|Some Historic Buildings of Cochise County
Walking Tour of Benson's historic homes
Stop in at the Benson/San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce at 249 E. 4th St. in Benson for information on a self-guided walking tour of the town--learn a bit about the town's architecture, its past and its people. (520) 586-2842.
Free self-guided walking tour brochure available at the Visitor Center, 31 Subway St, Historic District, (520) 432-5421, (866) 2BISBEE
The Copper Queen Hotel
The Copper Queen Mining Company in Bisbee built the Copper Queen Hotel nearly a hundred years ago. It was a gathering place for politicians, mining officials and travelers at a time when Bisbee was the largest copper mining town in the world with a population of 20,000. For visitors who would like to relive those bustling days, the Dining Room and Saloon have been restored to their original condition and elegance.
Other buildings of historic interest in Bisbee:
Bisbee Historic District, US 80, in Bisbee almost nothing's not historic.
Bisbee Women's Club Clubhouse, 74 Quality Hill, Bisbee
Covenant Presbyterian Church, 19 Howell Ave., Historic Bisbee
Construction was begun in 1902 and the building was completed in 1903 at a cost of about $10,000. The church is known for its impressive organ and stained glass windows. Worship is held each Sunday at 10:30, and the Scottish heritage is celebrated in October with an annual "Kirkin' of the Tartans."
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Oak Ave. on Higgins Hill, (across from the County Courthouse Building, near the Iron Man statue.)
The first mass held in this church was on September 30, 1917. The twenty-seven stained glass windows are the work of Bavarian-born artist Emil Frei (1869-1942.) Ten large windows depict the life of Christ, featuring a 25-ft rendering of the Nativity to the left of the altar and a matching Ascension on the right of the altar. Other windows depict various religious themes. Visitors are permitted to use binoculars to examine the fine detail work of the stained glass if they desire. The main altar itself is a trompe l'oeil work, creating the look of fine marble in what is actually carved and painted wood. Donations are, of course, appreciated and are used to continue the work of maintenance and preservation of this historic landmark.
History buffs will also find much of interest in Bisbee's Evergreen Cemetery, northeast of the junction of Highway 80 and Highway 92.
The Douglas-Williams Home
Built in 1909 by the Douglas family, this building is now the home of the Douglas Historical Society. NE corner 10th St. & D Ave. Open 1-4, Tues, Wed, Thurs & Sat At this same location you can see "Church Square," a park with a church on each corner.
Gadsden Hotel, (520) 364-4481
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this hotel was built in 1907. The lobby with its sweeping Italian marble staircase features Victorian chandeliers, authentic Tiffany vaulted skylights and a 42-foot stained glass mural. 1046 G Ave.
Historic Fort Huachuca
The building which houses the fort museum was at one time the bachelor officers' quarters and later an officers' club. It is still possible to see many of the features of the original building including the huge stone fireplace in the main room. To your right as you leave the museum is the heart of the old fort, Brown Parade Ground. The barracks were on one side of the parade ground and the officers' homes on the other. Directly opposite the flagpole is the Pershing House, building 22126, traditional home of the ranking officer at the fort. It was built of concrete and adobe in 1884 at a cost of $9,000. The oldest building on the fort is the Carleton House at 127 Grierson St. (building 22108). It was built in 1880 and has adobe walls more than 21" thick. Built as a hospital, stories are still circulating that the building is haunted. The original four barracks buildings on the other side of the parade ground were built in 1883.
Al Schieffelin, brother of the discoverer of the famous silver strike, built Schieffelin Hall. The largest adobe building in the Southwest at the time, it served as theater, meeting place and recital hall. After the mines closed, the hall stood empty for many years, but it has recently been restored and is once more an important gathering place in Tombstone.
The Crystal Palace
With a saloon on the first floor and offices on the second, the Crystal Palace was one of the more elegant of the 110 establishments licensed to sell liquor in rollicking Tombstone. Among those who leased office space on the second floor was Dr. George Goodfellow, who considered himself, with some justification, an expert on gunshot wounds. He remarked that these patients, though often not anxious to be named, nevertheless paid their bills promptly--or their friends did.
Painting: "Faro Layout in the Mint Saloon" by Olaf C. Seltzer,
copyright the Corel Corporation, used with permission
This drinking spot on the corner of 4th and Allen was the spot where the Earp brothers stopped shortly before the shootout at the O.K. Corral. The original historic bar counter can be seen at the Tombstone Courthouse Museum along with the layout for a faro game, the most prestigious gambling game of the 1880s.
The Oriental Saloon
The Earp brothers had an interest in the gambling in the Oriental and were often found there. In the 1880s gamblers were highly respected citizens, at least in the West. As C.L. Sonnichsen stated in his book, Billy King's Tombstone: "In the West of the 1880s gambling was a profession almost as good as banking or the law. It certainly took as much study and a good deal more natural aptitude....A real high roller in the early days was often better liked than the doctor or the lawyer because he was a better spender and a more gracious personality."
Bird Cage Theater
More than just a theater, the Bird Cage was open twenty-four hours a day for mischief and mayhem. Some 140 bullet holes were counted in the walls, but there was also on-stage entertainment ranging from French Can-Can dancers to nationally known vaudeville entertainers such as Eddie Foy and Lotta Crabtree.
The Rose Tree Inn
The building was originally a boarding house. The world's largest rose tree, a white Lady Banksia rose, was planted in 1885 and has grown and bloomed ever since then until now it covers an area of over 8,000 square feet and is honored by an annual spring event when it puts forth its blossoms in April.
St Paul's Episcopal Church
This small adobe church at the corner of Third and Safford Streets in Tombstone is the oldest Protestant church in Arizona that is still standing on its original site. A key figure in its building was Endicott Peabody, a young seminarian who later founded the prestigious Groton School in Massachusetts. Though the Boston-educated Peabody may have found folks in Tombstone a bit rough, he commended their good nature and said that his time in Tombstone helped him "to discover the ideals and generosity which are latent in our people." The church is open to visitors. There is a guest book which you may sign and any contributions made will help in the preservation of this charming and historic little church.
Tombstone Engine Company No.1 Firehouse
Tombstone was plagued by fires in its early years, so it is not surprising that a large group of citizen volunteer firemen proudly built a fire station and equipped it with the best fire engine they could find. The equipment was purchased with money raised by a benefit performance at Schieffelin Hall.
Original Cochise County Courthouse
This historic building in Tombstone now houses the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park.
Tombstone Railroad Depot
The railroad finally came to Tombstone in 1903, when a branch line connected the town to the Fairbank Station. The railroad depot still stands and now houses the Tombstone Public Library, designated the "Reading Station."
The Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture provides a map and guide to a self-guided walking tour of historic Willcox.
The Willcox Southern Pacific Railroad Depot
The Willcox SP depot is a wood-frame building, clad in redwood. Built in 1881, the depot has been beautifully restored and is now used as the Willcox City Hall. Visitors can view an interpretive railroad display in the lobby. Railroad Avenue.
Historic Railroad Avenue, Willcox
Running parallel to the train tracks of Willcox is the historic downtown area, which includes a large adobe department store, built in 1881, which is still in operation. Other buildings housed the Soto brothers store, the Willcox bank, the Joseph Schwertner saloon, the Palace saloon, and the Headquarters Saloon where Warren Earp was shot and killed one hot day in July 1900. (The youngest Earp brother is buried in the Old Willcox Cemetery.) Also on Railroad Avenue is the Rex Allen Museum and Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Schwertner House, Willcox
This house, just around the corner from Railroad Avenue in WilIcox, was built entirely of redwood in 1881. It was used as an overnight stop by soldiers arriving by train in Willcox en route to Fort Grant. Later it was the residence of Joseph Schwertner and his family. The Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society is currently restoring the building.
Faraway Ranch, Chiricahua National Monument
Stafford Cabin, Chiricahua National Monument
Sagstetter, Beth and Bill. The Mining Camps Speak: A New Way to Explore the Ghost Towns of the American West. Denver, CO: Benchmark Publishing of Colorado, 1998.