Bisbee, Arizona. It would be a shame to skip over this former mining town that today is a magnet for artists, educators and others, many of them exploring life after fifty. We visited once from our grasslands outpost and fell in love with the robust farmers market, then we returned to stay in the historic Queen Ann hotel named for the once-thriving copper mine on the edge of town.
The town itself is set on a hill and more than a thousand steps connect the alleys and passageways with the mine.
The artistic flair of the town is on display in stores and at private houses like this one below.
A tour of the local museum gave us a taste of the claustrophobic workplace of the copper miner underground.
In its hey day in the early 1900s, some ten thousand people lived in Bisbee, where a miners strike was brutally quashed in 1917 by Phelps Dodge, which deported 1,000 strikers to Mexico.
Today, the signs of another era are preserved on the outskirts of the city, in the area known as Ludlow, where vintage gas stations, vehicles and stores line the street.
There is a good vibe in Bisbee, not phony, and one person I met said that you do anything you want here and no one judges you – that’s rare in conservative Arizona! We even picked up a "Bisbee Feels the Bern" button during our stay.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.