Bisbee, Arizona in May 2014
Don and I had never been to this small town, but we arrived on the last leg of our 4-week road trip.
At the Inn, we were right at the foot of Castle Rock and just a few steps from downtown Old Bisbee.
Oldest Wood Structure
This great, red and green wooden structure was built in 1895 as a boarding house for the local miners. It remained a boarding house into the 1940's. The lower level, with office and gift shop, was then a dirt crawl space. The 2 levels above housed miners who may have relaxed on the porches on summer evenings long ago.
It was actually a soldier, not a miner who years ago sat on that veranda cleaning his gun when it accidently went off. It killed a woman walking on the street below and some guests claim to have seen her ghost. If you look carefully to your left, you might see the ghost image of the man with his rifle. But if you look even closer...it's actually a young man and his guitar.
I grinned as we crossed the bridge, over a dry creek bed towards the battered red door. You could tell this place was going to be fun when the large rusty bells clanked and announced our arrival.
If we'd gone left, we could have stepped into sort of a sun room that had coffee and sometimes breakfast treats. (It doesn't claim to be a B&B) But we turned right into the office, which had a cave-like feel. Not because it was once a dirty crawl space under the building, but because you could feel the odd, cool air coming from the Apache Springs Well that was right behind Cheryl.
Cheryl, who checked us in said a few years ago, the son of a previous owner stopped in town for a visit.
He shared memories of being a little boy and exploring under the building, where a few boards covered the well.
And here is the well, with neon sign and ladder behind the desk. In 1877, Apache Indians showed a natural spring to some miners and a mine shaft was built on site.
When the spring flowed into the shaft, it became a well. They built the boarding house right over the well and the copper mine moved elsewhere.
We spoke with the owner, Chris (who had an awesome New Zealand accent) and he said a few years ago some young women asked if they could take a swim.
The girls lasted only a minute in the icy, dark water.
There were some great nooks and crannies for hanging out. Up a set of stairs we found an added room with TV, puzzles, magazines and posters.
This would have been a teenager's dream...in the '70's. There was another cozy area around a wood burning stove. This was no Hilton lounge, but you had to love the homey feel.
Love a Porch!
Our room, #21 was on the first level overlooking the street. There were Adirondack chairs and a porch swing, with a view of Castel Rock. Owner, Chris has kept quite a bit of the quirky décor from when he bought the place 5 years ago. "It had been pretty much a party house since it was inherited."
The owners who bought in the 1980's had decorated the rooms with some pretty unique collections in of art and doodads. Chris warned with a chuckle, "I don't take any responsibility for any of the quirky décor in the rooms." He said the reputation of the place was built on the crazy stuff.
Last Chance was the name of our room. It was quite a doozie with the Asian theme!
We opened the screened door first, then the deluxe pink and white door... with complicated drapes.
Four Bathroom Photos!
I'm sure I have never shared 4 bathroom photos in the blog, but this bathroom cracked me up.
It was large enough to have a wooden chair and full tub. And the sink area could have held a number of appliances. I just had to look in those cabinets and of course...there were more Asian themed knick knacks!
I'll always remember the kookiness of this quiet little place across from Castle Rock. It's really like no other historic hotel I've visited.
If we'd had more time, I would have used the veranda more, or explored the gardens behind the hotel. It was very peaceful for us, but I imagine on a weekend we could have met up with some unique travelers at a place like this! We'll have to return.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!