I apologize – I talked about going down to the Mexican border and then in my last post, I talked about Tombstone and I guess I got distracted and forgot all about our road trip the next day on down to Bisbee and Douglas, AZ (at the border).
Bisbee is really a pretty cool little town, reminds me of Jerome in that it’s what some might call “eclectic” with a “touch of whimsy”. The town is built into the side of the mountain and the streets and sidewalks curve and climb up and down the hillside. The main part of downtown (about 6-8 blocks) is lined with all kinds of “artsy” shops along with cafes and brew pubs.
Large deposits of lead, copper, and silver were discovered in the Mule Mountains in 1877 and the area later became the town of Bisbee, and is now the county seat of Coshise County.
Kathy and I toured the Queen Copper Mine (pictures in the slide show below) and our tour guide Jim was a retired miner who put in 43 years working the mine – a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Here’s a short 7 second video showing Kathy and me on the train heading into the mountain about 1200 feet.
By the early 1900’s, driven by the booming mining industry, Bisbee had become the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. With a population of over 20,000 people by the beginning of the century, Bisbee was one of the most cultured cities in the west. The town is still home to the the nation’s (arguably) oldest ballfield (Warren Ballpark), Arizona’s first golf course (Turquoise Valley), and the state’s first community library (Copper Queen), all dating from this period, and all still currently in operation, and open to the public.
Just down the street, on our way from Bisbee to Douglas, we found the ghost town of Lowell. See my next post for info and pictures on that curious place. We didn’t even know it was there, just stumbled upon it – really cool.