History

Benson

Benson Arts and Historical Society Museum
Visitors will find a nice variety of items ranging from metates and manos to sewing machines and a horsedrawn school bus for their viewing pleasure. Our museum is staffed by volunteers and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Benson. Members of the Historical Society will be glad to help you with research in the Benson area.
180 S San Pedro Street. (520) 586-3134. www.bensonmuseum.com

 

Bisbee

Bisbee Historical Tours
This site is centrally located to the Old Bisbee business district in a building known as the Copper Queen Convention Center. 4 different tours address different tastes and lifestyles. Three of our tours are walking tours that are giving during the day.  These tours cover the history of the area and are giving in two different lengths, 45 minutes and 90 minutes. The fourth tour is offered at night and is done in cooperation with The Bisbee Tour Company. This tour is our Haunted History Tour which is intended for those interested in the paranormal. The Haunted tour is based on Francine Powers’ book Mi Reina, Don’t Be Afraid That, giving our guests a truly unique experience straight from the person who experienced the paranormal. No. 2 Copper Queen Plaza. (520) 559-1448 www.bisbeehistoricaltours.com

Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
With a history deserving of National Landmark status, it's only fitting that Bisbee's past be captured and reflected in a museum like no other. The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum recently joined forces with the Smithsonian's Affiliation Program. Once known as The Queen of the Copper Camps, Bisbee is nestled among the Mule Mountains and is renowned for its diverse minerals and wealth of copper. Although its mines closed in the 70s, the small town's legacy has long been preserved not only in its architecture and mining landscape, but in a museum that has welcomed, educated and entertained more than a half-million visitors ever since. Featured among its exhibits is "Bisbee: Urban Outpost on the Frontier," an in-depth look at the depths - and heights - to which miners and settlers went to carve a community and a living out of rock. No. 5 Copper Queen Plaza. (520)432-7071. www.BisbeeMuseum.org

Bisbee Restoration Museum
Operated by the Bisbee Restoration Association this free museum is housed in the Fair Store building located on Bisbee's historic Main Street. The museum contains numerous items connected with the community's early history of mining and ranching. A gift shop is located on the main floor. 37 Main Street.

 

Sierra Vista

Brown Canyon Ranch
Step back to the turn of the 20th Century with a visit to Brown Canyon Ranch. First permanently occupied by John Thomas Brown and his family around 1800, the property passed through many hands until James and Tom Haverty built the ranch house sometime between 1905 and 1907. The adobe ranch house, storeroom, and corrals provide a glimpse of ranch life in the early days. The windmill still pumps water into a storage tank, and the pond, with its beautiful trees and lush vegetation, provides a home to an endangered species of frog. Trails lead from the ranch to Brown Canyon and connect with other trails throughout the National Forest. Allow 2 hours. Hwy 92 South 6 miles to Ramsey Canyon Road; west (right) on Ramsey Canyon Road; continue on Ramsey Canyon Road past Calle Metate to reach a dirt parking area on the right; turn into the parking area, then follow the dirt road to the ranch. (800)288-3861 or (520)439-6400  (BLM). www.browncanyonranch.org

Fairbank Historic Townsite  
Fairbank was originally built in 1881 as a railroad stop near Tombstone. You can now enjoy a self-guided tour that reveals one of the area’s most complete ghost towns with buildings, including the post office, a general store, small homes, a schoolhouse and of course, the ever-present saloon, as well as the foundation of a warehouse and the Montezuma Hotel. The Fairbank one-room schoolhouse has been restored and serves as a museum and gift shop, staffed by volunteers on weekends. Still in use until 1944, former students and teachers helped with the building’s historical accuracy and restoration. The Fairbank Cemetery is just a short hike from the townsite. Allow 1–2 hours. Hwy 90 North 13 miles to Hwy 82; turn east (right) on Hwy 82, 10 miles; entrance to the north (left). (800)288-3861 or (520)439-6400 (BLM).

Fort Huachuca Museums  
There’s nothing like a great museum to shed light on history. Nowhere is this truer than in the Fort Huachuca Museum and Annex, and the Military Intelligence Museum. www.huachucamuseum.com/mi-museum.html
 

 

Tombstone

Boothill Graveyard
Open Daily 7 AM - 5 PM. There are many graveyards in the West called Boot Hill or Boothill, but the most notable is in Tombstone, the resting place of the three cattle rustlers (Billy Clanton, and Frank and Tom McLaury) involved in the infamous OK Corral shootout, and who didn’t make it out alive. Besides the famous, there are others, many who lay to rest in unmarked graves. Boothill Graveyard was laid out as a burial plot in 1878.  Called "The Tombstone Cemetery," it was the burial place for the town's first pioneers and was used as such until sometime around 1884, when the present plot was opened as a burial place. For years after this, Boothill was spoken of as the "old cemtetery."  It lay for years neglected and much of the old cemetery has gone back to nature.  Years of research and hard work by interested citizens of the town have helped to preserve the main part of the cemetery as you see it today. Because of the many violent deaths of the early days, the cemetery became known as Boothill Graveyard.  It is possibly a true symbol of this roaring mining town of the early 1880s.  Buried here are outlaws with their victims, suicides, and hangings, legal and otherwise, along with the hardy citizens and refined element of Tombstone's first days. So much of the good and so much of the bad of early Tombstone lies buried here, and over the graves of both is growing--the true crucifixion thorn. In compiling this list, each history has been checked with all available sources of information, including relatives, old residents and the Arizona Historical Society records.
www.boothillgraves.com

City Park and Homes
There is a City Park on the corner of Allen and 3rd streets which includes a gazebo and public restrooms. Come to enjoy a brown bag lunch, or just to sit with an ice cream cone from the local shops and take in the atmosphere of the historic surroundings.

On December 5th there is a guided tour of the historic homes in Tombstone. The tour is sponsored by Tombstone Forward.

Courthouse
Get a glimpse of the true old West at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, the two-story Victorian structure once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms of Cochise County. Today, the 12,000 square foot courthouse is a museum filled with the glitter and guns of those who tamed the territory. Exhibits portray the authentic history of Tombstone as a frontier silver mining boomtown. Learn about miners, cattlemen and pioneers, and see a reproduction of the courtroom and sheriff’s office. Displays include a tax license for operating a brothel and an invitation to a hanging. A replica of the gallows in the courtyard represents where seven men were hanged. The park includes a museum, exhibits, a gift shop, restrooms, and shaded picnic areas.
223 E Toughnut St, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520)457-3311. www.tombstonecourthouse.com

Shefflin Hall
There were a few theaters in town, the most famous of them being Schieffelin Hall and the Bird Cage Theatre. Schieffelin Hall was where the "respectable" people in town went for entertainment. It opened in June of 1881 and was built for the people of Tombstone by Ed Schieffelin's Brother Al. It is the largest standing adobe structure in the southwest United States and was built to be used as a theater, recital hall and a meeting place for Tombstone Citizens. Wyatt and Morgan Earp attended a performance there the evening that Morgan was killed by an assassin's bullet. It is still in use today by city government and civic groups.
215 N 5th St., Tombstone, AZ

 

Willcox

Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Bowie was established in 1862 after a series of engagements with the Chiricahua Apaches, the most violent of which was the Battle of Apache Pass in July 1862. The fort was named in honor of Colonel George Washington Bowie commander of the 5th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry who first established the fort. Fort Bowie was the combat post of the southwest in the Apache wars of the 1860’s ending in 1872. A great historical place to see if you love the west or westerns.
Located one hour south of Willcox via Hwy 186. www.nps.gov/fobo/index.htm

Railroad Ave in Old Town Willcox
This historic district was developed from the 1880’s through the 1930’s with most of the building intact. You can visit the store where Geronimo shopped and the house around the corner where the Army Officer’s stayed on their way to the various Forts in the area. See the saloon where Warren Earp the brother of Wyatt Earp was killed in a gunfight.
 

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