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Before Bisbee was Bisbee AZ, it was the Warren Mining District named after the loveable scoundrel who started the Copper Queen Mine - George Warren.

The Warren Mining District was a rough and tumble place with no police department yet. Consequently, the copper miners took the law into their own hands when crimes were committed. 

One drastic measure the copper miners performed was to hang culprits from the "hanging tree". The Hanging Tree jutted out from Castle Rock and over Mule Gulch, almost directly across from the freshwater well Jack Dunn found a few years earlier.

The Hanging Tree is responsible for the Copper Queen Library. Investors traveling down Mule Gulch noticed a corpse hanging over the road. They decided to invest in the Bisbee area development, but because of the Hanging Tree's corpse and perception of danger, they decided to build a library immediately to bring civility to the Warren Mining District.

leaveless tree with concrete base on side of rocky hill

The first Copper Queen Library was built of wood in 1882, 30 years before Arizona became a state. The wooden library lasted six years before burning down in the Bisbee fire of 1888.

wooden library with people staing on its porch

One year before the library burned, Reverend J.G. Pritchard became the first paid librarian in 1887. Pritchard liked to pose for photographs with his trusty Cocker Spaniel.

sitting man and dog in a chair posing for photograpf

The second Copper Queen Library opened in 1894 and resembled the architecture of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company Offices around the corner. This time, the library was constructed of brick and mortar.

brick library with large windows and a telegraph pole

To make way for a larger post office and library combination, the third Copper Queen Library and Bisbee Post Office were opened in 1907. The sturdy, new construction survived floods and fires that decimated most of downtown Old Bisbee AZ.

copper queen library with turquoise color sign and main street

The lot between the Copper Queen Library and The Copper Queen Store was used to gather the Wobbly Miners who were yanked out of bed in Old Bisbee at 4:00 am and marched to the Warren Ballpark.

hundreds of miners gathering in the street in front of the copper queen library
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