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El Tiradito

An aging adobe enclosure embraces the history of many legends and miracles. It is called “El Tiradito – The Castaway/The Fallen One”. The people of Barrio Viejo and El Hoyo will tell you that this sacred place holds special powers.

It is a place of many legends, some of which you will read in this pamphlet. Some are over 100 years old and some are still to be spun. It is the nature of shrines to inspire great imaginations. Almost all the legends involve love triangles, tragedy, and great sorrow. But one constant seems to endure. If you light a candle, and it stays lit overnight, your wish will be granted.

El Tiradito’s very existence empowered the people to save the shrine and in doing so, it saved their barrio. In 1971 the City of Tucson proposed an expressway, The Butterfield Express, that would cut through three historic neighborhoods: Armory Park, Barrio Historico (Viejo), and El Hoyo. It seemed at first that nothing could stop the government and its plans for “progress”. But in the words of El Tiradito Foundation, the residents “refused to accept this fate for their homes and for their beloved shine. They rallied to the cause…” La Placita Committee, Los Tucsonenses and residents began to work to save the shrine and stop the federally funded freeway. With the nomination of El Tiradito to the National Register of Historic Places their effort was successful. Thereafter, the legislature placed a moratorium on inner-city freeway projects in the state of Arizona. Now children still have the opportunity to learn in the historic Carrillo School. We can all have a peek in the past at La Pilita, Carmen Teatro, San Cosme, and the historic barrio rowhouses which have been saved.

Download pdf-El tiradito Brochure

Photos of El Tiradito

Perez Park The small park located south of the museum hosts four interpretive signs and an iconic mural. A sundial sits in the southwestern corner and is visited periodical by geocaching visitors. A small cacti demo garden is located on the west side of the park. In the spring and summer the park is brilliantly bathed in wildflowers, which frame the mural on the south side of the building.

Download pdf-La Pilita Brochure


It is the mission of La Pilita Association to restore and maintain the historical integrity of La Pilita site and to develop it as a center for research and learning of regional history. It will serve as an extended classroom for students, the neighborhood, and the Tucson Community providing a deeper understanding of early Tucson.


  • President: Elsmarie DeMars
  • Vice President: Jean Schroeder, PhD
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Amelia Muñoz


  • Chris Ducsai
  • Ed Flores
  • Alice Galvan
  • Virginia Gray
  • Kim Hilty
  • Vanessa Seaney
  • Josie Zapata

The board of Directors holds monthly meetings which are open to the public. While meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30pm here at the museum, it is best to check ahead to make sure. If you wish to attend call (520) 882-7454 and a museum staff will verify the date and time of the meeting.


The museum is staffed by two part time directors. The museum relies heavily on volunteers to handle the gallery, tienda and day-to-day greeting of visitors.

  • Carol Cribbet-Bell, Executive Director
  • Joan Daniels, Development/Education Director


The two major fund raising events for the museum are held annually in October. The museum auction of chairs painted by local artists, “Take a Seat Tucson” is a crowd pleasing night of fun and great art. The Patio T-shirt Sale featuring the work of local designer Nancy Lenches is the one of the most popular sales in Tucson.


The museum counts among its collections:

  • The original Las Posadas photos from the Betty Segerstrom Collection
  • “Barrio Memories” -over 100 oral history transcriptions from residents of Barrio Viejo and surrounding areas
  • Red Bently Bottle Collection-Main and 18th excavation
TUCSON, AZ 85701

(520) 882-7454
Thursday and Friday
Saturday and Sunday
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Closed: Monday - Wednesday
ADMISSION FREE -Suggested $2 donation

Field trip fees-call the museum at 882-7454

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From Camino Real to Main Ave
Oral Histories of Barrio Viejo

Saturday March 29th
11am - 3pm
Southwest Garden Concepts will bring a trailer full of pottery! Mark your calendars.
THANK YOU SPONSORS: Tucson Federal Credit Union, El Minuto Restaurant, Alexandra Miller, C.P.A., The Zapata Law Firm, Community Partnership of Southern AZ, and The DeMARS GROUP, INC.



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