by Ellen Kretsch, Executive Director, Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce
Globe-Miami is Arizona to the Core and visitors will find themselves walking in the footsteps of early miners and cowhands as they visit the downtown areas where the territorial architecture is indeed a step into the past. Welcome to the heart of Arizona where the romance of Territorial history, Native American culture, small town friendly folks and limitless outdoor recreation come together into a unique blend of adventure, culture and history.
Whatever it is that calls to you, it can be found in Globe-Miami and southern Gila County. Outdoor adventure from hiking and mountain biking, walking tours and Native American culture are all right here. Shopping ranges from hand made jewelry to handmade yard art. If you can’t find it here, you probably won’t find it anywhere.
A visit would not be complete without a stop of one of the many family-owned Mexican food restaurants. Globe-Miami has the reputation for some of the finest of this cuisine, but we also have Asian fusion, Italian and American comfort food on the menu.
We have museums and cultural centers, wildflowers and wildlife. A mining history park goes hand in hand with the working mines of Gila County. Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park is a link to the Native American history of the Southwest.
Visit Globe-Miami and the San Carlos Apache Reservation and enjoy the wonderful scenery and the many points of interests. Along Highway 60, next to the Globe-Miami Chamber, the Gila County Historical Museum features collections and Indian artifacts dating back to 1125 AD, several displays of period furniture, an exhibit dedicated to ranching and the early-day cowboy, and superb photographic exhibits. Occupying what was once the Globe-Miami Mine Rescue Station, the museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. It is operated by the Gila County Historical Society.
A walking tour brochure of historic downtown Globe, available at the Chamber, lists many of the old buildings and their histories. The most spectacular of them is the old Gila County Courthouse that now houses the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts. The Cobre Valley Fine Arts Guild was able to resurrect it from its decaying state. It has been restored to much of its former glory. Community plays and monthly art shows ensure its place as a viable contributor to our downtown. Just recently the newly-renovated upper rooms in the third floor, one of the final pieces of the restoration puzzle, were opened to the public.
The historic Gila County Jail is located behind the old courthouse. The jail, which features cell blocks from the infamous Yuma Territorial Prison has, shall we say, “interesting” graffiti from prisoners throughout the years. It is open to the public during downtown events and by appointment.
Other sites of interest in downtown include the beautiful Holy Angels Catholic Church which features exceptional examples of stained glass. The equally historic St. John’s Episcopal, St. Paul’s Methodist and First Presbyterian churches are within walking distance of downtown. Their history reminds us that even in the rough and tumble mining towns, citizens strived for civility and stability.
After exploring historic downtown Globe, continue south on Broad Street. At the stop sign, watch for signs to Besh-ba-Gowah Archeological Park. This ancient ruin is a remarkable restoration of a Salado pueblo inhabited in the 12th- and 13th-centuries. Walk through the rooms of this 700-year-old pueblo and see the utensils, pottery and furnishings that were part of life in pre-Columbian times. Besh-ba-Gowah is open every day from 9 am to 4:30 pm, except Christmas Day. Admission is $5 per person.
The town of Miami, six miles west of Globe, is currently the site of three copper mining operations – Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold, Capstone and Carlota Copper – they are the latest names in a litany of historic mines and mining companies that have done business here in the last century.
The mission-style Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is striking in its simplicity and beauty. And if you’re inclined towards a little exercise, check out the stairs a block up from town hall . . . in the early days, this was how miners went to work. These are the Keystone Stairs, but you might think “Breathless” a more appropriate name by the time you reach the top.
We love to brag about the number and variety of Miami’s antique shops. From collectibles to furniture to just plain fun, neat stuff that brings to mind “the good old days,” Miami has it all. Coffee shops, eclectic Western architecture and shady parks make Miami idea for an afternoon stroll. A brochure listing the antique stores can be found at any of the shops or at the Chamber Visitor Center.
The Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum is located at the west end of Miami. The school opened in 1923 as a grammar school for Mexican-American and Apache Indian children. Desegregation came in the early 1950s and Bullion served as a public school until 1994. By 2000 the building had been named to the Historic Register and community volunteers were hard at work to establish a top-notch museum. Marvel at the 240-ton haul truck bed holding a 35-ton haul truck, which has been put on the site and is a constant draw for visitors curious to see up close the actual size of what is now a small truck in the mining business. Restoration of the museum continues with many of the classrooms redone and the gym/meeting room now a top-notch facility. The large classrooms lend themselves nicely to spectacular exhibits of minerals, Slavic and Hispanic history and military veterans. Of special interest is the collection of Arizona memorabilia donated to the museum by Rose Perica Mofford, a Globe native and Arizona’s first woman governor. Staffed by volunteers, the museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm; Sunday from noon to 3 pm; and by request for special events. Memberships at various levels are welcome. For information, call Tom Foster at (602) 432-7474.
The San Carlos Apache Reservation, east of Globe on Highway 70, is known for outstanding hunting and fishing opportunities. Just outside town, the Apache Gold Casino and Resort and the Apache Gold Stronghold Golf Course provide big-city amenities in a friendly small-town atmosphere. Continuing east, visit the San Carlos Cultural Center for opportunities to see history from the Apache perspective. Their gift shop features baskets, jewelry, beading and other items handmade by San Carlos Apaches, and is staffed by tribal members who are pleased to chat with visitors and explain the history and culture of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Looking for a place to stretch your legs? We’ve got that too! A variety of trails for all fitness levels is available, including the Pinal Mountains south of Globe which offer some of the best birding and hiking found anywhere. Get your bird checklist at the chamber and head to the easily accessible mountains. Visitors can drive to the top or there are trails for mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts. For fishing and water activities, there is no better place to start than Roosevelt Lake, a 30-minute drive from Globe.
There are plenty of hiking and picnicking opportunities in town as well. In addition to many in-town paths, Round Mountain Park, just minutes from downtown Globe, is the perfect place to walk off your lunch or take in splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Several trails offer a variety of hiking experiences for visitors. At the top of Round Mountain, visitors find sweeping views of the town below and gorgeous desert vistas. Picnic ramadas make this a family friendly place.
The Old Dominion Historic Mine Park is now open with some three miles of walking trails. The park is located off of Murphy Street in Globe and features wide graded trails that have plenty of interpretive signs that explore the history of this former copper mine. The head frame is still standing and offers a wonderful photo opportunity. Again, picnic ramadas for large groups, single table ramadas, and shaded benches invite visitors to savor this visit to a piece of Arizona history.
Globe-Miami is not just mining, museums and antique shops. It is also known for its many events, recreation, climate, breathtaking scenery and fabulous Mexican food! You won’t find a friendlier, more interesting place to visit. Stop in at the Globe-Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1360 N. Broad St., to learn more about this fascinating area.