Tucson Mormon Heritage Festival
The Tucson Mormon Heritage Festival
Remembering Tucson’s Veterans and Pioneers Scheduled for November 9th
Standing in the middle of downtown Tucson, not far from the Pima County Courthouse, is the monument to the Mormon Battalion, remembering the first time the United States military came to the Old Pueblo in 1846. They were the only religious unit to serve in the American military and their trek of 2,000 miles was the longest continual march in U.S. history.
A number of the 500 men, women, and children were impressed with what they saw in Arizona. One of them, Erastus Bingham, returned with his family years later and settled the area along the Rillito River, which was running in those days, near Ft. Lowell and Alvernon Roads. Of the hundreds of early Mormon pioneers that came to Tucson in the early 1900’s, many of them were refugees, chased out of Northern Mexico by Pancho Villa. The Binghamstook many of them in, helped them start their own farms and helped them get settled in a community which became known as Binghampton.
In honor of these early settlers of Pima County, their families, and our veterans, the Arizona Historical Society’s Fort Lowell Museum is sponsoring TheTucson Mormon Heritage Festival, a free event open to the public.
Bette Richards, curator at the Museum is the director of the event. She has enlisted the help of Randy and Kathy Madsen to tell the story of the Mormon Battalion. Duane Bingham, will provide historical presentations of Binghampton. There will be many other booths and demonstrations including the history of theearly Hispanic Mormons in the Tucson area;rope-making and lassoing; frontier activities for children, such as games, a kid’s rodeo and doll making; a cowboy poet; spinning and hand weaving; family history experts; a mining demonstration, and the Fort Lowell Museum will be open to the public.
The event will include music throughout the day, culminating with the traditional 4th Regiment Cavalry Band, followed by a presentation by Ted Vogt, director of the Arizona Veterans Administration followed by the striking of the colors at 3:30 PM. The activity is planned for Saturday, November 9th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, at the Ft. Lowell Park at 2900 N Craycroft in Tucson.
Organizer :Bette Richards