Globe is a mining town. In fact, it began its existence as a mining camp about 1875. Even today a bit more than 20% of Globe’s employed citizens are involved in the production of copper. There are 4 copper mines in the area.
Globe has a couple of tourist attractions. The lady at its visitor center discourage me from going to see one of them, Devil’s Canyon. She told me it was not well-marked. Ruth & I went instead to Besh-Ba-Gowah and enjoyed a 5 Compass attraction. Pronounced “Besh buh gow uh” by non-Native Americans, this is an archeological park next to a community center. Don’t park there. For both Ruth and me, the pueblo wasn’t as interesting as the ethnobotanical gardens.
Like many pueblos in The Southwest this one was abandoned for unknown reasons by its builders, the Salados. The intro film was quite good at explaining that although Besh-Ba-Gowah yielded a wealth of found artifacts it remains an enigma.
The Salados were entrepreneurial travelers. Found artifacts-shells from California, evidence of macaws from Mexico, rocks from Wyoming, etc.–indicate their trade skills. Fine cotton cloth, colorful bowls and jars, and turquoise beads clearly demonstrate their creative abilities. The last of them left this 200 room (some sources say there were 300 rooms) multi-story pueblo in 1447. The cause of their departure is unknown even though archeologists have found evidence that they endured earthquakes, fires, raids, and, drought despite this pueblo’s placement in high desert near both the Salt and Gila Rivers. About 100 years after they left, Apaches controlled the area. Adolph Bandolier, noted archeologist who was born in Switzerland but died in Spain, later explored it.
The museum part of Besh-Ba-Gowah does a fine job of showing what life was like for the Salados. They were basically farmers even though the name of their pueblo translates to “place of metal”, which is both an Apache phrase and Globe’s first name when mountain men and then miners began moving in.
Evidence suggests that the Salados were among the healthiest Southwest people. They had a well-balanced diet that included corn, beans, and squash. Corn, their most important crop, was ground, roasted, and popped. Amaranth was also cultivated and eaten. Salados also grew fine cotton. The great number of shells left behind indicate that jewelry making was a big employer.
Ruth and I both especially liked the gardens. The pueblo itself was doted with many healthy cacti, another source of water in an emergency. Also on the premises were 2 recreated seasonal gardens that provided information about both their plants and the Salado, ghost people who once thrived in a desert.