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Home / Times Past / Bisbee Pioneers at the Norton House (access required)

Bisbee Pioneers at the Norton House (access required)

On May 21, 1906, this group of Bisbee residents gathered in front of the Norton House hotel on Main Street for a commemorative photograph. With the exception of the children, all the residents had arrived in Bisbee in the 1800s, and were friends and acquaintances of E.G. Norton, who owned the Norton House and was leaving Bisbee to retire in Maine.

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Residents of Bisbee pose for a picture with a wrestling bear in front of Brewery Saloon on the town’s notorious Brewery Gulch in 1897.

Brewery Gulch’s Wrestling Bear

In southeastern Arizona in the 1890s a rancher named James Parker caught a bear cub and took it home to raise as a pet. It didn’t work out too well. Parker’s daughter Elizabeth, later Elizabeth Brown, said that as the bear grew it became too troublesome to keep at the ranch and finally her father took the animal, now half-grown, to Bisbee. He gave it to saloon keeper Joseph Muheim.