Bisbee became internationally renowned during the 1880s mining rush, with the discovery of the Copper Queen Lode. Bisbee mines, nestled in the foothills of the Mule Mountains in southeast Arizona, have produced more than $2 billion in copper, gold, lead, silver and zinc. Today, Bisbee is home to numerous art galleries and studios and serves as an enclave for more than 100 resident artists and artisans as well as actors, dancers, writers, musicians and photographers.
Things to see: Specialty and antique shops in Old Bisbee; the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum; Queen Mine.
Jerome. Once a city with a population of 15,000, Jerome became a virtual ghost town when the United Verde Branch copper mines of the Phelps Dodge Corp. closed in 1953. Since then, shops, galleries, studios and museums, some housed in former brothels and saloons, have been established in the restored town which clings to Cleopatra Hill on the side of Mingus Mountain.
Things to see: Jerome State Historic Park; Mine Museum.
Willcox grew from a small cow town into one of the country's major cattle-shipping centers. In days past the large cattle ranches in the surrounding hills and valleys were notorious as refuges for fugitive gunslingers. Saloons and other buildings from the late 1800s can be seen in or near the historic district, bounded by Railroad and Haskell avenues and Maley and Stewart streets. Today, cattle raising is still important, but added to the contemporary economic mix are the cultivation of apples, peaches, pistachios, onions and tomatoes.
Things to see: Chiricahua Regional Museum; Rex Allen Cowboy Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona's old mining camps. Days of lawlessness and violence in Tombstone climaxed with the infamous battle between Wyatt Earp and his brothers against the Clanton brothers, fought at the rear entrance to the O.K. Corral. Many of Tombstone's historic buildings are still standing today. This includes the Tombstone Epitaph building, where the oldest continuously published paper in Arizona is still being printed.
Things to see: Bird Cage Theatre, Boothill Graveyard, O.K. Corral, Camillus Fly Studio, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park.
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