See McKusick Tiles at the Bullion Plaza Museum in Miami, Arizona

Updated on March 19, 2018
john000 profile image

Arizona has its own beauty. With local cacti, a wonderful geography of desert, high desert, pine forest and mountains, it's truly splendid.

Adventure in Eastern Arizona

At the Bullion Plaza Museum in the copper mining town of Miami, Arizona, we will enjoy a peek at the culture and history of Gila County, and more specifically Miami-Globe, AZ, where tough, single-minded people strove to make a life for their families in an arid, somewhat isolated, and at times very unforgiving land.

The Classic Appeal of the Old West

This imposing building with classic columns in front hearkens back to a time when life was different. Climbing the steps and walking through its tall front doors, one is reminded of another age of pioneer life.

To the left is a room dedicated to Gila County political figures highly respected by the local population. Bigger than life is a painting of Governor Rose Mofford, Arizona governor from 1988-1990. Hailing from Globe, Arizona, Mofford was a hardworking politician, and had what I will call an "old western charm." In addition, there are biographies of Bill Hardt (Arizona state senator), Ed Pastor (congressman from Arizona's 4th congressional district), and Romana Banuelos, the first Mexican-American and 34th Treasurer of the United States (1971-1974).

The next stop in your visit is the mining exhibit (donated by the local mines and found and restored by local mining enthusiasts). The early black and white photos of mining life and the old equipment used in the mines is striking. Photos of men using pneumatic drills that used air pressure to blow away dust (sometimes with water spray, sometimes without) bring home the fact that mining in Arizona is what made the state, but it was also a difficult life. Early photos of Miami and Globe show how it expanded with time. Of interest to visitors will be a rejuvenated hoist bucket, air circulation pump, ore crushers, star drills and pneumatic bits, and carbide lamps - and much more!

The next room of memorabilia is filled with the history of ranching in Gila County. All contributions to the museum are from locals motivated to tell the Globe-Miami story.

Of note is the Bohme Ranch, northwest of Miami and home to one of the most influential ranching families in the area. In the room, you can see a model 1886 Winchester short rifle abandoned in the high desert area. Speculation has it that a cowboy may have fallen from a horse and broken his leg, not able to move. There are vintage tools and cowboy relics. Here also is the Hardt room where guest speakers talk about the history of the area once a month.

There are mineral displays (all minerals recovered within 100 miles of the museum), a national defense display (equipment from the Iraq-Afghanistan theater including nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare instruments), WW1, WW11, Korea, and Vietnam era uniforms and many other displays, You will also find German uniforms and Mausers, a room featuring accomplished musicians from Miami, an Inspiration Mine hospital history, dioramas, early American firefighting equipment, and more.

A local artist and ceramics expert, Bob McKusick is also featured. Mr. McKusick found clay deposits in the area and began mixing his own clay and creating his own glazes. While living in Tucson, McKusick and his wife saw a housing boom in the 50's and the bulldozer's blade cutting up the desert. They feared that future residents would not know of the animal life of that desert. For that reason, he wanted to preserve true images of desert animals and native American culture in his tile works. His tiles show incredible detail and beautiful color. One display of southwestern Indian ceremonial headdress, animals, and native pueblos includes a series of 41 tiles. These tiles were authenticated by a well-known native American named White Bear. The tiles guarantee one more source of a true description of native American culture (Hopi) in the area. Mr. McKusick is also the creator of bas-relief murals found across the state of Arizona.

The Bullion Plaza Museum, open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 to 3:00 pm, has no admission fee, but donations are welcomed. If you don't take the 2.5-mile detour east at the junction of ARS 188 and ARS 60, you are missing a great chance for insight into a community's mining history, patriotic sense, and multi-cultural heritage. Whether it be Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Hispanic or many other immigrants seeking the mines to better themselves while building strong families and a way of life, their legacy is well-represented in the Bullion Plaza Museum. Don't miss it!

2018 News

The museum is staffed by volunteers and has received gifts which from the community, picked to represent a cross-section of mining life. One of the latest extensions to the museum is a gift shop. In the near future a feature for online shopping will be available.

And not to be the only new development to this wonderful repository, BHP Copper-Miami donated mineral specimens from all over Arizona. The cabinets housing these samples were also donated. The exhibits are all from the early 20th century.

The museum's name has been formalized to the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Directions to Bullion Plaza Museum Bing Map Miami, ArizonaLate 19th century and early 20th century electrification brought about an electric fire signal system for faster fire response.Mining is important to Arizona, but never forget that cattle has been a large part of its economy, and hence, the cowboy.Local Miami, Arizona militaria - Letters, commendations, photographs, uniforms, weapons liberated - it is amazing the sacrifices such small towns have made in time of war.The tires are taller than me!
Directions to Bullion Plaza Museum Bing Map Miami, Arizona
Directions to Bullion Plaza Museum Bing Map Miami, Arizona | Source
Source
Late 19th century and early 20th century electrification brought about an electric fire signal system for faster fire response.
Late 19th century and early 20th century electrification brought about an electric fire signal system for faster fire response. | Source
Mining is important to Arizona, but never forget that cattle has been a large part of its economy, and hence, the cowboy.
Mining is important to Arizona, but never forget that cattle has been a large part of its economy, and hence, the cowboy. | Source
Local Miami, Arizona militaria - Letters, commendations, photographs, uniforms, weapons liberated - it is amazing the sacrifices such small towns have made in time of war.
Local Miami, Arizona militaria - Letters, commendations, photographs, uniforms, weapons liberated - it is amazing the sacrifices such small towns have made in time of war. | Source
The tires are taller than me!
The tires are taller than me! | Source

Miami, Claypool, Globe Popular Restaurants

Chalo's Casa Reynoso
 
 
Guayo's El Rey
Mexican cuisine
Fantastic Mexican food
De Marcos Restaurant
Italian cuisine
Great Italian food
George's Hamburger Shop
Drop Dead Burgers
 
Judy's COOK HOUSE
American cuisine
the chili burger is the best!
On a first visit to the tri-city area of Miami, Claypool, and Globe, you cannot miss by visiting one of these eateries.

Directions

Take a left at the intersection of Arizona State Route 188 and Arizona State Route 60 and go for about 2.5 miles west of the intersection on ASR 60. Having been settled in the 19th century by miners, the distance between towns was shorter than we are accostumed to since the means of conveyance was horse. This area, which to this day is one of the richest copper producing areas of the world, has three towns, sometimes referred to as the Tri-cities, in close proximity. From east to west you will travel through Globe, Claypool, and Miami.

The museum is housed in the old Bullion Plaza School. The school was built to provide for the needs of the local native American population and Hispanic children. From its beginning in 1923, the Bullion Plaza School was an institution viewed with pride in the community. In 1950, the school was integrated. Later, it became site of the Miami High School. In 1999, due to its historical significance and architecture, the school was leased to the town of Miami.

Miami, AZ Tourist Info

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 John R Wilsdon

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)