Bisbee, Arizona – a trip overdue

Years ago, thanks to a distant cousin who connected with me over a message I posted on a genealogy forum, I found out that Stein cousins from Pennsylvania, settled in Arizona. They didn’t actually settle in Arizona, they stayed for about a decade -1896-1906. That cousin shared a precious stash of about 100 pages written by one of the Steins as an adult, reflecting on her time in Bisbee as a child and teenager. For years, we’ve been talking of a drive down there from our home in Phoenix, but have never found two free days to take the drive.

A couple of months ago, we decided to commit the time and left Phoenix yesterday for the 3+ hour drive to Bisbee, planning an overnight stay. We actually should have planned 4 days, not 2. Yesterday, as we were driving, I began to reread the pages which I haven’t looked at in many years. When we got to Bisbee, late in the afternoon, after a stop in Tombstone, we just wandered around, noting the age of some buildings and the beauty of the old mining town. This morning, we reread more of the pages and headed off to the Bisbee Museum where we hoped to get some context and perhaps find records of the Stein and Goldstein families who owned stores in Bisbee, based on what we read.

We need another trip there, and before we go, we need to put all the places mentioned in the memoire on a map. What we discovered was slightly confusing and at odds with the memoire. A lot of names of teachers, shopkeepers and playmates were mentioned as well as names of stores and streets. We found those names in various records at the museum. What we didn’t find was a record of the Stein family. We found the Goldstein family in a city directory, and even located the house they lived in, in 1900, still standing. We found the name of the shop mentioned in the pages in the city directory, someone else was named as proprietor.

Why am I not surprised? In genealogical research, all is rarely straightforward and simple – it’s very clear that I have much to do.

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