This renovated 1904 Clock Tower is one of the landmarks of Bisbee. Sitting up on a hill, it is prominent and historic. It has jade green cupola and a sphere. access to it is easy as one strolls by the Brewery Gulch. When my sister visited, we strolled up and admired its architecture and the view of the town from there.
Except for the new renovation and painting, the building looks the same as it did in 1904 in a photo I saw at St. Elmo. Like many building in Bisbee, it is no longer a Clock tower castle, it was converted into an apartment building.
Its history is very interesting; the castle was built by a Swiss immigrant named Joseph Muheim for the Knights of Pythias.
As much as I hate going under water, I hate going underground more. But to conquer my fear, I have recently been trying to go on tours underground, starting with the tour of the Carlsbad Caverns in 2010. So I'm not afraid to admit that in 2008 when I had the chance to tour the Queen Mine in Bisbee, I did not take it because my fear got the best of me.
Well, I have since gotten better at managing my fear (smile!). My daughter on the other hand is growing to be a dear devil, taking the opportunity to do everything that causes me to get goose bumps. The Mine is cold, so wear something warm, or carry one with you. My husband will tell you it is not cold, but that is because he is from Missouri and he is White, he does not get as cold as I do. Many black people will tell you they are cold when it is 70 degrees (read Harriet).
For the tour, you are given all the gear needed to keep you safe; the slicker, the lantern, the hat, and you are sent riding down the mine in a train. I have a lot of respect for miners after taking this tour; but I could not help feeling afraid. Luckily the tour lasts about an hour and soon we were back above ground.
Tour times are limited to 5 a day, the earliest is 9:00 am. We went on the 10:30 am tour. Other times are 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm and the last one is at 3:30 pm.
I paid $12 as an adult, and my daughter who is 12 paid $5
We made a stop here when my daughter and I decided to visit Bisbee on one of our weekend road trips. It was an impromptu stop seeing as we did not have any plans going into Bisbee. The market is quite charming; offering the basics as well as Jewelry and a small cafe where we did sit to have a drink. The drinks were chilled and refreshing for the hot day that it was. The customer service was great and commendable.
I liked the outdoor sitting, but it was rather hot, so we sat indoors.
I was a little disappointed with the pricing of the Jewelry there, but charmed by the smell of home made organic soaps. I bought some Lavender and lemon soaps for my bathroom. You should stop by and pick up some rare souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones when you visit Bisbee.
Historically, the Cooper Queen Building houses the oldest library in the State of Arizona. Built in 1882 and completed as late as 1907, the three floor red brick building has had a continuously operating public library since 1882. It is pretty plain and rather rustic looking inside, many may find it unpleasant. There is a reason it is the way it is; preserve its historic importance to the town.
Besides the library, the building also houses the post office, so if you have postcards or letters to mail, this is the place to go. It is located right on Main street as you drive in to town.
The 1000 Stair Way is one of the most popular attractions in Bisbee: an event organized to raise funds used to maintain and repair the stairs in Old Bisbee. At a mile high altitude, trust me it is something to do, if you are ever in Arizona, visit Bisbee and attend the 1000 stair event. More information on this event is available at www.bisbee1000.org
Along the main road of Bisebee as one heads uphill, is a small wall painted with a Peace Mural. It is nothing big, but it is impressive. the wall is set against a giant rock at the top giving it a impressible outlook.
I made an impromptu stop at the Lavender Pit along highway 80 on my way back to Sierra Vista from Douglas. The Former Mining Pit covers an area of 300 acres and is 900 feet deep. Large tonnages of dump rocks are placed around Bisbee, notably north of the residential district of Warren and other parts of the southeastern Mule Mountains area. This dump material, along with the large open hole of the pit, is unsightly and unpopular with many tourists and residents, but was typical of the mining practices of the time. I for one am glad strip mining is all but done.
The Lavender Pit is a former open pit copper mine near Bisbee, Arizona. It is located near the famous Copper Queen Mine. The Lavender Pit was named in honor of Harrison M. Lavender (1890-1952), who as Vice-President and General Manager of Phelps Dodge Corporation, conceived and carried out this plan for making the previously unprofitable low-grade copper bearing rock of the area into commercial copper ore. Phelps Dodge Corporation opened the Lavender Pit in 1950, at the site of the earlier, higher-grade Sacramento Hill mine.
This is popularly known as the Bisbee Cooper Mine. Well there is a tour of the underground mine itself, but this Pit can be seen right off Highway 80 at the pull out.
This is a great stop when in Bisbee. Located in Old town Bisbee, the Museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is well maintain in the now restored building that was the Cooper Queen Consolidated Mining Company.
Of course I have visited the Museum more than 5 times now seeing as I take my family and friends who visit me to Bisbee anytime they visit. I have no photos to show because it is not allowed to take photos of what is in the museum, understandably so, otherwise the value of what is being preserved would be lost in this world of the World Wide Web
It is opened to the public from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. No Photographs allowed.
Located on Highway 80, the World War II memorial dedicated to the fallen of Bisbee is worth looking at. It is right on the look out where the Bisbee Mine is. Like many states and towns nation wide, the Bisbee Memorial honors and salutes the valiant soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the freedom of the nation during the second world war.
What is really nice is that the names of the soldiers are delicately engraved on the memorial stone in white and can be read clearly.
Independence Day (July 4th) in Bisbee means race day! Every year there is an event in which hundreds of people sign up to run/climb the steps of historic Bisbee - all 1034 of them. Participants pay $20 - $25 dollars to enter and proceeds go to restoration of the historic district.
More stair climbing fun includes the Barco Iceman Competition. In this race people carry large blocks of ice with antique style tongs up about 150 stairs.
The Bisbee hill climb involves stairs as well as a very steep climb up a rocky slope. This is a very tough competition. The hillside is not only rocky, but comprised of loose dirt. It's fun to watch to the local soldiers (from nearby Fort Huachuca) get cocky before the race and try not to collapse after the race.
The Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum is affiliated with the famous Smithsonian Institution. It containes some impressive display about Bisbee and the early mining industry. There are also a number of items on display on the museum grounds. The museum is located in a nicely restored building and is in the middle of old town that originally housed the offices of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. Admission is $7 for adults. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM. They do not allow any photography inside the museum. Check out their website, it's pretty impressive too.
In nearby Warren Township is the William Douglas House (AKA Loma Linda). It was built in 1907 by the renowned Southwest Architect Henry C. Trost. The home was designed to be the private residence of Mr. Douglas, a civil engineer who was to head the worlds largest copper mine in Bisbee, Arizona. The home consists of some 42 rooms including a five room master suite, twelve bedrooms, ten bathrooms, a third floor billiards room, and a two bedroom one bathroom guest apartment with full kitchen and living room off the main floor with its own private entrance. Over the years it has also served as the Loma Linda Lodge, a health clinic retreat, an apartment complex, and is now a private residence again. It is listed on the Register of Historic Places. It is also currently for sale, with an asking price of 2 million dollars US.
This is the Historic John Treu House in Warren Township just outside Bisbee. The Treu family was very important to this part of Arizona at the turn of the last century. This house was built in 1919 and is a fine example of the Bungalow/Craftsman style of architecture. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This firehouse was built in 1914 after an earlier firehouse was destroyed (ironically I guess) by a fire. It is part of the Bisbee Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This is the 1st Presbyterian Church in Bisbee, Arizona. It has an interesting style and was built in 1903. It is part of the Bisbee Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places.