Ghost Towns, Gleeson, Arizona
Gleeson is a ghost town approximately 16 miles east of Tombstone. There are a few occupied houses within Gleeson but not much else. Most buildings are in complete ruin with the exception of the Bono Saloon and the restored Jail. The hospital, school house and surrounding buildings are falling apart due to the Arizona weather.
The town was first settled as Turquoise around 1890 in what was then the Arizona Territory, then later re-established as Gleeson in 1900. The area was initially settled as a mining camp called Turquoise after the mineral which had been mined by Native Americans in the area. The Turquoise post office was established on October 22, 1890, and lasted only a few years until September 17, 1894. When local miner John Gleeson registered a copper claim and opened the Copper Belle Mine, the town of Gleeson was created just downhill from the old site of Turquoise. Silver Bill, Pejon and Defiance were some of the other mines that followed in the surrounding areas. The Gleeson post office, established on October 15, 1900, supported a town of about 500 people engaged primarily in copper mining, including veins of lead, silver and zinc. In 1912 a fire consumed 28 buildings and the town was rebuilt.
Copper production boomed to supply demand World War I. The mines played out by the 1930s and eventually the Gleeson post office closed on March 31, 1939. Though several families still live on the site, Gleeson is, by all measures, a ghost town, with the only commercial venture appearing to be a rattlesnake products store. Visitors can find the ruins of a hospital, a saloon, a jail, the foundation of the village school and evidence of the extensive mining in the surrounding hills near town. The Gleeson cemetery is west of the town on the road to Tombstone.