Visiting southern part of Arizona. Bisbee is a funny name for a town. This is a bit of a funky town with art galleries and lots of staircases. In fact, there is an annual event that must attract fit people. But first , what ‘s special about Bisbee ? It is an old town and everything was a discovery for us.
“In 1877, a reconnaissance detail of U.S. army scouts and cavalrymen was sent to the Mule Mountains to search the area for renegade Apaches. What civilian tracker Jack Dunn found instead were signs of mineralization indicating the presence of lead, copper and possibly silver. The first mining claim was staked in what would later become the City of Bisbee. The filing of this claim, and a multitude of others sent prospectors and speculators scurrying to the Mule Mountains in hopes of striking it rich. Numerous ore bodies were located, and Bisbee soon became known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps”. Mining in the Mule Mountains was quite successful, and Bisbee proved to be one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing nearly three million ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper, not to mention the silver, lead and zinc that came from these rich lands. By 1974 ore reserves had been depleted and December brought the announcement of the impending closure of mining operations in Bisbee. Phelps Dodge curtailed open pit operations that year and ceased underground operations in 1975.
Bisbee remained an active mining community until the mid-1970’s. When the mine closed, a tremendous shift occurred in the local population. As many mining employees and their families left to pursue work elsewhere, an influx of creative free spirits found Bisbee’s historic district to be an attractive, inspiring, and inexpensive location to settle and pursue their artistic endeavors.”
For us, it was a sunny day walking in the town and taking pictures ( what else I do?) Lots of wall painting . As it was the week-end, there were some tourists but I think the town must be quiet during the week days.
The staircases were interesting. We tried to go up as many as we found. I think we missed only 2 of the 9. Here is the info about the event . If I am not mistaken, this year it will be the 26th year of the Bisbee 1000 The Great Stair Climb. This is the only outdoor stair climb in the U.S. and arguably one of the most unique and challenging events in the world. The 4.5-mile course features nine staircases connected by winding roads that take participants through some of the most scenic parts of Old Bisbee.
We only had one day in the area . And for sure I wanted to visit Tombstone that was only 23 miles north of Bisbee. It will be the topic of my next post.
Thanks for reading.