Historic Downtown and Railroad Avenue
This area used to be where life in Willcox happened, and even today it’s the most interesting part of town. There’s a shady, grassy park with a big bronze statue of native son Rex Allen, and across the street on Railroad Avenue the singing cowboy’s life and career are celebrated at the Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum (150 N. Railroad Ave., 520/384-4244, daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m., $2 single, $3 couple, $5 family), which also displays a Cowboy Hall of Fame honoring area ranchers and cowboys.
Just down the sidewalk a bit is the Willcox Commercial Store, which claims to be the oldest continually operating store in the state. The Willcox Rex Allen Theater, a 1935 art deco movie house, still runs new movies on weekends, and at the end of Railroad Avenue is the Southern Pacific Depot, built way back in 1880 and now used by the City of Willcox. The depot’s lobby has exhibits on the history of the area and the railroad, and Rex Allen narrates a video played on a loop (Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)
The small town honors their most famous native with Rex Allen Days the first week of October every year.
Just around the corner from Railroad Avenue, the Chiricahua Regional Museum (127 E. Maley, 520/384-3971, daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m.) exhibits mining artifacts, weapons used by Native Americans and the cavalry, and rocks and minerals found in the region. There’s also an excellent display on the history of the Apaches.
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition