All sorts of people come to Globe, Arizona, located ninety minutes from Phoenix. While we’ve heard the expression, ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’, both are equally apropos once a visitor turns off US60 and onto Broad Street, the main drag in town.
Community projects begun a few years ago on the main boulevard have produced a cobbled promenade lined with a variety of leafy trees, just now hitting their growth cycle. Vintage-style streetlamps and simple benches complete the look and feel of hometown familiarity. Older homes dot the hilltops, and vintage shops line the street.
Globe has long been known to serve the tastiest Mexican food in the entire Southwest; a dozen fine eateries, each offering a distinct take on south of the border dining. Two Asian restaurants and an Italian place join the mix, and friendly ice cream shops and streetside taverns welcome guests.
While there have been comparisons to television’s Mayberry, the city of Globe and its surroundings have a colorful history and a diverse population all its own. Silver mining morphed into copper mining; the Sleeping Beauty Mine produced spectacular turquoise until it closed in 2012; Besh Ba Gowah, a mile south of Globe, is a 200-room Salado pueblo from AD 1225-AD 1400. Globe has history with the Apache Kid, Geronimo, and Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday’s girlfriend; the tallest three story building in the world is located downtown; the last Woolworth’s west of the Mississippi was in Globe until it closed in 1997; the Drift Inn Saloon is the longest operating tavern in Arizona, and has been since 1902
At the end of Broad Street, folks from the Valley and around the world visit the Pickle Barrel Trading Post, a local landmark for over 15 years. The former Old Dominion Commercial Company warehouse, used to store equipment for the copper mine, was built in 1905. Renovated in 1994, with continuing improvements, the 8,000 square foot store offers something for everyone: Native American sterling and turquoise jewelry, home décor, candles, clothes, and snacks; hand woven Apache burden baskets, a full rock & mineral room, and more. The staff is open and friendly, and enjoy meeting new people and welcoming returning visitors.
We’ve pulled together some our favorite experiences at the PB with those we’ve met, both from other states and other countries. Our favorites:
-a man bought a colorful, five-foot metal yard art kangaroo (with baby in pouch) for his office atrium (he said he was a pediatrician).
-a bevy of dazzling, athletic young women, strippers all, who enjoyed their visit most by teasing the solitary male staff member.
-a one hundred and five year old woman, visiting from Cleveland, who enjoyed her birthday at the PB but not quite so much the shrill, out-of-tune rendition of Happy Birthday the staff sang to her.
-Apache royalty; those lovely young women with intricately beaded crowns and sashes with titles such as ‘Miss San Carlos Rodeo Queen’, ‘Miss Indian Fort Thomas’, and ‘Miss San Carlos Apache’.
-European collectors so enamored with the lore of the Wild West they missed their flights home. The French and the Germans, especially, are in love with the desert Southwest and its history. The blooming fields of Mexican poppies in the spring, too, have lured many a visitor to San Carlos for the dazzling view.
-a family of thirty from Utah, comprised of multiple generations from toddlers to octogenarians, were very friendly. And very quiet.
-film crews from Hollywood, out scouting locations, spending down time shopping and gossiping with the staff.
-people who love to bring their pets along (the PB is pet-friendly!) Visitors’ pets have included cats, dogs, parrots, a capuchin monkey in a handbag, and a one year old, 150 pound pig.
-newlyweds— and an occasional ‘he-just-popped-the-question!’ proposals… complete with rings purchased right then, right here. Even more poignant are those renewing their vows after decades of marriage. They take the shortest time to select a ring!
-Phoenix visitors who want to see the (occasional) snow at Christmastime—and the gorgeous sunsets most of the time.
-families who love to pose for the PB Facebook camera in cowboy hats and serapes. Shopaholics with multiple bags who pose in a picture for the folks back home. The Apache families who prepare for ceremonial dances and pageants with beads and buckskins.
-the PB has welcomed new babies (although, thank goodness, not delivered in the shop) and have said goodbye to much-loved customers who have passed on.
-strong women who not only adore fine jewelry, but wear it on the hiking trail; firefighting teams, those brave men and women who keep the town safe by putting themselves in harm’s way; new authors and flute players, weavers and silversmiths, painters and the seamstresses who make camp dresses and Pendleton purses. We love the visitors from Milan, Minnesota, and Madrid… and we can’t get enough of the Canadians!
-we’ve entertained three distinct Santa Clauses, all in jeans and tees but nonetheless irresistible to the children in the shop, no matter the month. One of them blew out of the parking lot, not in a sled, but on a loud black Harley-Davidson Sportster.
-the man who pointed to graffiti on the wall— TONY ’58 — and proudly shared with us how he’d scrawled his name on the cinder block when he worked here as a warehouse employee in the Fifties.
We’ve hosted baby ballerinas, bartenders on holiday, photographers overwhelmed by the scenery; new Moms & Dads with strollers and baby bags, vintage car collectors who’ve filled the parking lot until it resembled a movie set; tattooed hipsters and construction workers seeking the perfect gift for the girl back home. We love the ‘girls day out’ groups, when life is no more complicated than finding the right pair of earrings, and the grandparents who talk about the old days: rotary phones and snail mail.
By far the friendliest folks are those from the American Midwest; the most curious and unafraid to ask questions, the Scandinavians. The most interesting lifestyle choices are the folks who move to Arizona from Alaska, and those from Arizona who decide to move to Alaska.
Globe may be a small town in Southeastern Arizona, but it’s a friendly place with history, charm, and international connections. A day trip to Globe, Arizona can be a world tour. Stop by soon and say Howdy— or Hallo, Bon Jour, Hola, Kon’nichiwa, or Ciao!
Stop by the Pickle Barrel Trading Post soon and see why so many come from so far to visit both the shop– and the area!
Photo of Cobre Valley Center for the Arts by Steven C. Price
For more information on Globe-Miami, Arizona, visit the following websites: