Copper mining was the big draw in Bisbee beginning in the late 1880’s until 1975, when the mine closed. It used to be known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps.” We took the Queen Mine Tour today.
The temperature inside the mine is a constant 47 degrees. Everyone gets geared up with a yellow slicker, a hard hat, and a light before entering the mine shaft.
Then we all hop on these small gauge train cars, straddling a bench seat like a scooter.
And in we go!
At one point we leave the train and climb up 35 steps. Our tour guide used to work in the mine here and made the tour very interesting.
No longer the copper mining town, Bisbee has become more of a historic tourist town with some very good restaurants, antique shops, artisan shops and galleries.
Bisbee is very hilly. The four-story high school even has a ground-level entrance on each floor.
In 1912 a fly swatting contest was held in a semi-humorous attempt to control the fly population and typhoid fever problem. The winner came forth with around 500,000 dead flies and won the $10 prize. It didn’t really work as the following year there were more flies than ever.
Every third Saturday in October is a 5 kilometer run through town that includes climbing 1,000 steps. We walked up this section of the route, about 200 steps here.
It took us a while, but we did it. At the top is a residential area and one of the oldest streets in town, a very narrow original bricked down-hill street. Other than the steps, it was the only way out.
Steps are everywhere here.
We will have to return to Bisbee to see more of it. We just ran out of time and wanted to get back to Benson before the sun set.
- Gasoline: none
- Lodging: paid
- Admission to Mine Tour: $26