as a place of worship. In 1873 a school was set up by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Papago indians run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the Papago indians. A school still operates in these buildings today.

The building was heavily restored by Bishop Henry Granjon in 1906 and 1907, repairing the damage of a century of neglect as well as damage from the earthquake 1887. Bishop Granjon repaired the mortuary chapel, plastered and white-washed the main building and added the wall in front of the convento on the west side of the church.

The building has undergone recent restoration since the late 1980's and continuing today. Restoration experts from Europe have worked on the building and trained local artisans in the techniques of restoration to continue the work. The apse and side chapels are essentially complete with work continuing along the nave by the main entrance. This restoration has again sealed the structure of the domes against moisture and centuries of soot has been cleaned from the paintings adorning the walls and ceilings. The result is dramatic in the brightness and clarity of the colors and images.

"Biography of a Desert Church: The Story of Mission San Xavier Del Bac" by Bernard Fontana. Published in Tucson by the Tucson Corral of the Westerners, The Smoke Signal, no. 3 (revised, 1996), pp. 1-68. Copies of the fully-illustrated softcover book are available from the publisher at 4968 E. South Regency Circle, Tucson, AZ 85711 [phone 520/745-2793

Again, to claim this cache submit/upload a photo of yourself with GPSr in front of the church.
No Photoshop'd images please..
This is an amazing place and well worth the visit.

This is on Indian Reservation so please, do not leave things behind..

Benchmark hunters can also get CZ1976 and CZ1975 while here.

If you do not upload an image for your log within one week of the find date, your log is subject to deletion.

To upload an image to a cache log:

After you post a log to the cache page you'll need to click the link next to it that says 'view/edit log on a seperate page'. Click the 'upload image' link and follow the instructions for uploading your picture.

If you go to then look for the find log about San Xavier del Bac, on the right hand side you will see 'Visit Log' click this and then on the top right area of your log you will see 'Upload an Image for this log' from here is should be fairly easy.

Appears this is also becoming like my other virtual caches. Logs and no images.. So as of 05/13/11 - I have removed many logs in the last few years because people fail to upload images. It makes me feel like a smuck! So I am going to implement a new policy.. If more than one week passes from the date of the log and no image is uploaded. I am removing the log without emailing the person who claimed to have visited.. Thank you for understanding.

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