Colorado River steamboat transportation made a significant impact in opening the Arizona Territory to commerce in the latter half of the 19th century.
The Planet Mine, located in the northwest corner of La Paz County in the Buckskin Mountains in central western Arizona, was prospected by Richard Ryland in 1863, and is one of the oldest copper mines discovered by and worked by Americans in Arizona.
The Bagdad Mine is a porphyry copper deposit containing both sulfide and oxide mineralization.
Paul Desautels’ presence at the 1961 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show was the Smithsonian Institution’s first involvement in an event sponsored by the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society. It also marked the beginning of mineral displays at the show with the Smithsonian’s theme “Uncommon Gemstones …
Located 25 miles north of Yuma in the barren, rocky Trigo Mountains, the Silver mining district was established after the railroad had reached Yuma in 1878.
Lighting has played a critical role in the safety of underground coal and metal mining for several thousand years. Challenges in an underground mine environment include dust, conﬁned spaces, surfaces with low reflectivity and reduced visual contrast.
The first recorded mining claim in the Chiricahua Mountains was the Hidden Treasure, worked by Jack Dunn in early 1881. It later became part of the Hilltop Mine, the largest and most profitable mine in the Chiricahuas.
What would become one of the most prosperous mining camps at the turn of the century was founded in southwestern Yavapai County by Dennis May on March 25, 1884, and several years later developed by the wealthy Mississippi steamboat operator Diamond Joe Reynolds.
The Banner Mining district covers a geographic area 15 miles long and seven miles wide, and its principal mine was the Christmas Mine.
During the early days of mining in the American West, the merchants were often the ones who became rich in mining camps and towns — not the miners.
Trade tokens have been used as far back as Roman times, and in the United States, as recently as in the era of mining towns. These unique pieces are rare and highly collectible.
Located in the Dragoon Mountains on Golden Rule Hill, the Golden Rule Mine was the primary metal mine in Cochise County’s Dragoon mining district. The Golden Rule Mining Company was the mine’s namesake, and one of the earliest companies involved in its development from 1883 through 1890.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on the Ajo mining district. To read the first part of this series go online to tinyurl.com/ajomine
Located between Winkelman and Superior along scenic Highway 177, the Ray mine has a history dating back 140 years.
In 2012, Arizona produced more than $2 billion in nonfuel mineral commodities. While Arizona leads the nation in copper production, additional minerals ranked according to value include molybdenum concentrates, sand and gravel (construction), cement (portland) and silver.
Early prospecting in the Patagonia mining district during the 1860s and ’70s was hindered by the threat of Apache raids. After the Apache were forcibly removed, the mining communities of Washington Camp and Duquesne were established a mile apart in the Patagonia Mountains.
One of the fringe benefits of hiking Arizona’s extensive mountain trail system is the opportunity to visit old mines and see abandoned mining equipment.
Breathing apparatuses were an important part of mine-rescue work beginning in the 1890s. Explosions, cave-ins, floods and fires were a constant threat in daily mining operations. Poor air quality resulting from such accidents led to fatalities on the job.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of copper in the role of the economy of Arizona, where students used to learn about “The 5 C’s” — copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.
Located 18 miles south of Tucson near the Sierrita Mountains and organized in 1877, the Pima Mining District had humble beginnings with several small mining camps.