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Thread: American Flag, Arizona

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    Default American Flag, Arizona

    Although limited by private property, an interesting place on the way up the "backside" of Mt. Lemmon near Oracle, Arizona is American Flag. The ghost town doesn't have much left, except what looks like an old barn and stable and what is reported as Arizona's existing Territorial post office in the state that is still standing.

    Here's some history I gleaned regarding American Flag: The town of American Flag was founded by prospector Isaac Lorrainein in the late 1870s where he was operating the American Flag mine. As more mining and ranching camps popped up in the area, the need for a post office grew. The mining town eventually had a population of about forty. The American Flag Post Office was established on December 28, 1880. In 1881, Lorrainein sold the town to the Richardson Mining Company of New York. But by 1884, the population dwindled to only fifteen so and the post office closed on July 16, 1890. The old post office still stands today (now on the site of the American Flag Ranch where it was moved sometime after it was built), and is believed to be the oldest surviving territorial post office building in Arizona. The building is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and is preserved by the Oracle Historical Society.
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    You can find more information and location at:
    http://www.experience-az.com/adventures/QTRs/index.html

    matt@experience-az.com

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    If I remember right the mine was once owned by Buffalo Bill Cody. He lost a lot of money on it. Of course Bill was no miner. I think he parked his wife at the Neils hotel in Oracle & held an endless party at the mine that the Stones would of blushed at.

    Least, that's the way I heard it.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
    If I remember right the mine was once owned by Buffalo Bill Cody. He lost a lot of money on it. Of course Bill was no miner. I think he parked his wife at the Neils hotel in Oracle & held an endless party at the mine that the Stones would of blushed at.

    Least, that's the way I heard it.
    I think that Buffalo Bill "invested" in the Campo Bonito workings. The American Flag claims are described as being 1 1/2 miles WSW of Campo Bonito.

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    I think Bill was in Oracle for a period of time. My source for the above recollection is "Annie's Guests" by Barbara Marriott. It is the story of the Mountain View hotel in Oracle, part of which I think is still standing. It is possible I confused Campo Bonito with American Flag because of their close proximity, just possible.


    Entertainment Magazine: Iron Door Mine: Buffalo Bill Cody
    Buffalo Bill Cody in Arizona

    Played a big role in Oracle mining history

    By Flint Carter
    Little known, but a big part of Arizona's history is Buffalo Bill Cody's part in the development of Arizona and his role in mining in Oracle, is coming to light.
    At the time of his death, the citizens of the Tucson, Arizona area wanted Buffalo Bill for state senator.
    William Federick "Buffalo Bill" Cody held 562,436 patented acres of mining claims in the Santa Catalina Mountains, 45 mines, 2 mills, the Mt. View Hotel in Oracle, AZ., and a long list of other hotels, ranches and pioneering developments in the West.
    W.F. Cody's Campo Bonito, in the heart of the Oracle Ranch Country, includes historic Maudina Tungsten Mine, the Pure Gold Tungsten, Southern Belle Gold Mine among others.
    In November 2010, the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave came to Tucson, AZ to research the archives and tour the mining area owned by Cody, north of Tucson, after the turn the of 20th Century.
    I had been in touch with Steve Friesen for years. He had just finished a new book on Buffalo Bill, along with maintaining the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado.
    For years, we had discussed Buffalo Bill's time in Tucson and Oracle. Friesen believes that a sizable part of Buffalo Bill's history in Arizona has been mostly unknown, misplaced or overlooked. Friesen is now compiling the research for possibly a new book, new exhibits at the museum and more.
    During his visit, I gave Steve the secret telegraph code used by Buffalo Bill. In this code, he named his mines after women and the precious metals after states when sending telegraph messages. The University of Arizona has 300 plus letters from Buffalo Bill in the Special Collections.
    As I made clear to Steve, "gold does not breed cooperation" and can be very dangerous, especially during the pioneer days of the Wild West.
    Many holes in the research of Buffalo Bill's life still leaves many questions. To date, no production records are available from his mines. A smart man would not broadcast this wealth. But he was not required to report it at the time.
    The amount of gold, silver, tungsten and other precious metals will never been known. It's possible someone will read this and have some information that will help.
    It's as if Cody didn't want anyone to know. Yes, a few letters, already known, say he was swindled by partners which was common in the business.
    But Cody's years here, and remaining documents are slowly piecing the puzzle together and the missing part of history is surfacing.


























    Last edited by Vulture; 10-26-2011 at 12:09 PM.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Found some new pic's pertenant to this old post. Photo's of Bill in Oracle, one with Curly Neil.

    A link to the photo archive where I found em.

    http://azmemory.lib.az.us/cdm4/index...SOROOT=/phfafr

    <
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Great old pictures and info on Buffalo Bill. Thanks!

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    Default More on Buff Bill

    Roger that re: Bill's mines being at Campo Bonito.
    Many of you may know that the headquarters of his place (the High Jinks), built largely from river rock after his death, is still there, and being restored. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
    Former owner of the site, once removed, was an editor of the Tombstone Epitaph and later a journalism prof at the community college on Aravaipa Road.
    The place is now owned by a gentleman (works on big telescopes) and his girlfriend (as she was about eight months ago when I visited) who, among other things, edits a newspaper out of Oracle.
    They are really working hard to restore the place, as it was in danger of falling apart.
    Favorite stories about Bill that I've read: His wife did indeed stay at the Mountain View Hotel in Oracle (now a church). She said that all Bill did out at the High Jinks was pitch pennies and get drunk with his stepson. One time when he attempted to placate her by staying at the Mountain View, she said all he did was sit in a rocker on the second-floor balcony and shoot with his pistol at glass target balls he'd placed on the railing.
    Another story has him sending his stepson down to check on the payroll at the mine. I don't recall the exact numbers, but it seems like there were 38 guys on the payroll, but only a dozen or so genuinely employed.
    Yes, he got ripped off big-time.

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    Smokepole,

    Some great info and history there. Thanks. Yep, I heard old Bill wasn't much of a businessman.
    "Life's not about how fast you can blast through it, but how slow you can go."
    matt@experience-az.com | www.experience-az.com

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    great info and neat old pics!! thanks!

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