Chris' Genty

Chris' Genty

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bisbee, AZ and Queen Mine Tour

After watching "Meet the press" (well it's Sunday - it's Meet the press) - I drove the scenic way via Tombstone, Mule Pass and Tunnel to the little town of Bisbee. I did not know much about it, just that it is an old mining town and now a retirement place since the climate is very mild around the year.

I had a reservation for the noon tour at the Queen Mine. There were about 40 people between 2 and 90 waiting for the tour. First we were dressed up by helpful guides. A hard hat, a yellow rain jacket, belt and lamp had to be put on. An old "train" which looked (and probably was) a leftover of the good old mining days was our transportation vehicle into the mine. We entered the mine through a horizontal shaft about 1500 feet into the mine, where we listened to our guide, an old miner who spent all his working life in mines. Even some of the Americans had a hard time understanding what the guy said, but what I understood was interesting. More information about the mine can be found in the above links or elsewhere online.

After returning the equipment at the end of the tour, I went to the Lavender Pit, an open copper mine which was operated by Phelps Dodge Corporation and produced from 1950 until 1974 86 million tons of copper ore or 600'000 tons of copper together with some gold and silver as byproducts.

I parked the car in town and walked around the historic district, besides the museum and the visitors center mainly souvenir shops, galleries and restaurants.

Some photos of Bisbee, the tour, the pit and historic downtown can be found here.

31.72203N 110.2268W 4047 ft