The most charming town in Cochise County began life in the 1880s as a copper mining camp. Eventually several billion pounds of the useful ore would be taken out of the ground here, and by 1910 Bisbee was said to be the biggest city between the Midwest and West Coast.
Flooding in the 1,000-foot-deep tunnels and the boom and bust nature of the mining economy closed the mines by the 1970s, and the town, with its labyrinthine staircases and cozy little bungalows built precariously on the slopes of the Mule Mountains, was nearly moribund when it was discovered by hippies, artists, and artisans, a group that funkified the town into what it is today. Retired miners, retirees from elsewhere, county government workers, and sons and daughters of the pioneers also call Bisbee home.
Perhaps the most fun to be had in Bisbee comes from just walking around, climbing the scores of off-kilter steps and exploring its back alleys and narrow streets.
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition