Presidio of Santa Cruz

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Presidio of Santa Cruz (1776-1780) - A Spanish Presidio established in 1776 by Irish mercenary, Hugh O'Conor in present day Cochise County, Arizona. Abandoned in 1780. Also known as Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate and Quiburi Presidio.

Presidio of Santa Cruz History

A Spanish Presidio established in 1776 by Irish mercenary, Hugh O'Conor, as part of a network of presidios and missions in present day southern Arizona. These presidios were under constant attack from hostile Apache Indians and were unable to adequately protect themselves much less build and protect any surrounding missions. The southern Arizona presidios included:

The last commander of the Presidio of Santa Cruz summarized the reasons for abandoning that post:

"The terror instilled in the troops and settlers of the presidio of Santa Cruz that had seen two captains and more than eighty men perish at the hands of the enemies in the open rolling ground at a short distance from the post, and the incessant attacks which they suffered from the numerous bands of Apache, who do not permit cultivation of the crops, who surprise the mule trains carrying effects and supplies, who rob the horse herds and put the troops in the situation of not being able to attend their own defense, making them useless for the defense of the province."

The post was abandoned by 1780.

Current Status

In the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Cochise County, Arizona. A stone foundation and a few adobe wall remnants are all that remain. A 1.2 mile hike from the parking area.


Location: San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Cochise County, Arizona.

Maps & Images

Lat: 31.7509224 Long: -110.2020216

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