Cemetery

Jose Juan V. Soto, who died in 1925, was one of more recent people to be buried at the Calabasas Cemetery in Rio Rico. The cemetery will be part of the next Rio Rico history bus tour in March.

The Rio Rico Historical Society’s spring bus tour, set for Friday, March 27, will visit six historic places in Rio Rico, including one not previously visited during the society’s twice-yearly tours.

During the trip, which meets at 9:30 a.m. at Rio Rico Community Center, 391 Avenida Coatimundi and departs at 10 a.m., tour director Larry Brown will share the history of the area. In addition, retired geologist Chris Novak will explain the unique geology of Rio Rico and the evolution of the Santa Rita Mountains.

The first stop is the San Cayetano Calabazas Mission, established in 1755. Then comes a visit – and lunch break – at the historic Hacienda Corona de Guevavi.

The new destination for this tour is the Historic Calabasas Cemetery, which was originally a military cemetery where 40 soldiers who died of malaria at nearby Fort Mason were buried.

The cemetery, which has graves dating from the 1860s to 1950s, lay abandoned and neglected for years until local resident and veteran David Goodman launched an effort to clean it up. He’ll lead the visit to this site.

Then, the tour will make two brief stops at locations where the Rio Rico Historical Society has erected historic monuments: The Calabasas Town Site and the site of the 50th Anniversary Rio Rico Historic Monument.

Next comes a stop at the Historic Valle Verde Ranch in Tubac, followed by a visit to the Rio Rico History Museum in the Rio Rico Shopping Center, where participants will be treated to drinks and snacks and a chance to see the new exhibit, “The Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa.”

The tour ends at approximately 5 p.m., with the bus returning participants to the Rio Rico Community Center.

The cost of the trip is $40 for historical society members and $45 for non-members. Lunch is included in the price.

For reservations, contact Brown at rrscamp678@gmail.com or Helen Serras-Herman (520) 761-9907. Additional information available at RioRicoHistoricalSociety.org.

(From a news release submitted by Helen Serras-Herman, president of the Rio Rico Historical Society.)

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