About 90 miles to the southeast of Tucson is a wonderful little town called Bisbee, Arizona. The area was discovered in 1877 by a reconnaissance detail on the search for Apaches in the Mule Mountains. A tracker with the detail noticed a lot of mineralization in the area - copper, silver and lead - and knew that he'd probably struck it rich. He filed claims to mine the land and, from that, Bisbee was born and became known as the The Queen of the Copper Camps.
Copper and other minerals were in great supply until the mid 1970's when production slowed and the mines began to close. Bisbee became a haven for retirees, 'hippies', artists and others looking for low priced real estate and an escape from the big city.
One of the largest tourist attractions in town is the Queen Mine Tour. The Queen Mine was the most productive mine in its time, owned by Phelps Dodge. It closed in 1974 but reopened for tours in 1976.
One of the most spectacular homes I've ever seen is in Bisbee - The Loma Linda. Also known as the Copper King, this 10,000 square foot home was built for the president of the Queen Mine by reknown southwest architect Henry Trost. This home was reviewed by Kent Simpson a couple of years ago in his blog. Stop by to see some beautiful pictures. And - it's for sale.
The old shopping district is just as charming and full of history. From old store fronts to window displays, walking the sidewalks gives you an idea of how things were 'back in the day'.
It really is like stepping into a time machine and going back a few decades. One of the nice things about Bisbee is that it is much higher in elevation which makes it a great weekend get away during the summer for those who need a reprieve from the hot temperatures.
It's off the beaten path and just perfect for a visit...or a permanent move!