Tag Archives: Arizona

Arizona ghost town: Gleeson

I took a trip out to the ghost town of Gleeson one day last month and met up with the jail’s owner, Tina Miller.

Gleeson Jail; Photo by Luanne Mattson

She and her partner bought the jail, and have turned it into a mini-museum. Inside the jail, you can see Native American artifacts, Western gear including old saddles, tack, an old bunk, mining and prospecting tools, ranching tools and other antiques.

The jail was built of reinforced concrete in 1910. Before that, the town jail was a nearby tree.

Gleeson's Jail Tree

The marshals would handcuff the prisoners to the tree, and they’d be forced to endure the elements. Next to the Jail Tree is a natural wash. Sometimes after a rainstorm, the water would rise dangerously close to the prisoners.

Since I was headed down, I called ahead, and Tina met me to open the jail. She then treated me to a tour of the area.

Between 1900 and 1920, Gleeson’s population swelled to about 1,000 people. On the website, it says, “In the downtown section of Gleeson, the population is exactly zero.” A few people live nearby, but they generally like the wide open spaces of this little ghost town. Mining

Here are pictures of other structures nearby:

Joe Bono saloon (Photo by Luanne Mattson)

This saloon, once owned by Joe Bono, is practically falling down. If you go, please do not attempt to enter it!

Gleeson's Shannon Hospital (Photo by Luanne Mattson)

Gleeson school

The foundation is all that remains from Gleeson’s third school (they kept outgrowing them).

There are plenty of other stories waiting for you to discover! The Gleeson jail is open to visitors the first Saturday of each month. Historian Glenn Snow is usually there to tell visitors about Gleeson’s heydays and the area’s history. Gleeson is about 15 miles from Tombstone via a dirt road. It’s also accessible by a paved road off of Highway 191 from the east.

For directions, check the Gleeson Web site. Please check their  calendar and hours of operation before you go. The jail is privately owned, as is most of the surrounding land.

If you want to explore the history a bit before you go, check out the historical sketches, which are written by Glenn Snow and are about bootleggers, scam artists and unsavory characters of the Old West.

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July 4th getaway

Looking to get away for July Fourth? Start celebrating early with Benson’s fireworks and Sierra Vista’s talent show on Saturday July 3. Then round out your weekend on July Fourth with coaster races, mucking and drilling contests, softball tournaments, the People & Pets Parade and fireworks in Bisbee, Sierra Vista and Tombstone.

Benson July Fourth Celebration, to be held July 3, 2010

Get a preview of fireworks in Benson! The community will commemorate its 130-year anniversary with a then-and-now slide show, the annual parade, and the popular “Water Fight” at Lions Park. Volunteer fire departments compete in the water fight. They use fire hoses to move a barrel on a pulley system, sliding the barrel toward the opposing team. Spectators often get a refreshing soak, and the kids get to play in the mud.  Entertainment and music throughout the day, with fireworks at dusk and a family dance held at Lion’s Park at night.

When:  July 3, 2010 Parade 9 a.m., Water Fight 10:30 a.m., Fireworks 8:30 p.m.

Where:  Benson

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-586-4293, Benson Visitor Center or info@bensonvisitorcenter.com

4th of July in Bisbee, Bisbee

The famous Bisbee Coaster Races, the oldest and longest gravity-powered race in the U.S., start down Tombstone Canyon at 8:30 a.m. Between heats, the Bisbee Iron Man Mile will be held. A parade will be in Bisbee’s Warren section. Re-created Bisbee’s early miners’, mucking and drilling contests are held in the afternoon with shovels and four-pound hammers flying. The Bisbee Copper Kings will host its third annual baseball tournament Warren Ballpark, with fireworks at dark.

When:  beginning at 9 a.m., July 4

Where:  Bisbee locations

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-432-6016 or Bisbee Visitor Center events

43rd Annual 4th of July Festivities, Sierra Vista

The party begins July 3 with a youth talent show at Veterans’ Memorial Park, followed by a street dance with the popular band “Train Wreck.” Celebrations include the Pets & People parade, with entertainment, food and displays. City officials and dignitaries will address the crowd at a noon ceremony. A spectacular fireworks show starts at dusk at the Paiz/Stone Complex, on Tacoma Street.

When:  6 p.m., July 3; all day, July 4

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Park, 3105 E. Fry Blvd.

Admission: Free

Info:  520-266-2304 or Sierra Vista Visitor July events calendar or www.visitsierravista.com

July 4, Family Style 4th of July at Medigovich Field, Tombstone

America’s independence is celebrated in Tombstone with the annual softball tournament. Street entertainment and a rousing fireworks display at dusk round out the too-tough-to-die town’s events.
When:  8:30 a.m.

Where:  Medigovich Field, Allen Street

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-457-3994 or Tombstone Chamber

July 3 & 4, Douglas’ “sporty” July 4th

If you and your kids can’t get enough of sports, check out the July 4th celebration in Douglas. They’ll have a variety of sports tournaments: youth soccer, golf, adult flag football and softball. You must pre-register. In addition, there will be food and craft vendors plus a Patriotic Parade downtown on Avenue G at 10 a.m. Fireworks will shoot off at on July 4th at 8:45 p.m.

For more info contact the City of Douglas Recreation Center at 520-417-7340.

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Southern Arizona summers: find the cool spots, Part 2

Below are more ideas on how to stay cool in Cochise County and southeastern Arizona. See my earlier post for “part 1” of how to find cool spots during Arizona’s summers.

Dig for cold in Cochise County’s mines. A spot in Bisbee’s Queen Mine Tour is a brisk 47 degrees year-round. So when it’s 110 degrees in the desert… well, you do the math! You can get an education on mining life while you’re chilling out inside the mines. Try one of Cochise County’s two mine tours—the Queen Mine Tour or Tombstone’s Good Enough Underground Mine Tour. Visit the Queen Mine Tour or the Good Enough Mine Tour.

Which way to the beach? Cool off at The Cove, Sierra Vista’s Aquatic Center. You can dip your toes into the pool’s beach-like entry or go head first into the diving well. There’s also water tube slides and major wave action. Call the facility at 520-417-4800 or visit The Cove’s website.

Hang out with some cool customers. Tombstone has its share of cool characters hanging around. Visit Tombstone Chamber of Commerce to plan your own cool experience in the “town too tough to die.”

Gaze into cool night skies. With cooler evening temperatures, stargazers of all levels can revel in the county’s dark skies. Contact the Huachuca Astronomy Club to attend monthly star parties or join an event at one of 15 private observatories.

Do you have more ideas on staying cool? Share it by leaving a comment!

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Southern Arizona summers: find the cool spots

If you think it’s hot in Arizona in the summer, you haven’t traveled the state much. Here are three ideas for things to do and places to go in southern Arizona to get cool.

Go underground. The average temperature inside Kartchner Caverns is about 70 degrees. Insulated by layers of earth, caves are naturally cooler. While you’re cooling off, you’ll get to explore one of the world’s top 10 living caves. Throne Room tours show amazing stalactites and stalagmites that took thousands of years to form. See these wondrous formations on touts that last about an hour. Info: Kartchner Caverns State Park website

How cool is this?! Kartchner Caverns State Park® Photo by Noelle Wilson ©Arizona State Parks

Get high. No, we’re not pushing drugs. Get high in elevation. Cochise County elevations start at around 3,000 feet, and many of the peaks top out above 7,000 feet. That translates to crisp summer air. Mountain ranges include the Dragoons between Benson and Willcox, Mules where Bisbee sits, Whetstones where Kartchner Caverns is located, Chiricahuas, between Douglas and Willcox, the Huachucas in Sierra Vista, Dos Cabezas near Willcox and more. You’ll find lots of recreational opportunities like hiking and camping in Cochise County’s mountains!

Low-temperature golf at value prices. Sitting at elevations of 3,500-4,600 feet, these courses offer a respite from urban courses. Visitors can tackle the “Rattler,” a 757-yard, par-6 hole—just one of the interesting golf experiences at Cochise County’s seven public courses located in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Sunsites and Willcox. For more info, check the Cochise County Tourism Council’s golf listing.

You can find out more by contacting any of the Cochise County Visitors Centers: Benson Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Willcox.

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Tombstone’s rose tree in full bloom

Tombstone's famous rose tree

Tombstone's famous rose tree

The trunk of the rose tree

The trunk of the rose tree

This rose tree covers over 8,000 square feet!

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Wine: A visit to the Carlson Creek Tasting Room

I tasted some great wines in Willcox today and talked with John Carlson, one member of the  family who runs the Carlson Creek, a vineyard in Cochise County.

I uploaded a short video to youtube.com. John was a bit nervous, but he did great! Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnZZ8kXvl-E

Tasting room hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday thru Sunday. $6 will get you a taste of their Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Syrah and Cabernet. Plus you get a souvenir glass!

For more info, check out http://www.carlsoncreek.com/carlsoncreek/index.jsp.

If you’d like ideas on other things to do when visiting Willcox, call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-200-2272.

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Fresh beer at Old Bisbee Brewing Company

On March 14, 2010, freshly brewed beer started flowing on Brewery Gulch. It happened at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company on the corner of Brewery and Review Avenues in Bisbee. Dale Fountaine and Victor Winquist partnered to produce fresh beer after research in England’s brew pubs and across America. They’ve have taken their cues from the great beers they sampled.

The Tap Room in the Old Bisbee Brewing Company. Photo (c) Victor Winquist

Winquist says that brewing great beer is much like brewing a great cup of coffee. Just as coffee tastes better if you use fresh beans, so does beer tastes better if you brew with fresh hops. So fresh hops it is for the 7 beers Winquist and Fountaine produce.

Old Bisbee Brewing Company consists of two buildings that sit side by side. Beer is made in one building, and flows through to the adjacent tap room.

You can sign up for their mailing list at http://oldbisbeebrewingcompany.com/ or call the brewery at 520-432-BREW (2739).

So raise a glass and enjoy a brew the next time you’re in Bisbee!

For more info on things to see and do in Bisbee, visit the Bisbee Visitor Center website. For surrounding communities and other things to do, visit the Cochise County website.

The brewing room at Old Bisbee Brewing Company. Photo (c) Victor Winquist

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