As of 12/16/04 I am pointing out with bold the requirements.
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
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
"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
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
Benchmark hunters can also get CZ1976
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 http://www.geocaching.com/my
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