In 1900, after the Phelps Dodge Company had acquired mines in Pilares and Nacozari, Mexico, representatives from the company were looking for a site for a new smelter. The site of the present day town of Douglas was selected, and the new town was named after Dr. James Douglas, then president of Phelps Dodge.
In 1904, the new smelter was blown in, and the town was incorporated the following year. Workers flocked to the new city, where more than 50% of Arizona's copper was processed in two smelters. Before World War I the monthly payroll was $500,000. The companion town of Agua Prieta in Mexico prospered with the export of copper from the Nacozari mines. After smelting operations ended in the 1980s, Douglas took on a new look. It now emphasizes its unique historical, architectural and cultural heritage. Proximity to outdoor recreation areas and the opportunities for convenient shopping and sightseeing in Old Mexico have made tourism and retirement living a growing factor in Douglas' economy.
San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge
For more information about Douglas and the surrounding area, call the Douglas Visitors Center at (888) 315-9999. Information is subject to change. Call to confirm before planning to attend events.
For information about Douglas and the surrounding area, call or visit the new Douglas Visitors Center. This brand new building is next to the once-bustling train depot, which houses the Douglas Police Department. The Visitor Center, built to match the architectural style of the old depot, provides literature about local and Arizona attractions, some copper memorabilia, and a fascinating time-line exhibit linking the history of Douglas to events in the U.S. and in the world. (888) 315-9999.
A guide to Douglas' historic buildings is available at the visitor center. Sites include the historic Railway Depot, Gadsden Hotel, Post Office, Douglas-Williams Home, Douglas Residential District and Sonoran Historical District.
Slaughter Ranch Museum
Cattle Baron or Cattle King?
From "Law and Order" a story by O Henry, available in Wordsworth Classics: O Henry: 100 Selected Stories and many other editions and collections of short stories.