Jack Dunn was leading a scouting party of Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Mule Mountains in 1877 about ten miles north of the Mexcian border in search of renegade Apaches. Somthing besides Indian camps caught the eye of Dunn, a civilian. It was mineral streaking on the rocks and a mining claim was quickly filed. The camp became the mining town of Bisbee, named for Judge DeWitt Bisbee who was one of the investors in what became known as the Copper Queen Mine.

Other mining camps that became towns as well were also established in the Mule Mountains but nothing matched the success of the Copper Queen Mine. In fact, few mines on earth could match its output: three million ounces of gold, eight billion pounds of coppers and plenty of silver, lead and zinc as well. Bisbee was known everywhere as the “Queen of the Copper Camps.”

It did not take long for Bisbee to wear off the rough edges of a frontier boom town. At one point there were over half-a-hundred saloons packed into Brewery Gulch but Bisbee was also an oasis of high culture. The state’s first golf course was here and the first community library and an opera house. The wild west days ended forever in 1917 when the Phelps Dodge Corporation orchestrated the Bisbee Deportation by ushering 1,300 striking mine workers out of town in front of a deputized posse of 2,000 strikebreakers.

In 1929, the county seat moved to Bisbee from Tombstone, legitimizing all claims as a proper Western city. When Phelps Dodge closed down its mining operations in 1975 the town pivoted into a tourist destination and arts colony. More than a million visitors have taken the underground Queen Mine Tour. Above ground, Bisbee has been said to possess the highest concentration of notable architecture per square inch in the state of Arizona. Many of the buildings were constructed in the gulches and canyons that define “Old Bisbee” and our hilly walking tour will begin at the one-time headquarters of the powerful Phelps Dodge concern...    

1.
Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
5 Copper Queen Plaza

Anson Green Phelps was mostly in the saddle business in Connecticut in the early 1800s until his daughters started getting married. In 1833 Phelps started an import-export business with two sons-in-laws who were based in Liverpool, England. Phelps Dodge trade cottons and metals becoming critical in the Industrial Revolution. The company expanded into acquiring mining interests and the keystone of its empire was the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee. This brick building with Romanesque styling became Phelps Dodge Headquarters in 1896 and continued in that role until 1961. Today it does duty as the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and has been recognized as the first rural museum in the United States to be designated a Smithsonian Institution affiliate.

FACE THE MINING MUSEUM AND TURN LEFT ON TOMBSTONE CANYON ROAD (MAIN STREET). FOLLOW TOMBSTONE CANYON AS IT BEARS LEFT.

2.
Bank of Bisbee
1 Main Street

After emigrating from Serbia to the United States John B. Angius made his way to Virginia City, Nevada in 1874 where he joined family in running commercial enterprises to serve miners in the Comstockk Lode silver craze. When the silver ran out Angius came to Bisbee where the mining camps supported a strong Serbo-Croatian community. Angius operated a wholesale business and on February 19, 1900 opened the town’s first bank with assets of $253,630. He took his Bank of Bisbee deposits in a corner of the Angius Building for awhile before erecting this building in 1902. In 1906 Angius spent $20,000 on a makeover of the building by celebrated El Paso architect Henry Trost. Trost retained the Neoclassical flavor of the building and installed stout fluted Doric columns at the entrance, using marble quarried from Fort Bowie near present-day Wilcox, Arizona. The original copper doors are still in use as the red brick building continues to do duty as a bank over a century later.   ‘

3.
Copper Queen Library and Bisbee Post Office
4-6 Main Street

After emigrating from Serbia to the United States John B. Angius made his way to Virginia City, Nevada in 1874 where he joined family in running commercial enterprises to serve miners in the Comstockk Lode silver craze. When the silver ran out Angius came to Bisbee where the mining camps supported a strong Serbo-Croatian community. Angius operated a wholesale business and on February 19, 1900 opened the town’s first bank with assets of $253,630. He took his Bank of Bisbee deposits in a corner of the Angius Building for awhile before erecting this building in 1902. In 1906 Angius spent $20,000 on a makeover of the building by celebrated El Paso architect Henry Trost. Trost retained the Neoclassical flavor of the building and installed stout fluted Doric columns at the entrance, using marble quarried from Fort Bowie near present-day Wilcox, Arizona. The original copper doors are still in use as the red brick building continues to do duty as a bank over a century later. 

4.
Miners and Merchants Bank
7 Main Street

Lemuel C. Shattuck was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1866 and made his way west when he was seventeen years old. He reach Bisbee in 1888 where he handled cattle, did some lumbering and dealt water rights to ranchers. In town he had a piece of several businesses, including a the St. Louis Beer Hall in Brewery Gulch and the opera house. Shattuck founded the Miners and Merchants Bank but his lasting fame began in 1904 with the development of the Shattuck Mine which produced copper, lead, gold and silver. It became known as the “biggest little mine” in the Warren district. Shattuck’s Miners and Merchants Bank was erected in 1904 in the Neoclassical style and is fronted by a pair of Corinthian columns. 

5.
Bisbee Review Building
12 Main Street

The Phelps Dodge Clinic was the first hospital in Bisbee, started in 1883. The clinic moved into this fanciful stone and brick building in 1902. It was later occupied by the Bisbee Daily review which first hit the streets in November 1901 following several different ancestors dating to the Weekly Orb in 1896. Under new publisher William Kelly the Review set out to “provide mining news from every county in Arizona.” Eventually Kelly owned every daly newspaper in southeastern Arizona’s mining districts. The Review lasted as a daily until 1971 before scaling back to a weekly and merging out of existence into the Daily Herald Dispatchin 1975. 

6.
Letson Loft Block
26 Main Street

James Letson and his wife Maggie opened the Mansion House Hotel in what became the Letson Block in 1890. But “Letson” is not the name most associated with this site. That would be Joseph Goldwater, grandfather of conservative 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. In 1883 the Prussian immigrant opened the Goldwater-Casteneda Store in what are today Bisbee’s oldest brick structures. Since there were no banks in town, the store handled the payroll for the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. On December 8, 1883 Daniel “Big Dan” Dowd, Comer W. “Red” Sample, Daniel “York” Kelly, William “Billy” Delaney and James “Tex” Howard rode into town with designs on that payroll. During the robbery four law-abiding citizens were killed. The bandits were rounded up and eventually hanged in Tombstone, as well as two more convicted of being accomplices in the “Bisbee Massacre.”

7.
Hanniger Johnson Building
31-33 Main Street

Henry Trost went to work transforming this part of Main Street in 1907. He designed this three-story commercial building and the similar Costello Building next door. Martin Costello was a millionaire Tombsont mine owner who bought up chunks of downtown Bisbee. Both feature heavy cornices and small pediments. Here Trost inserted tall arched central windows and decorative medallions. The bricks were shipped from St. Louis and were the first hydraulic pressed bricks employed in the Arizona Territory. Woolworths moved in after World War I in 1919 and stayed until 1972. 

8.
Fair Store
37 Main Street

Benjamin Frankenburg opened The Fair for business in 1898 and was soon joined by his brother Samuel soon joined the business. The Fair was a department store that targeted the well-to-do around town with the latest fashions from New York and Paris. The three-story store was constructed in 1909 and boasts a shell motif on the second floor facade. Benjamin Frankenburg was a noted fancier of minerals whose vast collection ended up in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; his store became a museum itself.

9.
Bisbee Grand Hotel
61 Main Street

Frederick Hurst designed this two-story, five-bay commercial brick building in 1909, following the destructive fire of 1908. It features a classically inspired brackets and delicate iron work on the second story window balconettes. It was restored as a hotel with Old West flavored guest suites.  

10.
BPOE Building
67 Main Street

Frederick Hurst drew up the plans for this Elks Lodge in 1910. The brown brick facade gives way to a stuccoed finish half way up the second story. Hurst created arched windows with French doors as a classical touch for the fraternal organization.

11.
Masonic Lodge
89 Main Street

Freemasons from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Arizona held their first Bisbee meetings in a cave in the Copper Queen mine. Charley Warner, a mine foreman, handled the duties of the first Worshipful Master of Perfect Ashlar Lodge 12 in 1896; he would die in a mine accident in 1904. This temple, designed by Frederick Hurst, came along in 1910. It still features the original ornamental entry gate. 

12.
First Baptist Church
94 Main Street

This low slung Mission Style building began life as the First Baptist Church of Bisbee in 1918. It was later home of the Old Bisbee Repertory Theater and most recently has done duty as a nightclub. 

13.
Inn at Castle Rock
105 Tombstone Canyon

Lieutenant John A. Rucker of Company C of the Sixth Cavalry and his civilian tracker John Dunn stopped at a spring at the base of this rock formation in 1877. They noticed a faint green stain in the rock and Dunn partnered with a prospector named George Warren to scout the area for more claims. By 1895 there was enough of a mining community here for the town’s first mayor, John Joseph Muirhead, to build a rambling wooden boarding house he called the Inn at Castle Rock. Over the years the landmark at the head of Tombstone Canyon has been an apartment house and hotel.

CONTINUE UP TOMBSTONE CANYON AS IT BENDS RIGHT AND THEN LEFT. ON YOUR LEFT IS AN EXAMPLE OF...

14.
Bisbee Steps
Tombstone Canyon

Staircases have trumped streets in Bisbee since its formative days. Many, like these, were converted from wooden steps to concrete by the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s. In October the Bisbee 1000 The Great Stair Climb tackles nine of the staircases in a challenging 4-5-mile course through Old Bisbee. 

AT THE TOP OF THE HILL, IN THE CENTER OF THE INTERSECTION, IS...

15.
Courthouse Plaza Miners’ Monument
Tombstone Canyon and Quality Hill

Local artist Raymond Philips Sanderson created this monument to Bisbee’s copper miners in 1935. Sanderson formed the nine-foot tall statue with concrete and then melted 200 pounds of copper wire with an oxyacetylene heated gun to coat the “Iron Man.”

TURN LEFT ON QUALITY HILL ROAD.

16.
Cochise County Courthouse
100 Quality Hill

This outstanding Pueblo Deco justice palace greeted the Cochise County government in 1931 when it moved from Tombstone. Celebrated Tucson architect Roy Place provided the design. Two striking copper-clad doors provide entrance to the courthouse. Inside the is liberal usage of mahogany trim, brass fittings and terrazzo floors. Tennessee pink marble and Belgian black marble fill the lobby. 

17.
St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church
107 Quality Hill

The first religious services in Bisbee were held in a small cabin off Naco Road by Catholic missionaries. After several decades of peripatetic existence the growing Catholic population in townwas ready for a proper house of worship. Mine owner Thomas Higgins donated land and Los Angeles architect Albert C. Martin was recruited to create this church that eventually cost a hefty $150,000. Part of that budget went for slate roof tiles that came from Vermont, stained glass windows that arrived from St. Louis and four railroad cars of terra-cotta from California. The church was christened on September 30, 1917.

RETRACE YOUR STEPS ON QUALITY HILL BACK TOWARDS THE IRON MAN. CROSS THROUGH THE INTERSECTION AND CONTINUE LEFT ON CLAWSON AVENUE. 

18.
Bisbee High School
104 Clawson Avenue

Work on the Bisbee High School was completed in 1914, featuring a distinctive curved corner main entrance with classical overtones. But what is not so obvious is that each of the four floors has its own ground level entrance as well - a quirk which landed the building in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

TURN RIGHT ON SHEARER AVENUE AND HEAD DOWN THE HILL. MAKE THE FIRST LEFT ON HOWELL AVENUE AND CONTINUE A FEW STEPS TO OPERA DRIVE. ACROSS THE STREET ON THE LEFT IS...

19.
Bisbee Gym Building
39 Howell Avenue

The Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company built this Italianate-styled L-shaped brick building in 1903 as a recreation oasis for its employees in 1903. It eventually picked up additional stories and became the town’s YMCA and then a community recreation center before being converted into an apartment house in the 1980s.

TURN RIGHT ON SHEARER AVENUE, ON YOUR RIGHT IS..

20.
Grace Dodge Memorial Home of the YWCA
26 Howell Avenue

Grace Hoadley Dodge, granddaughter of the Dodge in Phelps Dodge Mining, was active in promoting women’s rights and creating philanthropic organizations for women in New York City. She donated well over one million dollars to such causes and after she died in 1914 - while president of the national YWCA - the company erected this Colonial Revival brick building as a memorial to her life. The Bisbee chapter of the YWCA had gotten started in 1908.

21.
Covenant Presbyterian Church  
19 Howell Avenue

Copper Queen Mining Company chaplain J.G. Pritchard organized the Presbyterian congregation in Bisbee andWilliam Dodge and D. Willis James, powerbrokers for the mining company, orchestrated the purchase of this land for $12,000. They then contributed most of the $10,000 towards the construction of the house of worship that was ready in 1903. The plans were drawn up by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Parish & Schroeder who drew inspiration from Dutch Reformed churches in the Netherlands, installing several hipped roofs. Stained glass windows and a stunning pipe organ from Harris Company of Los Angeles have been features of the church since its first service.

22.
Copper Queen Hotel
11 Howell Avenue

The owners of the Copper Queen mine poured $100,000 into the construction of this hillside showcase to house visiting dignitaries and potential investors. Started in 1898 the four-story hotel was originally built around a courtyard. The walls were two feet thick to battle the summer heat and mosaic tile was liberally spread across the interior. Even after the Phelps Dodge Mining Company moved on to other interests the Copper Queen continued to welcome guests and claims to be the longest continuously operated hotel in Arizona. Some of the most frequent guest these days are paranormal hunters looking for evidence of the spirits that are said to haunt the old frontier hotel. Two who signed the guest book but who apparently are not among the ghostly presence were President Theodore Roosevelt and John Wayne.

TURN LEFT ON BREWERY GULCH.

23.
Medigovich Building II
2 Brewery Gulch

The real estate empire of V.G. Medigovich expanded to include this prime corner location in 1902 and it became one of Bisbee’s top commercial blocks. The Citizens Bank & Trust company was an early tenant and so was Western Union. The second floor of the brick structure, adorned with concrete lintels and under a decorative cornice, was the meeting place for the local Elks Club.

24.
Medigovich Building
8 Brewery Gulch

V.G. Medigovich left his native Austria when he was 21 years old in 1873 and was no stranger to the mining camps of the West - Virginia City, the gold mines of California, Yuma, Tucson and others. In 1884 he came to work in the Copper Queen mines. He gradually built up a business career in association with J.B. Angius until buying this lot in 1891 and opening his Palace Grocery.

25.
Muheim Block
15 Brewery Gulch

This low slung Mission Style building began life as the First Baptist Church of Bisbee in 1918. It was later home of the Old Bisbee Repertory Theater and most recently has done duty as a nightclub. 

26.
Silver King Hotel
43 Brewery Gulch

This brick three-story building was constructed as a boarding house for miners and has a rough and tumble past. It did time as the Bisbee Hotel and has been known as the Silver King for many decades.

MAKE YOUR FIRST RIGHT ON REVIEW ALLEY. ON YOUR LEFT, ABOVE A PARKING LOT, ON TOP OF A HILL, IS...

27.
Pythian Castle
29 OK Street

The Knights of Pythias put up $30,000 to raise this clubhouse in 1904. The tower originally sported a three-sided clock from the E. Howard & Company. Joseph Muheim, who owned the town stock exchange, was in charge of the castle’s construction. The fraternal organization left after barely a decade, however, and the ensuing decades saw mostly a union hall here for miners.

CONTINUE TO MAIN STREET AND TURN LEFT. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COMMERCIAL BLOCK ON YOUR LEFT IS... 

28.
Lyric Theater
6 Naco Road

Nick Diamos emigrated from Greece at the turn of the 20th century and led the family into the theater business in Tucson. With his brothers and uncle they formed the Lyric Amusement Company which eventually controlled 28 stages across the Southwest. The Bisbee theater was one of the earliest, constructed in 1912. There were still Diamoses owning Lyric theaters into the 1970s, including this one. It has spent many years as office space but there are hopes for its future restoration as a performance house. 

29.
Old City Hall
110 Naco Road

Frederick Hurst designed this mid-block stone building to do double duty as the home of the city government and fire department. The horse-drawn fire trucks went through the wide openings on both sided of the central door but they were not enough to prevent the town from burning in 1908. Inside the small Italianate belfry on the roof was a whistle that could signal mine shift changes as well as fires. 

30.
Sheriff’s Office and Justice Court
116 Naco Road

This Neoclassical confection with a quartet of full-height Ionic columns flanked by square pilasters was raised in 1918 for the city’s justice system. The colorful decorative touches on the facade speak to its more recent days as a guest house than its time as a court room and then police headquarters.

31.
Bisbee Improvement Company Building
120 Naco Road

Frederick Hurst was a Canadian architect who was imported by the Copper Queen Consolidated Company and put to work on civic projects. He designed this two-story structure in the early 1900s for the Bisbee Improvement Company that was tasked with implementing electric service, telephones and ice for the town. Hurst added decorative touches to the utilitarian building.

TURN AND RETRACE YOUR STEPS DOWN MAIN STREET TO THE TOUR STARTING POINT.