"Historic Douglas" Douglas by Basaic

Douglas Travel Guide: 42 reviews and 99 photos

The Visitor's Center

Your first stop when visiting Douglas should be the Visitor's Center, located on the right (south) as you enter town on Arizona Highway 80. Douglas was founded in 1901, incorporated in 1905 and currently has about 17,000 people residing there. It is located in the Southeast corner of Arizona on the border with Agua Prieta, Mexico. The area around Douglas had been a staging point for cattle for many years before the town actually started. The town was started by the Phelps Dodge Mining Company as the home for a huge copper smelter. The site was picked because it had an abundant water supply and access to both the railroad and to Mexico. The town was named after Dr. James Douglas, president of the Phelps Dodge Mining Company. Today mining, agriculture, ranching and international commerce remain important parts of the Douglas economy. One of the suggested (by the Visitor's Center and me) things to do is the Walking Tour of Douglas, they call the "Feather Duster Tour". It is called this because in the old days the main streets in Douglas were dirt and it was a common practice to hang feather dusters by the front door so visitors could clean the dust off their shoes before entering the house.

Hotel Gadsden

Shortly after the incorporation of Douglas, the Phelps Dodge Mining Company decided to build a luxurious hotel so the leaders of the company could stay in luxury. The Hotel Gadsden was built in 1907. The Hotel Gadsden has 130 rooms. The beautiful lobby is dominated by the twin staircases made of Italian marble and a 42 foot stained glass mural. There are four columns with the capitals decorated in 14k gold leaf. A number of celebrities, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Shelly Winters Lee Marvin and the cast from several movies have stayed at the Gadsden, which has been declared a National Historic Monument.

The People

Douglas has a personality all its own mixed with a distinct Mexican flavor. The people were very friendly.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very friendly little city with an interesting history
  • Cons:Too much drugs coming across the border
  • In a nutshell:Meet the people, learn the history, enjoy the atmosphere
  • Last visit to Douglas: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated Jan 16, 2008
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Reviews (37)

Comments (2)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    Howdy Jim! Douglas looks like my kind of place. I so enjoy exploring wonderful towns like these. Nice page!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Thanx for your brilliant page!

Basaic

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