Bisbee West Copper Company

Bisbee West shaft #1        

Bisbee West shaft #2 (Old Shaft)

Bisbee West shaft #3

Bisbee West shaft #4

The Bisbee West Mine Circa 1901 (Courtesy of the USGS)

     Started in October 25 of 1899, the Bisbee West Copper Company was to sink four shafts and continued to operate off and on until 1907. In December of 1901 a drift off 700ft. level of the Bisbee West#2 shaft struck water and miners were forced to bulkhead off the drift. A new drift was started on the same level but it also intercepted water after it was driven 35ft. Water poured into the mine faster than it could be bailed out. This happened to coincide with a water shortage in the nearby town of Bisbee.  The increase of population in Bisbee had left the Bisbee Water Company unable to supply enough water to the community. The Bisbee West Copper Company realizing the opportunity tried to secure a franchise to supply water to Bisbee. They wanted an almost exclusive franchise to pay for pumps and pipeline to Bisbee. A franchise was granted in 1902, but it allowed the Bisbee Water Company to also sell water. Then in June 1902 the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company agreed to supply the Bisbee Water Company with water from their wells in Naco.  The Bisbee West could not compete and by July 1903 their franchise was considered forfeit be caused it had not been fulfilled. The Bisbee West continued to explore for metal value over the next few years. In 1907 the hoist was sold off and the property remained dormant since that time.

The Bisbee West Mine (Courtesy of the USGS)

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© 2013 by Doug Graeme