A Mountain Community

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A Mountain Community

Settlement of the

The earliest known settlers of the "A" Mountain area were the Hohokam Indians around 300 - 500 AD. During this period the Santa Cruz river was a running river and supplied the native American population with water and good fertile farm land in order to grow their crops.The fate of the Hohokam Tribe and why they disappeared from the area is unclear. In 1692, Spain's Jesuit missionary, Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino came to the area and found the native American O'Odham tribe living at the base of Sentinel Peak, also known as "A" Mountain.

African American Settlers arrived in 1850's

In the 1850's, African American settlers migrated to Tucson. Many came to work for the cotton farming business in Tucson, Sahuarita,Eloy,Casa Grande and Marana. Other African American settlers included prospectors, cowboys, Buffalo Soldiers, cooks, barbers,maids, farmers, miners, and other business professionals.

Homesteading of the

In the Homestead Act of 1862, people were able to migrate west and claim up to 160 acres of land free from the federal government, as long as they improved the property within 5 years of settling on the land. The "A" Mountain neighborhood was first homesteaded in 1922 by an African American man named, Hiram Banks. Mr Banks was a deacon at the Mt Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. Mr Banks divided his homesteaded property in 1938 into lots so African American families could buy and build homes. His subdivision was known as Hiram Banks Acres. Another major land owner in the early years of the neighborhood was James Benefield. He owned and subdivided 3 sections of land in 1940, 1949 and in 1960. Mr. Benefield was also a builder of low cost housing which he marketed to minority veterans after World War II. Helen d'Autremont, a Tucson philanthropist and her State Senator husband, Hubert H. d'Autremont, were also dedicated to building low income housing in the area. Mrs. d'Autremont's legacy to all whose lives she touched was the lesson of stewardship, the obligation of each citizen to be involved in, and concerned for, his or her community. Mrs. d'Autremont donated the land to the City of Tucson for the Fred Archer Neighborhood Center. She also donated the 40 acre parcel of land now known as San Juan Native Desert Park, to the City with a contingent it be left in its natural state. Mr. Benefield donated the land now known as Vista del Pueblo park located on San Marcos Blvd and San Jacinto Blvd. All information gathered from "History Paints a Beautiful Picture" a report on the "A" Mountain History for the Casa Alegre Mural project, which is located on the corner of San Juan Trail and Mission Road.


About our association

A Mountain Community Association Office

Chairperson Betty Howard

Vice Chair Barbara Elfbrandt
Treasurer Ellen Davis
Recorder Patricia Donnelly

Neighborhood Advocate

Richard Sherman

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