Arizona : The Good Oak Tree
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In 1736, thousands of pounds of silver were found in the hills 40 miles southwest of the Tumacacori Mission. Prospectors rushed to the site. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza (senior) arrived to determine whether the silver was a natural deposit, available to prospectors, or a treasure – property of the King of Spain. Many letters were issued from a nearby ranch known as “Arizona”, meaning “the good oak (tree)” in its Basque owner’s native tongue. In the end, the silver went to the prospectors. The “silver of Arizona” became legendary throughout the region.
120 years later, promoters of a new U.S. territory chose the name “Arizona” for what would, in 1912, become the 48th state.
The Santa Cruz River Valley of southeastern Arizona contains wonderful natural areas.
Patagonia Lake State Park
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve