ARE WE AT THE WILD WILD WEST?
Bisbee Travel Blog› entry 10 of 18 › view all entries
November 8th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
WHERE ARE WE GOING!??!!? BISBEE?!?!?? WHERE?!?!?
On the way to Bisbee, I get a call from Harriet. I was driving so I gave my cell to Erin. Harriet was waiting and looking for us. Erin was like “um Harriet we have already left and we are behind Nate and Keith” I high beamed the others to pull over to wait for the others. We all hung out until everybody arrived. Jim and Dan rode together. Adrian, Robyn, Donny, and Liz rode together, and we found out Lani, Megan and Dante did not join us.
We all had a snack pit stop. Jim whipped out his Kahlua brownies and Brett whipped out his caramel waffle cookies. We all shared goodies and took more photos of the convoy. 5 cars and one Harley.
It was another 30mins away. It was about 12 miles from the Mexican border. We stopped at a lookout point over the town of Bisbee. We took more photos of the group. They we all drove in town. It was a cute little town. We parked and we walked around. I found an ice cream shop but there was no sugar free flavor. We just walked across the street to take photos at the mining carts. Bisbee is a mining town with plenty of history. Then Erin realized that it was almost 3pm and we had to go change and get my gifts and “this drink is for” signs. Dinner was at 7pm and I wanted to shower and rest for a bit.
Erin and Brett passed out for a bit.
MORE TO ADD AS I REMEMBER. MORE FROM ERIN’S BLOG, BRETT'S BLOG, DONNY'S BLOG, AND LIZ'S BLOG
HISTORY OF BISBEE
Bisbee is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 82 miles (132 km) southeast of Tucson.
Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold, and silver mining town in 1880, and named in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine.
In 1929, the county seat was moved from Tombstone, Arizona to Bisbee, where it remains.
Mining in the Mule Mountains proved quite successful: in the early 20th century the population of Bisbee soared. Incorporated in 1902, by 1910 its population swelled to 9,019 and it sported a constellation of suburbs, including Warren, Lowell, and San Jose, some of which had been founded on their own (ultimately less successful) mines.
High quality turquoise was a by-product of the copper mining and has been promoted as Bisbee Blue. Bisbee is noted for the astounding variety of copper-based minerals and the superb specimens that have been taken from its mines. Bisbee specimens can be found in museums worldwide. Cuprite, aragonite, wulfenite, malachite, azurite, and galena are just a few of the myriad variety of minerals that have been found underneath the town.
In 1917, the Phelps Dodge Corporation deported 1,185 suspected Industrial Workers of the World miners. This followed a similar incident earlier that year in central Arizona, the Jerome Deportation.
Mining decline and closure
By 1950, boom times were over and the population of the City of Bisbee had dropped to less than 6,000, but the introduction of open-pit mining and continued underground work would see the town escape the fate of many of its early contemporaries.
Bisbee, Arizona. 1916.
The sudden flood of real estate onto the market and crash in housing prices, coupled with an attractive climate and picturesque scenery, led to Bisbee's subsequent rebirth as an artists' colony. The rediscovery of Bisbee by baby boomers in the 1990s saw it develop a more polished look, complete with coffee shops and live theater. Many of the old houses have been renovated, and property values in Bisbee now greatly exceed those of other Southeastern Arizona cities.
Today, the original city of Bisbee is known as "Old Bisbee," and is home to a thriving downtown cultural scene.
In the May-June 2000 issue of Modern Maturity, the AARP highlighted the what they called the most 'alive' places to retire in the U.S. Bisbee was a runner-up as one of the "quirkiest" towns in America.
Bisbee is noted for its gay-friendliness, and its Gay Pride Days is considered one of the top 5 rural Gay Prides in the United States by the online site at gay.
The "City of Bisbee" now includes the historic downtown Bisbee, as well as the geographically spaced but administratively combined satellite communities of Warren, Lowell, and San Jose. The Lowell and Warren townsites were founded around their own mining subdivisions before being purchased in large part by Phelps Dodge and then consolidated into Bisbee-proper during the early part of the twentieth century. There are also smaller neighborhoods interspersed between these larger boroughs including Galena, Bakerville, Tintown, South Bisbee, Briggs and Saginaw.
Warren has the distinction of being Arizona's first planned community. Although there were mines operating in the vicinity, it was primarily designed as a bedroom community for the more affluent citizens of the mining district. The centrally located Vista Park and its adjacent downtown area at one time comprised a thriving center of commerce. Warren boasts a fine collection of Arts and Crafts style bungalow houses, many of which are historically registered and can be visited by the public during the city's annual home tour. Since the exit of mining in the 1970s, Warren has seen a steady decline in its standard of living, but its residential district still houses a significant portion of the population and it boasts ownership of many public services including City Hall, Greenway Elementary School, Bisbee High School, and the historic Warren Ballpark.
Lowell was at one time a sizable mining town located just to the southeast of Old Bisbee.
San Jose, on the southern side of the Mule Mountains, is the most modern of the city's subdivisions, and has seen the most new growth in the last two decades as it is not restricted by mountains. Named after a nearby Mexican mountain peak, it hosts many newer county government buildings, Huachuca Terrace Elementary School, and a large shopping center.
Resurgence of mining industry
In 2007, in what has been noted as the world's biggest-ever mining takeover, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold bought Phelps Dodge Mining and has begun some preliminary work in the area.
The 1000-Stair Climb is a five kilometer run through Bisbee that goes up and down 1,034 stairs. Because much of Old Bisbee is built in the hills of the Mule Mountains, many of the houses can’t be reached by car. Billed as "The most unique physical fitness challenge in the USA!" by the organizers, it includes being serenaded by musicians at various locations among the stairs. The event has grown to include the Ice Man Competition, designed to honor the history of men delivering blocks of ice by hand before the advent of refrigeration. In the Ice Man Competition, entrants race up 153 steps carrying an eight-pound block of ice with antique ice tongs.
Naco and Bisbee Junction
Naco, Arizona is a small unincorporated border community some three miles south of the San Jose district of Bisbee.
Bisbee Junction (formerly Osborn or Osborn Junction) is located four miles south of Warren. It was originally a railroad siding where ore trains from the Bisbee mines joined with the main Southern Pacific rail line. A Southern Pacific depot and U.S. Post Office building originally stood at the railroad junction, but it was closed in the late 1950s and eventually razed soon afterwards. A dance hall, Elks country club and small dry goods store were once located near the depot, and the settlement was once home to several cattle ranches and dairies. The Arizona Cactus Botanical Garden was located in Bisbee Junction.
Bisbee is located at [show location on an interactive map] 31°25′6″N 109°53′52″W / 31.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²), all of it land.
Sites of interest
* Cochise County Courthouse is built in the art deco style.
* Copper Queen Mine, was once a major copper producer and can be toured daily
* Phelps Dodge General Office Building, a National Historic Landmark, now the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
* The Lavender Pit is an inactive open pit mine site in the center of the city.
* The Warren Ballpark, a baseball stadium built in 1909, has housed a number of professional teams and may be the baseball's oldest park still in use.
* The Thomas Ranch, a family-owned and operated beef cattle ranch since 1902, the year Bisbee was incorporated.
* Professional: Bisbee/Douglas Copper Kings (1928-1955) (2003) Baseball
* Semi-Professional: Bisbee Kings (2006-) Baseball
* Joanna Brady is the protagonist of a series of mystery novels by author J. A. Jance, centered on Bisbee and surrounding desert-mountain-border areas.
* It is one of the towns robbed by the "Butcher Bandit" in Clive Cussler's 2007 novel, The Chase.
* In 2000, the low-budget William Shatner film Groom Lake was filmed in Bisbee and surrounding areas, using many local residents as extras.
* In the 1990 film Young Guns II, the New York City classroom from which Pinkteron agents drag reformed outlaw Doc Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) is actually in Bisbee's historic district.
* It is featured in the 1957 film 3:10 to Yuma and its 2007 remake.
* In the double-Oscar winning 1997 film L.A. Confidential, actress Kim Basinger plays Lynn Bracken, a Veronica Lake look-a-like beauty originally from Bisbee.
* In the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of the previously alien-abducted characters who was returned to earth at Devil's Tower is identified as "John DeLorean, Bisbee, Arizona".
* The song "Bisbee Blue" was included on the 2006 Calexico album, Garden Ruin.
* The 1956-1958 TV series Sheriff of Cochise was set in and around Bisbee, legal seat of Cochise County.
* On the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode originally aired December 5, 2005, Bisbee is visited by Larry David. The city's name is misspelled "Bisby" in the episode.
* On the television show Supernatural, in the episode "Skin," Dean claimed to be a police detective from Bisbee.
* The Stephen King 2006 made-for-television film Desperation was filmed around Tucson and Bisbee, using several extras from Bisbee itself, including Mayor Ron Oertle.
* Don Frye �" mixed martial arts fighter.
* Jess Hartley �" author
* Earl Hindman �" actor best known for portraying Wilson W. Wilson Jr. on the sitcom Home Improvement, was born in Bisbee in 1942.
* Katie Lee �" singer and writer. She made a Lady Godiva-style bicycle ride through downtown Bisbee.
* Richard Shelton �" author
* Doug Stanhope �" comedian
* Jack Williamson �" science fiction writer, born April 29, 1908 in Bisbee.
* Peter Young �" artist
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