RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Roadside Murals

More Murals:
by Rose Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona
Bisbee, Arizona
Contributed by Gerald Thurman of Tempe, Arizona

Update: It is with sadness that we report the death of Rose Johnson on June 1, 2009 in Bali, Indonesia.

Castle Rock is an imposing hunk of rock on the side of Tombstone Canyon in Bisbee, Arizona. Rose Johnson was commissioned by the city of Bisbee to paint a mural dedicated to world peace on a concrete wall that abuts Castle Rock. We're not sure when she painted this mural, but Johnson painted another of the murals in the RTA collection on the Jonquil Motel in 2004.

Johnson is nationally recognized illustrator and painter. More of her murals adorn the walls at the Bisbee Boys and Girls Club in Bisbee. Her paintings are in the collection of the Tucson Airport and The Phoenix Children's Hospital. Most of her current work is characterized by brilliant colors, making this mural, which is mostly black and white, unusual. Her current work and portfolio is online here.

History of Bisbee
Color photos of the town by Diane Green Lent
Bisbee is also home to the Queen Mine tour, which makes for an interesting excursion.

Gerald Thurman visited Bisbee in July, 2007 and stayed at the well known Shady Dell RV Park. What sets this campground apart from the thousands of RV parks across the country, are the vintage aluminum trailers that guests may stay in. Some of these unusual trailers include a 1950 Spartanette, a 1951 Royal Mansion and a 1949 Airstream. Thurman stayed in a 1957 El Rey. Also at Shady Dell is the still-functioning Dot's Diner, and next door is the Evergreen Cemetery, which, Thurman calls "the most interesting cemetery I've ever visited."

Approximately at 110 Tombstone Canyon Road, Bisbee, AZ, 85603

Photographed by Gerald Thurman 7/21/07
Posted on RoadTrip America 5/09

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