It’s always interesting to us to revisit historical sites and see how much has changed in the years that have passed in between. Our first ever (non-touristy) ghost town visit occurred 6 years ago in Fairbank, Arizona. My then choice of adventure apparel was questionable and so was that blog post. One thing that hasn’t changed is my proclivity to photograph outhouses at ghost towns.
Since I failed to give a satisfactory summary on the background of this ghost town in our previous Fairbank post, here it is:
Fairbank, originally named Junction City, existed because of Tombstone, Arizona. It was founded in the 1870s as a stagecoach stopping point enroute to Tombstone. It didn’t really grow until 1882 when railroad construction was completed and it became an important depot for transporting cattle and silver ore from Tombstone. From Fairbank, the ore was sent to the mills in Contention City and Charleston.
Fairbank never boomed like Tombstone, having only reached a population of 100 at its height, but it did see a lot of action as the closest railroad depot. They were able to boast of 5 saloons, 4 stores, 3 restaurants, a school, a jail (Fairbank saw quite a few train robberies), and a hotel by 1889. After Tombstone’s mines closed due to flooding, Fairbank saw a significant decline but it managed to hang on through the 1940s. School was open until 1944 but the post office didn’t officially close until the 1970s.
A 1/2 mile trail littered with remnants of the past leads to Fairbank’s cemetery atop a hill.
Fairbank Ghost Town Overview
- Coordinates: 31.723056, -110.188333
- Fees: FREE (donation appreciated)
- Usage: Light
- Things to note:
- Hike to cemetery is an easy 1/2 mile.
- Pets allowed: Yes