Sam Hughes Neighborhood National Historic District
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Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association, Tucson, Arizona

Monthly Meeting of the SHNA

The next monthly meeting of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association will be held February 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Himmel Park Library. 

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise announced, Board Meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Look for minutes of recent meetings on the Minutes/Agendas page.

Sam Hughes Maps

How did Himmel Park get its name?

By Carolyn Classen

Himmel Park is named after a pioneer Tucsonan Alvina Himmel Edmondson and her family. Alvina Himmel Edmondson and husband Charles S. Edmondson came from New Orleans, LA to Tucson in 1897 and homesteaded on 160 acres bounded by E. Speedway and Tucson Blvd. They had 4 daughters: Catherine, Grace, Alvina, and Frances. The couple divorced in 1927 (and Charles later died in 1942 in Phoenix.) Alvina Himmel sold part of their homestead to the City of Tucson in 1934 or 1935 with the stipulation that the site be named after the Himmel family, in memory of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Himmel.

Alvina Himmel Edmondson died at age 78 on Jan. 11, 1948 at her redwood home, 2625 E. 1st Street (no longer there) on the land she had homesteaded for 51 years. She was buried at the South Lawn Memorial Park according to her obituary at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St. Tucson.  Her daughter Catherine (died 5/18/73) lived in that same homestead home in Sam Hughes till the early 70's.

By the way, Himmel is the German word for"heaven."

Himmel Park time line:  1934/35 part of Himmel Edmondson homestead land sold to City of Tucson, 1936 pool built by WPA -Works Progress Administration, 1944 City Council purchased more land (3 more blocks) to expand Himmel Park, and start planning for a library, which was finally built in 1961 under Mayor Don Hummel.

I also checked the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Daily Star archives, and found a copy of a 1942 Tucson Citizen photo of this pioneer woman and her original home in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood.

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