Copper was found in the Warren Mining District, better known as Bisbee, at about the same time that silver was found in the Tombstone Hills. The Copper Queen developed more slowly than the Tombstone mines, but she held out longer. During the past century Bisbee has produced more gold, silver and lead than any other district in Arizona, in addition to nearly eight billion pounds of copper. The underground mines, closed about 1975, are now open to tourists and Bisbee has found new life as an artists' colony.
With red brick buildings clustered on the hill side, the town seems almost suspended in time, offering fascinating shopping, intimate dining and accommodations in restored historic buildings such as the Copper Queen Hotel, which was built in 1902 by the Copper Queen Mining Company. For a taste of the good life as enjoyed by old-time politicians, mining officials and travelers, stop in at the Saloon or the Spirit Grill Dining Room, which have been restored to their turn-of-the-century ambience.
Lavender Pit Mine
As you drive through Bisbee it's almost impossible to miss the vast open pit mine along the highway. The Lavender Pit, named for Harrison Lavender, began production in 1954 and was in operation until 1974. Stop for a moment in the parking lot and have a look! You might want to take one of the tours offered by Queen Mine Tours.
Greater Bisbee Chamber of Commerce
1 Main Street
Bisbee, Arizona 85603
mailing address: PO Box BA Bisbee, AZ 85603
phone: (520) 432.5421
Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
5 Copper Queen Plaza
(520) 432- 7071
This museum highlights the area's hard-rock underground and open pit mining as well as the daily lives of miners and their families nearly a century ago. Rock samples are displayed as well as an excellent collection of early photographs. An 18-gauge electric mine train and hoisting equipment are on display on the lawn in front of the 1897 museum building at 5 Copper Queen Plaza, which originally housed the offices of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. Open daily 10-4. Admission charge. The museum's website includes a slideshow of historic photos of Bisbee here.
Queen Mine Tours
(520) 432-2071 or
toll-free (866) 432-2071
The Queen Mine Underground Tour, guided by former miners, is a popular attraction, which takes you by mine train 1800 feet into the old Queen Mine Shaft. Other tours include Historic District & Surface Mine Tours, Historic Walking Tour and Cochise County Van Tours. Call for information or write Queen Mine Tours/City of Bisbee, 119 Arizona St., Bisbee AZ 85603.
Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO)
This organization, based in Bisbee, offers guided bird walks to local birding areas, winter birding tours of the Sulphur Springs Valley and various other workshops and tours. For information write: SABO, PO Box 5512 Bisbee, AZ 85603-5512 or call (520) 432-1388 See also The Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail