Fairbank, AZ a “ghost town” of yesteryear. The historic town of Fairbank used to be a very important transportation hub. Three railroad lines passed through Fairbank including the New Mexico and Arizona which connected Fairbank to Benson and the Mexican port of Guaymas. In the 1880s, at the peak of the silver boom in and around Tombstone, Fairbank served as central point of entry and exit for miners, prospectors, materials and ore. Tombstone was not connected to the railway until 1903 so passengers had to take a stage from Fairbank. Passengers who stepped off the train in Fairbank in the 1880s would have seen an elegant hotel and restaurant, a post office, 3 railroad depots and several other businesses. The hotel was torn down when Highway 82 was built around 1940, but its foundation can still be seen next to the Adobe mercantile Building. Until about 1974, this building was still open for business. The town was named after Nathanial Kellogg Fairbank, a Chicago grain broker who helped finance the railroad and was a founding member of the Grand Central Mining Company of Tombstone. An earthquake in 1887 altered the route of the San Pedro River, actually sent it underground near there. The earthquake also knocked railroad tracks out of place and devastated structures in the little town.
In 1987 the Bureau of Land Management acquired the old Spanish Land Grant that Fairbank was built upon. It is now a portal into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) and is open every day for public visitation. Only a few buildings remain and exhibits tell the story of Fairbank in its heyday. Hiking trails radiate from the town centre to many natural and historical points of interest, i.e. San Pedro River, Cemetery and the Grand Central Mill.
Of the pictures you’ll see here, the schoolhouse was built in the 1920s after the original wooden structure burned. The school operated till 1944 when students transferred to the Tombstone Unified School. This is the only building that is totally restored thus far, with work being conducted on the mercantile building right now. Each fall the BLM/SPRNCA hold a Fairbank reunion for all lived and worked there but the public is invited. The day we went, was the weekend that the reunion was being held. So, the pic you’ll see of the large group of people are people who used to live there.
For more info about Fairbank go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or www.blm.gov/az Or email@example.com
Later in the day, we left Fairbank and went to another nearby town, St. David. There a Fall Festival was taking place at the Holy Trinity Monastery. A 35 year old Benedictine Catholic Monastery, giving a wonderful presence in Southern Arizona. A quick walk through the craft and arts area, then off to the chapel and grounds. We weren’t disappointed in the architectural study of this place. The chapel was completed in 1981. There are three groups of people living on the grounds, the Monks, “Holy Hoboes” who live and serve humanity in/from RV’s, the Residential Oblates live in a small mobile home park.
For more info about Holy Trinity Monastery go to: www.holytrinitymonastery.org