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Benson

When the Butterfield Overland Stage Company was running its southern route through Texas and the New Mexico Territory, the station house at the crossing of the San Pedro River was one mile north of the present city of Benson. This set the tone for much of Benson's history as a transportation hub and a link between the east and both California and Mexico. Copper and silver from Bisbee and Tombstone were shipped out from the Southern Pacific Railroad station in Benson. In 1881 Benson became the terminus for the Sonoran Railroad from Guaymas, Mexico, allowing goods to be shipped via the Pacific Ocean rather then overland from the west coast.

In 1897, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad linked Benson to Phoenix, and Benson continued as a major terminus until mining declined and the railroading was moved to Tucson. At this point Benson might have become a ghost town like many others, but the ranchers held on and the opening of the Apache Powder Company gave the economy a boost. Today Benson enjoys the benefits of being directly on an interstate highway and offers services and accommodations to many travelers as well as having a large winter population of retired people who enjoy the moderate climate and the friendly small town atmosphere.

Benson now has two golf courses:

San Pedro Golf Course
Contact: Jim Cox
950 N. Madison St.
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-7888
(520) 586-7889 (Fax)

Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center
Contact: Peter Lawson or Candice Cheek
800 E. Country Club Rd.
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-9374

Benson Tourist Center at the Railway Depot
249 E 4th St.
(520) 586-2842
The tourist center offers a free brochure which will guide you on a walking tour through Benson's fascinating past.

Kartchner Caverns State Park
(520) 586-4100
Living caverns and Discovery Center in Arizona's newest State Park. Guided tours, campground, hiking trails. Reservations suggested for the cave tour: (520) 586-CAVE.

Museum of the San Pedro Valley Arts and Historical Society
S. San Pedro & 5th St., Benson
Gift shop, museum and art gallery. Displays are of antiques, collectibles, and guest art exhibits. Open 10-4 Tues-Fri., 10-2, Sat. Closed Sun & Mon Summer hours: 10-2, Tues-Sat. Free

Gammon's Gulch Movie Set
(520) 212-2831
Re-creation of an 1890's Town and Mining Camp. Located 12 miles north of Benson. Take Pomerene Rd. to Cascabel Rd. then to Mile Marker 6. Turn off at East Rockspring Road. Open 9-4 Wed-Sun. September through May. Please call ahead for reservations if you wish to visit June-August

Down by the River B and B
P.O. Box 387
2255 Efken Place
St. David, AZ, 85630
(520) 720-9441
Down by the River B and B is a 15-acre property that borders the San Pedro river just north of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

The B & B is a Santa Fe style residence that offers guests a large Great Room featuring American Indian artifacts, satellite TV, two fireplaces, an oversized pool table, and two telescopes. The library offers books on Arizona history, birding, and astronomy.

The themed rooms reflect the traditions and way of life of southeastern Arizona. Find full information and photos at their website: www.downbytheriverbandb.com

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