Cochise Hotel
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HISTORY OF THE COCHISE AREA BEFORE THE COCHISE HOTEL.

 
 

During the 1860s & 70s the Arizona desert known as the Sulfur Springs Valley was under the rule of the great Apache Chief Cochise.  The bloodbath of pioneers trying to settle the area kept the area clear of growth by Americans.

Several mining districts in the land of the Apache had already been discovered however it was not just the Indians that kept development down.  The cost to ship the large mining equipment needed to build the mining camps was too great to interest investors.  However with the surrender of Cochise and the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880 the two mining districts closest to present day Cochise enjoyed the interest of Eastern Investors and the Mining District at Johnson (Including the Golden Rule Mine), and the Dragoon Mining District began to prosper.  

The 1882 Census lists nineteen residents of Cachise Station including one family of six named McCann, and nine Chinese workers of the rail lines. 

                  

In 1893 Railroads laced the state. Electricity lighted the towns, Automobiles were starting to appear, and all the mother lodes had been found.  The mining business was in the doldrums.  Nearby Tombstone was flagging, its mines flooded, its high rollers and gunslingers long gone.  In fact it was so bad that John Pearce, or Jimmy, had quit Tombstone and started a small cattle spread on the other side of the Dragoon Mountains.  The story goes that Pearce rode his horse up a small mountain and picked up two rocks.  He banged them together and realized one weighed a lot more than the other. News of the strike created a sensation of a classic gold rush; frantic, wild-eyed men commandeered every horse and mule, every wagon and carriage, until Tombstone was emptied.  Pearce had hit his bonanza.

Arizona Republic,  April 13, 1986  by Bob Thomas 

                

Pearce's claim, The Commonwealth was so rich that John Pearce and his sons used picks and crowbars to pry the metal from a ledge.  Speculators and mining engineers pestered the Pearce family, asking to buy in or buy out the claims.  A miner named John Brockman put together a deal with other investors and offered Pearce $250,000 in cash.  The new owners invested in the latest mining equipment, including a 100 ton stamp mill for crushing the ore.  As the shafts deepened, the ore became richer.  The average was $22,000 a ton. Brockman and his partners earned one million dollars a piece each year from 1900 to 1904. The mines flooded, but powerful pumps kept the water at bay while the rich ore lasted.  But increased costs of pumping and falling silver prices put the mine on the skids around 1905.

Arizona Republic,  April 13, 1986 by Bob Thomas