The centerpiece of one of Southern Arizona’s most charming small towns is a depot built for the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad. The rail line, built in the 1880s, connected Nogales to the main Southern Pacific line in Benson. The depot came along at the turn of the century, when Patagonia had a population of 133. But within two decades, the town’s mining industry was so prosperous that the railroad made three stops a day there. By the end of World War II, about 5,000 tons of lead, copper, zinc and molybdenum ore were being shipped from Patagonia’s mines every month. After the mines went bust and the rail line was abandoned, a Patagonia resident bought the depot to save it from being demolished. He then sold it to the local Rotary Club. Today, the restored depot is owned by Patagonia and houses the town’s offices.

LOCATION: 310 McKeown Avenue, Patagonia
BUILDER: New Mexico and Arizona Railroad
INFORMATION: Town of Patagonia, 520-394-2229 or