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mga707

Fairbank AZ roadside store restored

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The Fairbank Commercial Company store, gas station, and post office sits along one of Arizona's original State Highways, SR 82, a few miles NW of Tombstone and right by the San Pedro River.  Fairbank got it's start in the late 1800s as the rail stop for Tombstone.  The trains stopped running in the 1960s, but the store remained open into the early 1970s.  By the early 1980s it was in very bad shape and in danger of collapsing.  Luckily, the BLM has restored the building and the entire Fairbank townsite around it.  Original plan was to put a visitor center in the old store but the building was just too deteriorated so the center went into the three-room schoolhouse next door.  It is a gem!  Here's a photo of the old roadside store from last month, and one from 1982 for comparison. State Route 82 is just to the right in both shots.

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An interesting location. The store looks typical pre 1940 Arizona.

I looked at Fairbank in Google Earth. There is a big complex foundation across the road and toward Tombstone a few hundred yards. What was that?

I didn't know BLM was into historical restorations. I guess I have not been on the road enough lately!! :)

Thanks for sharing!!

Dave

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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15 hours ago, Keep the Show on the Road! said:

An interesting location. The store looks typical pre 1940 Arizona.

I looked at Fairbank in Google Earth. There is a big complex foundation across the road and toward Tombstone a few hundred yards. What was that?

I didn't know BLM was into historical restorations. I guess I have not been on the road enough lately!! :)

Thanks for sharing!!

Dave

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Not sure about the foundation you mention.  The old two-story railroad station, which was demolished after passenger service ended in the mid-1960s, was located farther south along the old rail bed, so it's probably not that.  I'm going to have to check Google Earth as well--love looking at their aerials of abandoned places I've visited.

Yes, the BLM had done a wonderful job of historical preservation in a couple of National Conservation Areas not too far from my home in Tucson.  Fairbank is located within the San Pedro Riparian NCA, and they have also beautifully restored the Empire Ranch buildings, including the main ranch house that dates to the 1870s, in the Las Cienegas NCA, which is located just east of State Route 83 near Sonoita.

Here are two more shots from Fairbank, of the interior and exterior of the old three-room schoolhouse that is now the Visitor Center.  The school closed in the mid-1940s, which is when the town declined to just a few dozen residents.  The desks came from the old school in Tombstone.  The schoolhouse is to the left of the store in the above pictures, and the former teacher's house is next to it.  Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, the school is the only one of the three buildings open to the public, although the house can be looked into through the windows.  Fairbank is one of those rare 'ghost towns' that are located right along a paved State highway.

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Dave,

I just looked on  Google Earth at the Fairbank area and saw the structure you mention above.  That is a horse corral, presently in use.  Horseback riding in the National Conservation Area is popular, and there are many trails.  If you follow the old rail bed south from the Highway 82 a short ways you can see the foundation remains of the old rail depot.

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It has been "forever" since I saw that style of desk!!! I knew it very well in the 40's. The lid (large writing surface) lifted and the bin underneath provided space for books, papers, pencils, and just about anything else. If I recall correctly the seat can be adjusted up and down by the custodian.

 

What makes those desks special to me is the inkwell on the upper right. You had a bottle of ink, and a pen with a removable metal tip, and you used it. Talk about the past!! I understand that youngsters don't even learn cursive these days. I hope the power never goes off.

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!!

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