CHAPTER XX. THE KNELL OF PARTING POWER—THE TOLLING OF A CONTRITE BELL...


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THE KNELL OF PARTING POWER—THE TOLLING OF A CONTRITE BELL—ALONE WITH THE SPIRITS OF CENTURIES—TUBAC—THE MISSION RUINS OF SAINT JOSEPH—TUMACACORI—THE SANTA CRUZ VALLEY.

TUCSON is the northern limit to these old missions in the Territory of Arizona; but to the west, in California, they may be found as far north as San Francisco, where the mission Dolorés is located.

One does not have to go far from the mission San Xavier Del Bac, before he comes upon another of these modern ruins. South, a few miles from Tubac, is located the old mission ruins of the Saint Joseph Mission of Tumacacori. Many matters of interest are connected with this mission. The interests in all are very diversified. Some will tell of frightful obstacles at the time of the establishing of them, and others will tell of a series of constant tribulation. The history of them as far as the church is concerned, is but comparatively little known except by that church. The

OLD MISSION RUINS OF TUMACACORI.


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church of Tumacacori is in total ruins, it having been effectually destroyed by the Apaché Indians some years ago. The ruins stand about three miles back from the town of Tubac, in the valley of the Santa Cruz: and the history of this mission can perhaps only be equalled by the interesting facts that exist concerning every section and every object in the whole valley. These missions, or the place of their location has always been selected with some special interest in point of rich mineral or agricultural lands—perhaps for the better pecuniary support of the cause. This is particularly the case with this region of the Santa Cruz. This valley and its surroundings have been dwelt upon for both its richness and beauty, by all writers; and perhaps none the less for the diversity of its changes and hardships, than for its riches. Perhaps the very richness was the cause. It is this region that the story is told of the Padré and the saltcellar, in exemplification of the vast silver deposits in the mountains about. The Padré had received a fellow Padré on a visit. Everything had been gotten that it was thought would please and show respect. At dinner one thing was missing, however, that attracted the guest's notice. This was a salt cellar. He made known his grievance to the host. The host being much mortified, apologized for not having one in his possession. Stopping to think for a moment, he finally


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said he would have one in a very few moments. He immediately despatched one of his subjects to the mountains near at hand to procure some silver ore. The man returned in less than half an hour with a quantity of ore from which a solid silver salt-cellar was moulded, and the fastidity of the sacred guest satisfied. It is well known that years ago, there was, within a radius of sixteen miles, one hundred and fifty silver mines. Broken remnants of the furnaces, crucibles, etc. etc., used in smelting, may yet be seen in and about the ruins.

The valley of the Santa Cruz cannot be over-estimated for its beauty and fertility; and when conditions become at all stable in this country, it will rapidly assume to one of the Eldoradoes of the Territory. As varied in its beauty, and rich in both its agriculture and mineral resources, so has equally been its reversions; and as rapidly almost as pen could tell them. Cozzens, in his ‘‘Marvelous Country,’’ says it was a ‘‘“very attractive place, with its peach orchards, and its pomegranates.”’’ This was in 1860. No sooner had he these words out of his mouth, than our civil war put an end to enterprise here; turned progress and ambition into scenes of strife and bloodshed; and converted a thriving and promising present into a dark and abject future. Prof. Pumpelly describes Tubac as a ‘‘restored ruins of an old village.’’ Tubac to-day is


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A STREET SCENE OF ADOBE SPANISH RESIDENCES.


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a mass of adobé ruins; but with the development of the mines in and about the region, which is promised by the Toltec Syndicate of mines, of San Francisco, we may look for a rapid transition.

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