Geology/Mining History

Strike it rich! Prospectors hoped they would in Arizona’s deserts. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado of Spain searched southeastern Arizona for the Seven Cities of Gold. The Coronado National Memorial near Sierra Vista pays homage to his quest.

Ed Schieffelin, Tombstone’s founder, was ridiculed by his friends. They said he’d find only his death, but soon he unearthed a rich silver vein. Schieffelin named the mine Tombstone. The town later adopted the name.

Hugh Jones was first to discover Bisbee’s copper stores, but he left, disappointed it wasn’t gold. Savvy prospectors anticipated copper’s importance to electricity, and Bisbee grew into a bustling city. Through the Queen Mine Tour, visitors can explore the mine’s depths, then learn about mining life at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate.

Douglas had a helping hand in copper mining history. Phelps Dodge established a smelter in Douglas in 1900. At, mining executives stayed in comfort at the Gadsden Hotel. Complete with Tiffany-stained glass mural, an impressive stained glass dome and Italian marble stairs, legends say Pancho Villa rode his horse up the Gadsden Hotel’s famed stairway.

More Cochise County Origins: 
Native Americans and Apaches
Mexican and Hispanic Influence
Old West and Ranching
Military History

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