Bisbee, Arizona, the small town nestled in the mile-high Mule Mountains, was once the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. It boasted the state’s first golf course, community library and ball field plus 47 saloons in the area called Brewery Gulch. What fueled this was one of the richest mineral sites in the world. Over 3 million ounces of gold, 8 billion pounds of copper and additional silver, lead and zinc were mined during the 100 years the open pit mine was in operation . When the mine closed in the 1970’s, artists and writers moved in.
Now, Bisbee, named after Judge DeWitt Bisbee who funded the mine, has staged a comeback becoming one of the state’s most interesting tourist towns. The art galleries, book stores, restaurants, unusual shops and bed and breakfasts promote themselves to Arizonan’s as well as international tourists.
Not to be missed: the Copper Queen Mine tour. Guests put on hard hats, hop into mine carts and head into the mine just as generations of miners did, often three generations of the men in one family. Tour guides are retired miners.