In January, we spent the month at Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona. While there, we took a day to drive to Bisbee and Tombstone. Before we went, we scheduled a tour of the Copper Queen Mine. Since we scheduled the first tour of the day, and Bisbee was about two hours away, we left Rincon before dawn. The drive to Bisbee took us through some beautiful country.
In the 1800s, prospectors flocked to Bisbee in search of gold. What they also found, but didn’t expect, was copper – and lots of it! Thus became the mining boom and explosion of people coming to Bisbee. Bisbee became home to the Copper Queen Mine.
By the early 1900s, Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, with a population of over 20,000. Not only was Bisbee home to the usual mining town establishments like saloons and brothels, it was also the home of the nation’s oldest ballfield, Warren Ballpark, which is still in use today. In addition to the ballpark, Arizona’s first golf course (Turquoise Valley), and the state’s first community library (Copper Queen), all called Bisbee home, and still do.
By 1917, underground mining was being phased out for the safer open-pit mining, and what is now known as the Lavender Pit Mine opened.
As is also often the case, by the mid-1970s, many local businesses closed as residents moved to other locations in search of work. However, an influx of so-called “free spirits” moved in and the town experienced a renaissance. Today, Bisbee is home to artists and musicians, as well as historical and architectural locations, and this makes for a community full of outdoor activities, dining and nightlife.
Before heading out of town, north to Tombstone, we drove east to check out the Lavender Pit Mine and the town of Lowell. Just driving around town, you see the antique vehicles lining the street. Definitely worth the trip!
The sights around Bisbee and Lowell
Heading back toward Tucson, we made our way to Tombstone, home of the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral. It was so interesting to walk on the same boardwalk Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers walked so many years ago.
We purchased our tickets for the show and then had lunch at the O.K. Cafe, which had outdoor dining available. We had about an hour before the show started, so we walked up and down the main street, stopping here and there to take in the sites. Since we were still in the age of COVID, we opted to play it safe and do mostly window shopping as the streets were beginning to get crowded.
Our Sights in Tombstone
If you are in southeastern Arizona, we highly recommend adding a visit to Bisbee and Tombstone be to your list of must-see places.
Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Click here to read about each book in the series and and see her quilt gallery. Click here to check out her Amazon Author Page.