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The Spanish name of the city, Tucsón Tucson was probably first visited by Paleo-Indians, known to have been in southern Arizona about 12,000 years ago.Recent archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River have located a village site dating from 2100 BC.
Tucson was not included originally in the Mexican Cession and Cooke's road through Tucson became one of the important routes into California during the California Gold Rush of 1849.
Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino visited the Santa Cruz River valley in 1692, and founded the Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1700 about 7 mi (11 km) upstream from the site of the settlement of Tucson.
A separate Convento settlement was founded downstream along the Santa Cruz River, near the base of what is now "A" mountain.
Over the following years, the city continued to grow, with the population increasing to 20,292 in 1920 and 36,818 in 1940.
In 2006, the population of Pima County, in which Tucson is located, passed one million, while the City of Tucson's population was 535,000.