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Tag Archives: Times Past

Museum at the Petrified Forest (access required)

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Early explorers of the area who arrived prior to the railroad in the 1850s described in their reports an area of barren hillsides strewn with colorful stone longs, the remains of trees that once stood in a prehistoric tropical forest.

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Caretto Brothers’ Saloon (access required)

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Violence was common in Bisbee during the mining boom years of the early 20th century, and the Caretto brothers’ saloon was no exception. In fact, the brothers had more than their share of trouble, with robberies, knife fights and gunplay all too common.

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Jessie Bevan: Bisbee Pioneer (access required)

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Jessie Bevan of Bisbee was a pioneer woman in every sense of the word. She was a schoolteacher before the turn of the century, a mother who suffered the death of her young children, a businesswoman who ran a boarding house and a politician who beat the Cochise County Democratic machine to get elected.

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The Hanging of Dennis Dilda (access required)

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In the 1880s, Dennis Dilda had left behind a string of murders in Texas and New Mexico by the time he arrived in Prescott in the fall of 1885. But in the frontier, little was asked of a man’s background, especially one with a wife and children. Dilda soon got a job running the ranch of W.H. Williscraft about 40 miles outside of town.

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The Muheim Block (access required)

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This is the Muheim Block, also known as the Brewery, shortly after its construction in Bisbee in 1905. (In the early days, single buildings of any size and scale were always referred to as blocks.) Joseph Muheim, a Swiss immigrant, saloon owner, mine owner, businessman and banker, constructed the building to replace the original brewery torn down that year.

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Mormon Pioneer Lot Smith (access required)

Lot Smith

This stern looking patriarch is Lot Smith, one of the early Mormon settlers of Utah. As a youth he marched with the Mormon Battalion from Illinois to San Diego during the Spanish American War. After leaving the military, he mined for gold, and was successful enough to buy good property for himself and his family in Utah. During the Civil War he worked for the Union Army protecting the telegraph lines.

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Charlie Brown’s Saloon (access required)

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Built by Charles O. Brown (the taller man at left in the photo), a gambler said to have been a crack shot who carried several notches on his gun, the Congress Hall Saloon was the unlikely spot where the first Territorial Legislature in Tucson convened. The Capitol building, a series of adobe rooms with dirt floors and mud roofs, was spurned by lawmakers, who preferred to caucus at San Agustin Cathedral and hold informal meetings in the back room of Brown’s establishment.

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Brewery Gulch’s Wrestling Bear

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.

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.

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