Information: In the morning of December 23, Tara and I took a Jeep tour of three ghost towns to the east of Tombstone, Arizona. Our trip took us by the historic boomtowns of Gleeson, Courtland and Pearce. We drove out on the stage coach route from Tombstone to New Mexico. From Pearce we drove back on the historic Military Road that ran from Fort Bowie to Fort Huachuca. The highlight of the trip was definitely our tour guide Mark. He was a wealth of knowledge about the places we visited. For information on the jeep tours please contact Tombstone Jeep Tours.
History: For this blog I will give a short history of each ghost town we visited. For more information consult your local library and the internet.
Gleeson: The boom began in the late 1890 with the discovery of copper lead and silver by Jimmie Pearce. The first boom lasted until 1894 when the town was abandoned. In 1900 John Gleeson opened the Copper Belle and five other mines near town. He also moved the townsite into the flats. Production at the mines continued until 1919 when metals prices fell. As a result, people left town.
Courtland: In 1909 people flocked to the town to mine gold. At the beginning four different mining companies operated in the area. At its heighth the settlement had 2000 people a post office, newspaper, movie theater, pool hall and Wells Fargo office. The mines operated into the Great Depression but folded soon after. Today the town is a true ghost with only a few remains.
Pearce: The town was named for Jimmie Pearce who found free gold in 1894 outside of town. His claim would become the Commenwealth Mine. A post office opened in 1896 and soon the settlement had a population of 1500. Like other boomtowns in Cochise County the mines closed when they flooded. Today, Pearce has a general store twhich sells jams made from local plants such as prickly pear cactus and mesquite. (Information from: Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by: Philip Varney)
A Confederate soldier buried in Pearce's cemetery
Historic building in Pearce along the Ghost Town Trail
Ruins in the true ghost town of Courtland
Remains of the school in Gleeson
Anothe rpic of the school remains in Gleeson
Me in the jail of Gleeson with Mark our tour guide pointing a pistol at me
Tara on what was mainstreet Gleeson
The old jail in Gleeson. Prisoners would be chained to the tree
Mines on the hill
The saloon in town