Along the Mule Mountains in southern Arizona there lies a series of abandoned mines which had been providing copper and gold to an ever-expanding United States since the late 1800s. The city of Bisbee, Arizona was established in 1880 to provide services and housing to the workers and owners of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine. One of the communities within Bisbee is Lowell, the main street of which houses various relics of the mining past as well as such community services as a food co-op, auto repair shop and (which town doesn't need one of these) a soil remediation office. The photos of the mine cannot begin to show just how large and how deep the holes in the ground are. You can see exposed copper which has patinated after years of exposure to the elements. You can also see the hills coated with heavy metals which are by-products of the intensive mining which went on for nearly a century, finally ceasing in 1975. Since then, Bisbee has flourished as an artists community and probably the least "red state"-ish place in Arizona.
Photos taken on January 8, 2012 in Lowell (Bisbee), Arizona.