A color postcard of Castle Rock and downtown Bisbee. The back caption on the top left reads: “VIEW OF MAIN ST., BISBEE, FROM QUALITY HILL --- This unique city extends through three steep-sided canyons, Mule Pass Gulch, Tombstone Canyon and Brewery Gulch. --L222” The photo was taken by Ray Foster. The postcard was sent to Mr. & Mrs J.M. Iner, 47 Cedar Road Severna Park, MD. The message on the back in blue ink reads: “Tues, Read your card. Anxious to hear further. On our way to Tuc. H Ashes on phone in Douglas. Love to all. Mother & Dad.” The postcard was sent by air mail and was published by the Lollesgard Specialty Company, Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Foster, Thomas N Collection.
Bisbee’s downtown district was the economic heart of the city. Multiple shops, hotels, restaurants, churches, library and post office provided rural Bisbee with a metropolitan lifestyle as comfortable as any bustling city back east. The most prominent among the buildings constructed were the Phelps Dodge offices for the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company, the Phelps Dodge Mercantile, Copper Queen Hotel, the Copper Queen Hospital the YMCA, the YWCA, Presbyterian Church, Central School and the Bisbee High School. Of the buildings lost to time, the original Williams Douglas House, The Bessemer Hotel and the Orpheum Theater were among those demolished. The area survived devastating fires and monsoon floods that tore the district apart in the early decades, testing the mettle of its residents. As the copper ore had yet to give out, they still had the resources and determination to rebuild the town. Whereas countless other Arizonan boom town went bust and vanished into ghost towns, Bisbee remains as the nature of copper mining allowed it to do so. Visitors from all over the nation can come and appreciate Bisbee’s role in providing the metal that formed the backbone of our modern era.