Tubac author Shaw Kinsley has a passion for history and writing. Sticking to his motto, “to treasure the past, educate the present and inspire the future,” he has a new book out highlighting his passion for history and his interest in historic Tubac, the place he’s called home since 1997.
His book, “Tubac,” is from Arcadia Publishing and is part of the “Images of America” series. The book features more than 200 vintage images of Tubac and the outlying areas with informational cutlines describing each image.
First inhabited by indigenous people, Tubac has been home to a number of cultures, examples of which can be found in Kinsley’s book. Tubac became Arizona’s first European settlement when the Presidio de San Ignacio de Tubac was established in 1752. Tubac took its first steps as an art colony when Dale Nichols started an art school in the village in 1948 and when the Santa Cruz Valley Art Association was founded in 1959.
A longtime member of the Tubac Historical Society, as well as an archivist, librarian and collector of rare books, Kinsley was the obvious choice as the author of “Tubac” when an Arcadia editor contacted the Tubac Historical Society more than a year ago asking for an author.
His interest in Tubac’s history started when his parents discovered it in 1962 and bought their first house there in 1974. His maternal grandparents also moved there in 1983. Kinsley lived and worked in New York City, from 1974, in the menswear industry, until 1988, when he decided to pursue a degree in library science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s lived in Tubac full-time since 1997, with the exception of one year while earning a master’s degree from Oxford University.
Particularly interested in rare books, manuscripts and photographs, Kinsley was delighted by the opportunity to compile and edit this photographic history of Tubac. He spent months collecting old photos and images and researching his book.
In his final chapter, “Artistic Tubac,” he writes: “I am most indebted to a collection of recordings and transcripts of oral histories conducted by the Tubac Historical Society in the 1980s. These remarkable documents illuminate the personalities of the people responsible for the creation of modern Tubac.”
Kinsley is an active volunteer for the Tubac Historical Society, serving on the board of directors as treasurer and editing their newsletter. He hopes this work will bring back fond memories and inspire the telling of more colorful stories about Tubac. Shaw regards the book as a gift to the people of Tubac and hopes it captures some of the magic that has characterized Tubac.
Arcadia is best known for its popular Images of America series, which chronicles the history of communities from across the U.S. With more than 200 vintage black-and-white photographs, each title celebrates a town or region, bringing to life the people, places, and events that defined the community.
Since its inception in 1993, the Images of America series has preserved and shared the history of hundreds of individual communities throughout the country.
Kinsley will be signing books during the Anza Day celebration on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Tubac Historical Society table at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. From 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on the same day, he will be at TJ’s Tortuga Books and Coffee Beans at the Mercado de Baca in Tubac.
Kinsley will also have for sale postcards printed by Arcadia featuring 15 of the vintage photographs from his book. A portion of the royalties from the sale of Kinsley’s book go to the Tubac Historical Society.