A black and white postcard of the Holbrook shaft. The front caption on the bottom left reads: “Holbrook Shaft, Bisbee, Arizona.” The postcard was postmarked Littleton, Colorado July 22 1907, 2 Pm and was sent to Mr H.H. Ludd, Littleton, Colorado. There is no message on the back. The postcard was published for the Bisbee Drug Company by the Newman Post Card company, Los Angeles, California and was printed in Germany.
The Holbrook claim was made by J.C. Nichols, it was then bought by F.M. Adams and J.W. Harter who began to sink the Holbrook Mine in March 1881. The mine’s ownership passed to Joseph Russell, but he wasn’t able to work it for long: the Holbrook went bankrupt due to the lowered price of copper. In January 1897, The Copper Queen Company consolidated with Holbrook on James Douglas’s suggestion. The Holbrook shaft became the largest shaft in the Warren district. It was vulnerable to collapse and suffered a number of cave ins. A major one took place on July 16th, 1906, and made it impossible to hoist the double deck cages because the shaft had become so crooked. A Superintendent Clawson is quoted in Bisbee Daily Review “Yes, it is true that the Holbrook has been put out of commission. But we have been expecting it for some time. We have taken every precaution to prevent this state of affairs, but the continual shifting of the mountains which have been undermined has proven too much for the handiwork of man.” Along with collapses, the Holbrook miners were vulnerable to fires and poisonous gasses. When in production, the Holbrook produced 1,000 tons of ore a day and was known for producing beautiful specimens of azurite and malachite. One of the more tragic accidents that happened in Bisbee mines was one that claimed the life of 17-year-old Charles Huber in the Holbrook mine. His father worked at Holbrook as a blacksmith and Charles was there as a helper. While placing wooden planks over a manhole, he slipped through the opening, fell 100 feet, and struck his head on an ore car. By 1917, the Holbrook ore reserves were depleted. In 1920, it was temporarily shut down and reopened in 1921. Starting in 1926 the mine was leased out. In January 1944, the Holbrook Mine was closed and all but the most valuable equipment was abandoned. The Holbrook Shaft eventually disappeared in the expansion of the Lavender Pit in 1969.