The area in Southern Arizona known as the Sulfur Springs Valley was a wild mostly unexplored territory after the civil war. This sacred ground was the land of Kachise the famous Apache Indian Chief and he protected his home with bloodshed. But in 1880 the railroad punched it's way across the great southwest building section stations at regular intervals along the track. One such station was established at the intersection of the Southern Pacific's main line and the Croton Spring road. The station was named Cochise, after the Apache warrior. Cochise Station consisted of railroad cars to house the workers with no amenities. The railroad employed mostly Irish and Chinese. An entrepreneur of 28 years old, one John J. Rath worked as a telegraph operator near Fort Bowie and found the Cochise section station interesting. He became the railroad agent based at the camp and began to build a town. He dug a well and made an agreement to sell water to the railroad which prompted them to build a full on station at the camp. And then, in 1896 he began building the double adobe structure he called, the HOTEL RATH.
The Hotel Rath soon became the Cochise Hotel and offered rooms with beds. Business was soon plentiful with Railroad workers who would stop at the Cochise Station to take on water and coal, the cowboys who would ship their cattle east, the miners who would deliver their ore for transport and the passengers who were either east or west bound on the railroad. The hotel quickly became a hub for the area and served as the Wells Fargo Express office, telegraph office, post office and hotel / restaurant. Over the next hundred and fifteen years the hotel changed hands only four times and now the fifth owner, Phillip Gessert, has taken on the charge of John J. Rath himself.
Today, the Cochise Hotel is the oldest hotel in the state of Arizona, and is on the registry of Historic Landmarks. The Cochise Hotel operates as a bed and breakfast. You can rent a comfortable room for a night, or rent the hotel for a whole weekend for your event, corporate retreat, or family reunion.