History, Art and Nature … There is plenty to see and do in the Copper Corridor

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Bullion Plaza Museum Photo Jan 24, 2 45 53 PM.jpg

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center in Miami.

The Copper Corridor is home to many unique historical sites, museums, art galleries and outdoor recreation areas. From the World’s Smallest Museum to the Biosphere 2, there is much to see and do in the Copper Corridor.

In Superior stop by the World’s Smallest Museum at the Buckboard Cafe or the Superior Historical Society which is located in the home of Arizona Governor Bob Jones. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum three miles west of Superior is also a great place to experience nature and learn about how Col. Boyce Thompson helped to grow the area..

In the Globe-Miami area you can visit the Besh ba Gowa Museum and Indian Ruins, the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, the Gila County Historical Museum to learn all about these two communities. The Bullion Plaza Cultural Center tells the history of the community while also showcasing many mining related exhibits and the newest edition the Rose Moffard Room and Slavic Center.

Many of these attractions are operated by volunteers, please call ahead to confirm operating hours.

In the Globe-Miami area, plan to visit:

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center, 150 N. Plaza Cir., Miami, AZ 85539; 928-473-3700; Hours Vary.

Besh-Ba-Gowa Museum, 1324 S. Jesse Hayes Rd., Globe, AZ 85501; 928-425-0320.

Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, 101 N. Broad St., Globe, AZ 85501; 928-425-0884; www.cvarts.org.

In the Superior area, plan to visit:

Boyce Thompson Arboretum, 37615 US Highway 60, Superior, AZ 85173; 520-689-2811; Open 7 days a week. http://ag.arizona.edu/bta.

Superior Historical Society, 230 W. Main St., Superior, AZ 85173; 520-689-5800.

World’s Smallest Museum, 1111 West Highway 60, Superior, AZ 85173; 520-689-5800.

The Acadia Ranch Museum in Oracle is located in the historical Acadia Ranch building at 825 E. Mount Lemmon Highway. The ranch house was built in 1882. Originally a sheep ranch, then a health resort/sanatorium for sufferers of tuberculosis, the building today serves as a museum dedicated to the Oracle areas rich history including the lower San Pedro Valley and the Catalina Mountains. It is also the headquarters of the Oracle Historical Society.

The museum houses prehistoric artifacts, letters, photos and other memorabilia from noted authors, including Eulalia “Sister” Bourne, Harold Bell Wright, Elizabeth Lambert Wood, and Edward Abbey. A collection of cowboy artifacts and memorabilia from several local ranches are displayed. There is a collection of over 250 negatives from the early 1900s and many historical photographs on display and in the archives. “Health Seekers in Oracle: Tuberculosis and Treatment, 1890s – 1940s” is an exhibit using medical artifacts and photos to explorer health treatment as it was during those time periods.

The Lisa Armstrong Memorial Reading Room houses the historical archives which can be accessed by the public for historical research. To make an appointment to access the archives call (520)896-9609.

The Acadia Ranch Museum regularly hosts concerts, lectures and other special events, many of which are free. The museum is open Thursdays 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment for other times. If given a day or two days notice, a docent will open the museum or archives for you. Groups are welcome. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. For more information call (520)896-9609 or email: OracleHistoricalSociety@gmail.com. You can also learn more by visiting www.oraclehistoricalsociety.org.

The San Manuel Historical Society operates a small museum located in the back of the thrift shop at the lower arcade shopping plaza in San Manuel. The museum houses a gem and mineral collection unearthed during the copper mining process in the area. There are items made of copper produced at the San Manuel mine and smelter on display as well as photos of the mining and smelting operations over the years. There is information about the history of the area from prehistoric times to the coming of the Spaniards, the ranches and farms of the San Pedro Valley and the colorful old west and mining history of the area. The museum is open from 10 – 2 on Tuesdays and Fridays or by appointment.

The UA Science Biosphere 2 is an engineering marvel. It was created to study how natural environments provide habitable conditions for human sustainability. Inside the biosphere they have recreated five of Earth’s biomes, including a rainforest, desert and ocean, plus a human habitat and a large ecological experiment facility. Time Life Books recently called it one of the 50 must see “Wonders of the World.” The Biosphere 2 facility is located north of Tucson at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. There is a visitor center which houses a exhibits and multi-media displays as well as a gift shop and café.

A walking tour of the Biosphere 2 along a beautiful trail system is guided by an interpretive specialist who will explain how the Biosphere operates and will answer questions. The tour is close to a one mile hike with many steps. It will take approximately an hour and 15 minutes. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Due to the 150 stairs up and down, there is no access for wheelchairs, walkers and baby strollers inside the Biosphere. The Biosphere 2 is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 am to 4 pm. Private group and school tours are available. Biosphere 2 is located off of Highway 77 at Mile Post 96.5, coming from Tucson you will turn right on Biosphere2 Road. For more information, map and directions, visit their website www.b2science.org or call (520) 838-6139.

The UA Science Biosphere 2 has a conference center including lodging for meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops, retreats, summer and winters schools or other events. Catering services can be provided or arranged for your meeting or event. For more information on the conference center call (520) 838-6139.


Acadia Ranch Museum in Oracle.


The Biosphere 2 in Oracle offers a nice walking tour for visitors as well as a science lesson in the Earth’s biomes.

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