Day 4: Tucson History, Vintage Cars & Copper Mines

Women lived with husbands and children at the fort.

Today I began my day with history at the Presidio San Agustin Del Tucson Museum. This is a re-creation of a fort from 1775 reflecting the Spanish influence of the area. This fort showed actual living conditions of the times.

Military Bunks

Inside the fort walls a 2400 year old pit was discovered during archaeologic digs. Fascinating to see. Post tour there is more area history available in the museum adjacent to the gift shop .

And across the street from the museum is the Old Town Artisans which features shops and intriguing food venues. Even if not hungry for food or retail the building is a must see. They have music and even a koi pond center stage.

For anyone who is a lover of vintage cars stop by the Franklin Museum. This museum was beyond my every expectation. Luckily, I caught it on the last open day for the season.

A docent who had restored many of the vehicles displayed gave an hour long tour. Franklin’s were an upstate New York company which were in business from 1906 to 1934. They are known for air cooled engines and aluminum bodies. 400,000 were made and 200,000 remain in existence. The docent stated many of the vehicles have required no maintenance except for a valve job. Here are a couple of my favorites.

1908 -The only Franklin truck ever made.


Wise owner..

This is a 1910 touring vehicle with 6300 miles on it. During WW II when metals were being reclaimed for military purposing the owner hid this beauty in his Cazenovia, New York barn under bales of hay.

There are 3 garages of these gems. It is a marvelous collection. Maybe Jay Leno needs to do a show here?.

Great Food

Finally ready to eat I stopped by Tacos El Tinaco, a taco truck next to the car wash on Navajo and Fort Lowell Road, Tucson. What a tasty fare. Amazing caramelos. Note my smiling chef.

Final stop for the day was the copper mining plant of Asarco Mineral Center in Sahuarita, AZ.

Main Processing Plant



Here I saw how copper is mined from ore and all the items which need copper for construction. Besides wiring, musical instruments, glasses (yes, the eye ones), copper is also in many kitchen related items.

Vehicles that carry ore have 11 foot tires.

The first step in the process is locating the copper among the ore. Samples from drilling sites are given to geologists who examine these samples and make decisions as to locations to dynamite. Once the area is dynamited gravel is taken to be ground via enormous trucks. After grinding a filtering of the ground particles occur via a water bath to remove the copper and other elements.

Filtering the copper from the ore via a water bath.

The copper is then formed into several hundred pound sheets and sold to vendors for use in their products.

Now I was wondering what happens to the land around the pit? The good news is it is reclaimed and planted over to make a more aesthetic area.

Land in the process of recycling

Stay tuned..

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