History of Neighborhoods
In the early 20th century the population of Bisbee soared. Incorporated in 1902, by 1910 the number of residents had swelled to over 9,000. The city sustained a constellation of suburbs, including Warren, Lowell, and San Jose, some of which had been founded on their own mines. Today, these areas are all incorporated into the City of Bisbee.
Old Bisbee is the historic center of town. The very walkable Main Street turns into Tombstone Canyon as you head uphill, and serves as the main thoroughfare of the town, offering vistas of hills flowing with seemingly precarious miners' houses (most of which have been renovated.) From the centrally located Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, visitors may head up either Main Street or Brewery Gulch. Historical residential sections of town can be explored by walking up side streets off either road. Most of the 300-plus stairways are public thoroughfares, built to negotiate the district's steep terrain.
The Warren district of Bisbee has a unique history all its own. Warren was designed following the "City Beautiful" concept at the beginning of the 20th century. The neighborhood is the first planned community in Arizona, intended as a home for mine managers and other citizens away from the noise and pollution of central Bisbee.
Warren is built around the Vista, a north-south running stretch of park, where the city's Farmer's Market is held each Saturday throughout most of the year. Warren has a fine collection of Arts and Crafts style bungalow houses. Many have been recognized as historic places. The city offers an annual Historical Home Tour during which a varying selection are open for public display. At the southern end of the Vista sits Warren Ballpark, a Bisbee gem, the oldest continuously operating ballpark in the U.S.
Lowell was, at one time, a sizable mining town located just to the southeast of Old Bisbee. The majority of the original townsite was consumed by the excavation of the Lavender Pit mine during the 1950's. However, what remains of Lowell today is a strikingly intact, historical mid-century street – often utilized as a backdrop for film and video shoots, and well worth a visit to walk back in time. Lowell is perched at the southern end of the dramatic Lavender Pit, itself a must see while in Bisbee.
The San Jose section of Bisbee is where much of the town's day-to-day business is done.The area is certainly worth exploring for its proximity to Naco, Mexico, and its broad vistas of the surrounding Sky Island mountain ranges. Bisbee is the seat of Cochise County, and the county offices are are located in San Jose. Many families live in San Jose, and it's where locals from all districts, as well as visitors, go to buy groceries and other sundries.
Once known as “the Queen of the Copper Camps”, Bisbee has proven to be one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing nearly three million ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper, as well as significant amounts of silver, lead and zinc.
A high quality strain of turquoise called "Bisbee Blue" was a by-product of the copper mining. Numerous other museum-quality mineral specimens have come from Bisbee area mines and are to be found in collections worldwide. Some of these include: Cuprite, aragonite, wulfenite, malachite, azurite, and galena.