Bisbee is a city located in Cochise County, Arizona, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 6,090. The city is the county seat of Cochise County6.
Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold, and silver mining town in 1880, and named in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine. Mining in the Mule Mountains proved quite successful: in the early 20th century the population of Bisbee soared. Incorporated in 1902, by 1910 its population swelled to more than 25,000 and it sported a constellation of suburbs, including Warren, Lowell, and San Jose, some of which had been founded on their own (ultimately less successful) mines. In 1929, the county seat was moved from Tombstone, Arizona to Bisbee, where it remains.
By 1950, boom times were over and the population of the City of Bisbee had dropped to less than 6,000, but the introduction of strip mining and continued underground work would see the town escape the fate of many of its early contemporaries. However, in 1974-1975, the Phelps Dodge Corporation finally halted mining operations in its massive Bisbee mine, the Lavender Pit.
The resulting exodus of mine employees might have been the end of the town. Still, as the county seat, the city's economy soldiered on. The sudden flood of real estate onto the market and crash in housing prices, coupled with an attactive climate and picturesque scenery, led to Bisbee's subsequent rebirth as an artists' colony. The rediscovery of Bisbee by baby boomers in the 1990s saw it develop a more polished look, complete with coffee shops and live theater. Many of the old houses have been renovated, and property values in Bisbee now greatly exceed those of other Southeastern Arizona cities.
Today, the original city of Bisbee is known as "Old Bisbee," and is home to a thriving downtown cultural scene. Old Bisbee is also noted for its architecture, including its Victorian houses and elegant Art Deco courthouse. The town's hilly terrain is exemplified by the old three-story high school, each floor having a ground-level entrance.
The "City of Bisbee" now includes the historic downtown Bisbee, as well as the geographically spaced but administratively combined satellite towns. Warren's small downtown is economically depressed, but its residential district houses a significant portion of the population and it boasts ownership of many public services including City Hall and the elementary and high schools. San Jose, on the southern side of the Mule Mountains, has seen the most new growth in the last two decades, as it is not restricted by mountains. It hosts many newer county government buildings and a large shopping center.
Bisbee is also known for the turquoise called "Bisbee Blue".
Bisbee is located at 31°25'6" North, 109°53'52" West (31.418390, -109.897772)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.5 km˛ (4.8 mi˛). 12.5 km˛ (4.8 mi˛) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 6,090 people, 2,810 households, and 1,503 families residing in the city. The population density is 488.8/km˛ (1,266.3/mi˛). There are 3,316 housing units at an average density of 266.2/km˛ (689.5/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city is 84.12% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 1.22% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 11.07% from other races, and 2.58% from two or more races. 34.38% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 2,810 households out of which 21.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% are married couples living together, 12.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% are non-families. 39.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.15 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population is spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 43 years. For every 100 females there are 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,942, and the median income for a family is $36,685. Males have a median income of $29,573 versus $23,269 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,129. 17.5% of the population and 12.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.2% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Sites of interest
(excluding those mentioned under History)
- The Lavender Pit is an inactive open pit mine site in the center of the city.
- The Warren Ball Park, a baseball stadium built in 1909, has housed a number of professional teams and can make a legitimate claim as the sport's oldest park still in use.
- Bisbee/Douglas Copper Kings (2003 - )
- Maps and aerial photos
- Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=31.41839&longitude=-109.897772&zoom=6)
- Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=31.41839&lon=-109.897772&s=200&size=m&layer=DRG100)
- Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=14&lon=-109.897772&lat=31.41839&w=750&h=500)