By now, the whole country has heard of Old Historic Bisbee, AZ, thanks to several articles in Sunset magazine a decade ago. Before that, Bisbee was a struggling former mining town, trying to remake itself as an arts mecca/tourist destination. The copper mining business had run its course. Then Sunset Magazine came out with several articles and the tourists started to come.
Over the years, we have had some good times in Old Bisbee, but did you know there is more to Bisbee than “Old Historic Bisbee” and the Queen Mine? Yes, Bisbee is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, one of which was its own city at one point, until the Lavender Pit tore it up in the 1950s.
Old Bisbee is home to the miners’ houses, Brewery Gulch, the Copper Queen Hotel, and the Mining and Historical Museum. It is the heart of Bisbee and its tourism. Until recently, This is all we really knew about Bisbee, although I did meet someone one time who claimed to be from Warren, ignoring the fact that it was a part of Bisbee.
Warren was the district of the mining town of Bisbee where the people who ran the mines lived. It sat east of the mining operation and above the flood zone. It was one of the first planned communities in the US as was Ajo, AZ, which was managed by the same man, John Greenway.
This time due to circumstances beyond our control, we had an opportunity to stay at the Old Greenway House, (Mansion) now the Greenway Manor, an AirBNB. Gretchen was our host.
The Greenway House was built in 1902 -06 and was the home of the General Manager of the Calumet and Arizona Copper Company, John Greenway. Through a cascade of mistakes of forgetfulness on my part, we were able to get a short tour of the main rooms of the Greenway mansion, not open generally to guests. This part of the home of John Greenway has been relatively untouched since it was occupied by the Greenways. It is a Craftsman-style home, much of the original furniture just as it was over 100 years ago. This includes the original Art Deco lighting. This living room was where the plot to deport the striking miners was hatched. See Bisbee ’17, a historical fiction of the Bisbee deportation.
Also in Warren is Warren Ballpark, the Oldest Baseball Stadium in the nation. They still play baseball with the old rules here as well as concerts and other events.
Greenway Manor is the old home of John Greenway, general manager of the Calumet and Arizona Mining Company. It is currently an Airbnb. If you are lucky, the hostess, Gretchen will give you a tour of the main house, which is mostly in its original condition when John Greenway lived there. Also on Cole St. is the Calumet and Arizona Bed and Breakfast. You can see our video here. The Lavender Pit is now the Greenway’s backyard.
The Copper Pig, on Warren’s main thoroughfare, Arizona Street is the newest dinner venue in Bisbee/Warren. Top notch. See our review. It is open Sunday – Wednesday for dinner. Call for reservations.
Morning’s Cafe is two doorsteps north of the Copper Pig you can enjoy breakfast.
Lowell was its own town before the Lavender Pit mine pit took out most of the town. It is one of the tourist attractions now. Parts of Lowell still exist, Erie Street, which is a photographer’s heaven of old cars and gas pumps. It is also home to the original Bisbee Breakfast Club, of which there are now 7 or so around Tucson and Phoenix.
Not far from there is the Shady Dell, an Airbnb of airstreams and other vintage trailers, that have been lovingly restored. Part of the year you can enjoy a meal or a beer in their gardens. The Shady Dell abuts the Evergreen Cemetery with plenty of history of its own.
This is the southernmost portion of Bisbee, where most of the modern amenities exist, ie: Safeway, etc. It is just north of Naco, at the border crossing. It is also home of the County Seat and Recorders office.
Bisbee recently purchased Camp Naco, with a large grant to restore it. Camp Naco was home to the 10th regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers after the Mexican- American war. We look forward to seeing the improvements and opening it up to the public.
In conclusion, I hope you visit Bisbee with more in mind than the Downtown District because although it is the most tourist-driven part, it is not all Bisbee has to offer.