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Coronado Memorial

Posted Nov 20 2012 3:34am
In 1877, while searching for Apache Indians, an Army scout discovered copper north face nuptse vest ore in the Mule mountains. Since he already had a day job, he grubstaked Earl Warren to work the now famous Copper Queen claim. But the silver bonanza in the Tombstone Mountains the same year overshadowed the copper strike at Bisbee. Bisbee was constructed at the confluence of Brewery Gulch and Tombstone Canyon. Due to a lack of space, houses were built on the side of canyon cliffs, buttressed by retaining walls and accessed by long flights of wooden stairs. Historical accounts of Bisbee's early days state that after a night at the bawdy bars and brothels on Brewery gulch, the local constabulary gave a drunken miner on his way home three chances to navigate the stairs without falling. After his third tumble he was considered officially drunk and taken to the tank. It was said that a man could sit on his front porch and easily spit into his neighbor's chimney. As I drive into town, looking up at the houses perched precariously on the hillsides, I realize that statement is not much exaggerated. At the turn of the century Bisbee was a squalid and filthy town, prone to floods and fires, perpetually stinking of sulfur fumes from the smelter. Like most boom towns, buildings were hastily constructed of wood and other combustible materials. In many vintage photographs of the city, large water barrels are seen evenly spaced on the tops of many buildings. If the building caught fire the owner would shoot holes in the bottom of the barrels to start the water flowing, effectively turning on one of the first sprinkler systems. Encouraged by the relative stability of copper production, land owners began to rebuild with brick and stone following the devastating fire of 1908, and the Bisbee that we see today began to take shape. Bisbee's boom was well documented in photographs, many of which can be viewed in the Mining and Historical Museum on Main Street. I am always amazed at the remarkable resemblance of the town to the way it looked 80 years ago. Late in the afternoon, I hike up OK street to look at the old town in the fading light. Unlike Tombstone, Bisbee's sister community to the north, this town doesn't survive by hyping the past and peddling it to eager tourists. As the lights come on in the gulch below me, I see that Bisbee has preserved its past with confidence and grace. Trip Planner Distance from Phoenix: Bisbee is about 210 miles from Phoenix; Coronado National Memorial is about the same distance. Getting there: From Phoenix (to get to Bisbee) take I-10 south and turn south on highway 80 toward Tombstone. For the Coronado National Memorial, turn south from I-10 onto Highway 90. Continue south on 90, which will become Highway 92, until you see the sign for the Memorial north face down jacket. Follow Highway 92 east to reach Bisbee from the Memorial North Face Sale. Season: Year-round. The memorial lies at 5,200 feet in elevation; Montezuma Pass is at 6,575 feet. During the summer, temperatures can reach the high 90s. In the winter, daytime temps can range from the mid 30s to the 60s. Bisbee's elevation is about 5,700 feet and boasts the best year-round temperatures of any place in the world. Camping: Camping is not available in the Coronado Memorial. Go down the western side of Montezuma Pass into the Coronado National Forest for primitive camping. The closest full service campground is at Parker Lake, about 18 miles from the Pass. Additional Information: Coronado National Memorial write to 4101 E. Montezuma Rd., Hereford, AZ 85616. For Bisbee, call the Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-561-9745 or 1-520-432-5421  


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