We’ve been to the top of Arizona. It only makes sense that we go below it, Right? About 800 feet below it!
The Queen Cooper Mine which is located in the small town of Bisbee Arizona was a major producer of copper, gold, precious stone and silver. It remained in operation from 1915 until the 1970s. After its closure, the mine was converted to a tourist attraction offering educational tours. The mines offices were converted to a museum displaying artifacts from mining days of long ago .
Equipped with miners hard hats, safety vests and lights, we board an original crew transport and head in the mine. Entering a dark and narrow passage just wide enough for our train we make our way one quarter mile into the side of a mountain.
The photo on the left shows one of the many chambers that were created in the process of removing the copper ore. The photo on the right was taken as we rode the transport in to the mine. You can see just how narrow the passage in was!
For the miners, it was a long way back to the mens room when nature called. This was a miners version and probably the first port-a potty! If you wanted privacy….well you were out of luck!
Moving the large and very heavy carts of copper ore was done by pushing by hand or you were delegated to build you leg muscles by towing them with this!
Lavender Pit is a copper pit mine located just south of Bisbee and closed in 1970. This gigantic hole produced copper ore along with silver and”Bisbee Blue” turquoise which is touted to be the finest of all turquoise. The mine is over 900 ft deep.
The town of Bisbee is home to fabulous architecture, antique shops and art galleries. Truly a step back in time. And speaking of back in time, the abandoned downtown of Lowell just a few blocks away is staged with antique cars and original old time store fronts.
The time we spent in Arizona has been truly memorable. The RV park in Benson was a great place to stay and it made exploring the area so convenient. Its a great place to spend the winter months and we will be back! Our time here has come to an end and it’s time to move on. Next stop, Kerrville, Texas! On the road again!