The Copper Queen Hotel, build by the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co., opened in 1902, the same year that Bisbee became an incorporated city.
While these were important milestones in the city’s history, they are also symptoms of tremendous growth in the community. A second company, Calumet & Arizona Mining Co., had started up in the area, and it and the Copper Queen were building smelters at Douglas.
These smelters would require thousands of workers, yet despite the outflow of employment (for the Copper Queen, at least), this would mean great growth for Bisbee. It was at this time the city came close to being the largest community in Arizona and became, for the first time, the wealthiest.
With the coming of city government, which was enacted in no small part because of discussion about cleanup and infrastructure, and with the moving of the existing smelter and its sulfur gases, Bisbee became a much cleaner town. That, perhaps, encouraged the Phelps, Dodge interest of New York, which controlled the Copper Queen, to want to put in a new, luxurious facility for visiting dignitaries.
Now that Bisbee didn’t already have great eateries, but the one in the new hotel, often compared with Delmonico’s in New York, which was America’s first fine dining restaurant, was certainly appropriate for a new and improved Bisbee.
Today the Copper Queen Hotel has just gotten a totally remodeled dining facility (December 2017), and is looking to put profits from that into another remodeling of the entire hotel. It’s a great place to begin writing the backstory for Bisbee’s history, and its future.