Long before the area belonged to the new Republic of Mexico and a part of the State of Sonora, the Marana area was inhabited by the Hohokam Indians, who developed the area?s first irrigated canal system. Following the Gadsden Purchase, when the American flag came to Marana for the first time, the area participated in the gold rush, the western-most battle of the Civil War at Picacho Peak and the expansion of the railroad. Marana, a Spanish word meaning jungle, was named by railroad workers who had to hack their way through dense brush as they worked. Edwin R. Post helped grow Marana by constructing drilling wells, a pumping plant and an extensive irrigation system. Ranching and the railroad formed the backbone of the Marana community until an air base and five Titan missile sites were built in the Marana vicinity and many of the rural roads were paved. In March 1977 the Town of Marana was incorporated.
Today, Marana has transformed from its roots in agriculture to a thriving residential and industrial center in Northwest Tucson. It is a modern town located near numerous attractions in metropolitan Tucson, as well as the world-famous Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the scenic Saguaro National Park and Old Tucson Studios. From Marana, a drive into southern Arizona will find Columbia University?s Biosphere 2 Center, the International Wildlife Museum, Kitt Peak, the Pima Air and Space Museum, Catalina and Picacho Peak State Parks and Kartchner Caverns.
In addition to an outstanding Parks and Recreation Department, Marana has three golf courses for every style of play. Nestled against the scenic foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, the Gallery Golf Club?s North Course is a private course with a limited number of non-member tee times. The Pines Golf Club at Marana is the only public course in Marana although there are several public courses in the surrounding area, including Arthur Pack and Silverbell.
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