It's finally starting to cool off around these parts. Soon enough, I'll able to once again take actual road trips to parts of the state I haven't seen yet. But the internet still continues to offer an adequate substitute for real experience. I've recently found a few great sites that are new to me at least.
Aaron Walton's Western Mining History site is probably my favorite, if only for the sheer perversity of its presentation. Clustered around its prominently displayed Google ads, the site's photo galleries offer exquisite views of dilapidated small towns throughout the western United States. Its brief tour of Miami, Arizona is a real treat. The town's hovels, back alleys and shuttered buildings are lovingly exhibited without commentary or any trace of irony, as barren as the streets of Miami themselves. Meanwhile, Globe and Bisbee look positively opulent by comparison.
I had varying degrees of success finding photos of the others towns in my personal pantheon of destinations. I enjoyed Jeff Knapp's photos of Superior, even if they were all in black and white. The Library of Congress American Memory page has a lot of great pictures of Tombstone from the mid-20th century, before the place was tarted up for the tourist trade. But you've got to use their cumbersome search engine to find them. All I could find about Yarnell were pages about the Shrine Of St. Joseph, of which this one is my favorite.
None of the above, however, can match Prescott's Sharlot Hall Museum site for sheer volume. Stretching from the mid 1800s to the present day, exhaustively documented and annotated in most cases by by accompanying articles, the collection has no rival that I've found. The also voluminous Arizona Memory Project, to which the Sharlot Hall Museum is a major contributor, comes awfully close though.
Readers as equally bitter as I am about the modern state of things might enjoy whiling away a few hours lost amidst these fantastic photo collections from Arizona's past. The rest of you can get a quick fix from my latest batch of postwar postcards from the fine folks at Curt Teich: