Museo de La Lucha Obera

Cananea Jailhouse Museum

Useful Information

Location: Cananea, South of Nogales, Sonora State.
Open: All year Web-Sun 8-18.
Fee: Adults MXN 5.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Museo de La Lucha Obera, Av. Benito Juárez es. Tercera Este, Cananea, Sonora, Tel: +52-64533-20387.
Guerrero entre Gastón Madrid y Everardo Monroy s/n , Colonia Centro, Hermosillo, Sonora, Tel: +52-662-2-17-06-91, Tel: +52-212-3417-111. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1903 jailhous opened.
1906 miner strike.
1910 Nexican revolution.
JUN-1980 declared a Monumento Histórico Nacional (National Historic Landmark).


Cananea is the center of the Mexican copper mining, with the Del Cobre Mine, which is the most productive copper mine of Mexico. Although still a working open pit mine it can be visited with a permit. The Feria del Cobre (Copper Fair) is the most important festival of Cananea and is celebrated during the last week of June. It includes folk dances, shows and horse races.

The most famous sights of the town are the Museo de la Lucha Obera (Cananea Jailhouse Museum) and the mansion of copper king William Cornell Greene. The museum is located in the former jail of the cits Cananea, and was an important place in numerous hirsoric events. In 1906 the miners made an important strike, and many of them ended here in jail. So actually there were a lot of important people min this jail, and in 1910, when the Mexican revolution started, this jail was one of the soucres. As a result of this long history, the building was declared a Monumento Histórico Nacional (National Historic Landmark) in 1980. It was renovated by the government, and the museum was opened at the end of the same year.

In fact this museum is a musem of the local copper mining, but its main goal is to explain the social circumstances. It is a museum dedicated to the labour dispute (lucha obera means actualy labour dispute) of 1906 and its consequences.

The scenic Sierra de Pintos is the setting for historic and still important copper mining centre of Cananea. The museum is on Avenida Juárez. It is a former city jail and houses an exhibition dedicated to the miners strike of 1906 against the American owned Cananea Consolidated Copper Company. Hundreds of Arizona Rangers crossed the border to join the Sonora militia in putting down the strike.

Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.