“A” Mountain Doesn’t Mean A Mountain In Tucson Arizona
“A” Mountain – Its History and More
A Mountain is not just a mountain in Tucson AZ. “A” Mountain is a specific place. “A” mountain is west of the I-10 Freeway near downtown Tucson. The name of “A” Mountain was Sentinel Mountain or Sentinel Peak. It was a lookout point of the Spanish in the late 1700’s.
That changed in 1915 as a celebration of the victory over Pomona college. Followers of the University of Arizona football team whitewashed a large “A” on it. From that frivolous event, a tradition was born. The “A” is repainted every year at the start of the U of A football season.
On St. Patrick’s Day, it may be green.
And now for the TMI (To Much Information) part of the story.
A Mountain or Sentinel Peak rises 2 897 ft. An underground ridge forced groundwater to the surface. For 4,000 years, Hohokam Indians and farmers used the water for crops. That stopped in the 1930’s.
Tucson was named by the Spanish. Calling it Schook-schon. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino came to the area in the late 1600’s. He, along with other priests found the San Xavier Mission. In 1775, the Presidio of Tucson was built. To protect the Presidio, a sentinel was posted on the top of the peak to search for raiding Apache warriors. Thus the name Sentinal Mountain.
A Mountain is made up of volcanic rock from volcanic activity. Interestingly, A Mountain itself is not a volcano. Layers of volcanic rock extended out west towards the Tucson Mountains and east into the Tucson Basin.
This area is now the City of Tucson. Erosion and faulting are the cause of the mountain’s location in Tucson and its conical shape. “A” mountain has a foundation of volcanic rock that is 20 to thirty million years old.
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