Contention City



Zip Code:


Latitude / Longitude:

31°46′8″N 110°12′7″W / 31.76889°N 110.20194°W / 31.76889


3,799 ft (1,158 m)

Time Zone:

Mountain (NO DST) (UTC-7)


Contention City or Contention is a ghost mining town in Cochise County in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It was occupied from the early-1880s through the late-1880s in what was then known as the Arizona Territory.


Only a few foundations now remain of this boomtown which was settled and abandoned with the rise and fall of silver mining in and around the area of Tombstone.





Current Status:

Contention City is today part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (San Pedro RNCA) maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. All that remains today are scattered adobe walls, cellar holes, rows of fence posts, and the remnants of a small cemetery. Visitors can hike to the townsite on BLM-maintained paths along the San Pedro River.


Contention’s rail depot became superfluous when rail service was extended late in 1882 to Fairbank, 4 miles south, and thus closer to Tombstone. The discovery of water at Tombstone allowed the erection of mill sites there rendering the San Pedro River mill sites superfluous; when the Contention Mine and the silver mines in Tombstone flooded in 1886 and 1887 after the 1887 Sonora earthquake, the mills were forced to shut down, and Contention City suffered a fatal blow. The population began to leave, and the post office shut down on November 26, 1888. Other than a handful of local ranchers, the town was gone by 1890.