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Junction Mine - Cousin Jacks - Big Jeep Tours - Bisbee Tours Attraction


Cousin Jacks are on the Old Bisbee Tour, the Wobblies Way Tour, and the Copper City Territory Tour 

George Warren started Bisbee AZ mining. James Douglas developed Bisbee and it was his metallurgical proficiency that made the production of anode copper profitable in this waterless, fuelless land.

It was the Cousin Jacks, however, that brought the necessary sophistication in geological and mining technology from Cornwall, England, needed to find the scattered ore deposits of the Warren Mining District.

miner holding pick, shovel, and pan

Cousin Jacks are from Cornwall, which is on the southwestern tip of England.  Cornwall miners became experts in mining tin and copper to make bronze. In fact, Cornwall miners made tin for the Romans.

By the mid-1800s, the mines became so deep that it was no longer economical to continue operations. At that time, an estimated quarter of a million Cornish miners left for other countries including the United States.

white homes and a man standing in a dirt street

Upon arrival in America, Cousin Jacks sounded funny. Their dialect added an "H" where it didn't belong and eliminated the "H" where it was needed. They also liked to substitute the word "thee' in place of the word "you".

Their name, Cousin Jacks, comes from mining foremen in America asking if they knew more miners like them to hire. The Cornish miners always said, "my cousin Jack h'in England needs work". Most of them had the same answer and the name stuck.

Being Cousin Jacks wasn't always easy. Since they were the best hard rock miners and their friends and family had immediate jobs upon arrival, resentment from other miners followed them everywhere they went.

Cousin Jack's skills, however, simply couldn't be overlooked. Since they represented the oldest mining culture in the world, their work ethic along with technical expertise far surpassed other miners.

James Douglas had talent in Bisbee AZ, led by brothers Ben Williams and Lewis Williams. In fact, the early mining success in Bisbee is attributed to the Williams brothers.

The Cousin Jacks didn't arrive until later with the Lake Superior & Western Development Company, which was formed in a room over a drug store in Red Jacket, Michigan in 1899. Red Jacket was full of Cornish miners.

miners being lowered into mine shafts on a railcar

The Lake Superior & Western Development Company became the Calumet & Michigan Mining Company and later in 1902, became the Calumet & Arizona Mining Company(C&A) and bought the Irish Mag Mine near Lowell AZ.

It was the Irish Mag Mine that propelled the C&A into prominence in Bisbee AZ. James Douglas initially wanted to buy the Irish Mag Mine but changed his mind after its owner, James Daly killed the local constable. Douglas thought it was bad luck.

mine buildings and stacks and water tank and railway

After a long wait, the Irish Mag became the property of the C&A and the Cousin Jacks started to employ their mastered copper mining techniques. 

The Irish Mag Mine became very profitable very quickly and the C&A started to buy and develop more mines nearby. Phelps Dodge and Douglas started copying the C&A's advanced techniques and became more profitable as well.

mine buildings and stacks with railway and mural hill

The C&A's success and expansion due to the Cousin Jacks eventually cut off Phelps Dodge southern development in the area near the Sacramento Pit today.


The competition between the C&A and Phelps Dodge was friendly however, and the two companies merged in 1932. 

mine shaft and railcars and mining sheds with stacks

Here's a list of mining contributions by Cousin Jacks.

  • Detailed Geological Mapping Techniques

    • preparing an accurate base map of all the claim boundaries at a scale that would be easy to read and maintain​

  • ​​Ingenious Methods of Timbering

  • Advanced Engineering and Equipment

    • using electric haulage instead of mule haulage​

  • Developed Extensive Dewatering Pumps to Remove Water from Underground Tunnels​

  • Developers of Square Set Mining

  • Set Up Hospitalization and Medical Care for Employees

  • Developed Strong Safety Programs

  • Provided Employees with Housing and Recreational Opportunities

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