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Thread: Harshaw, AZ As it was in the 50's

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    Default Harshaw, AZ As it was in the 50's

    Harshaw is a sweet little place south of Patagonia. Located in a meadow with a creek, big trees & fun history. I've been there a few times & know the area well. It's all private property & posted, you must have permission. Harshaw was built to support the Hermosa mine in 1877 but it didn't last long. After only a couple of years the mine played out, then a flood, then a fire & the town stopped growing but it didn't stop living. In 79' the paper in Tombstone described Harshaw as abandoned with doors swinging in the breeze on empty buildings. Not quite.

    There was a lot of mining in the Patagonia mts then & itinerant miners would squat in Harshaw temperarily, some set up housekeeping for long term. One original settler built a solid house of stone, adobe & redwood shipped in from California. His family is still there, but not without some drama. In the 60's it was forest service policy to regard old mining works, ghost towns, abandoned buildings as nuisance's & demolish them. When they showed up with bulldozers in Harshaw it came as a shock to the last remaining family still living there. Their ancester hadn't bothered with the danm government paper work like a homestead & through the years it was just forgotten about...untill the bulldozers. I would love to have seen the protest that Norman put up to stop the demolition work long enough for him to file a appeal & get clear title to his family home. He did it, but only got ownership to the house & outbuildings connected with his grandfathers original settlement. The rest of the old town was razed to the ground.

    The original habitation here dates back to the early Mexican or maybe even Spanish times. Originally named Durazno, spanish for peach, it was an orchard. I was there a few years ago & marveled at an very old fruit tree in full flower, covered with bees, smelled wonderfull. I imagined it was a descendant of the old, old orchard. I've been slogging through the Arizona memory project website photo's, http://azmemory.lib.az.us/index.php, it's a wonderfull thing. There were a few old pic's of Harshaw before the demolition. Looked like old slides, much faded. I've tried my hand at a little restoration. Here is an original photo & my "improvements".These buildings are gone, but here's a little glimpse into the past.
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    Last edited by Vulture; 02-29-2012 at 10:02 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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    More pics. The old school, 1950s, now gone & the mill site now.

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    Last edited by Vulture; 02-29-2012 at 10:04 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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    Great story and pics there Vulture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Vulture-

    Thank you for all of your time and effert that you put into researching these histories and finding these pictures. It is always interesting to me to read what the members submit here. I appreciate all of these inputs.

    John

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    Thanks sports fans, appreciate 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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    Harshaw is one of the first ghost towns I ever visited. So it's all PP as well; same I understand to be true of Washington Camp and Duquesne.
    "Here lies Lester Moore; four slugs from A-44. No Les no more." - Grave marker at Tombstone's Boothill Cemetary

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    Great post, Vulture! It's so sad many of these places were destroyed. Duquesne was sold off a few years ago (maybe around 2001?). I believe it sold for $150,000. I found out that it was up for sale about two weeks after it sold. I would have LOVED to buy Duquesne. Wow, you're own ghost town. I would have been in Heaven! Don't know where I would have gotten the $150k, but I can dream, right?

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    When I first started exploring the area in 00' the whole Duquesne mine district had been subdivided into roughly 40 acre lots, with the town site in tact on one lot. Several buildings under roof, wide open, I checked out everything including the Westinghouse house which had the first indoor plumbing in the area, (I heard that people came from all over to see the flush toilets.) That was huge fun.
    Then as lots began to sell the area became gated off little by little. About 6 years ago I was there with a friend & we stopped to eat lunch on the foundations of the old mill. An armed man approached us, I was carrying too, he said we were trespassing on his land. I thought this is a better end than I could hope for, I'm going down in an old west gunfight! Well not quite, I said I'd been there before & didn't know this was private land & had seen no postings. We got to chatting & he turned out to be a nice chap & actually took us down into one of the mines on his property. That was much fun, but it was the last fun I ever had in Duquesne. When I went back a couple of years ago all the mines were gated off & the town site is fenced off. The forest service road is still there through the middle of town but the buildings are fenced & posted.

    Well folks got a right to privacy on their own land, but I miss the last wide open ghost town in SE AZ.

    So the only ghost town in the Patagonia mts that isn't private property is Mowry. There's not a lot to see there, but is worth checking out. Joel & I were there a while back.

    <
    "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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    Yeah, we went down there to scope out one of the lots for my parents. It was about the only one left. It was WAY out there. Needed 4WD to get there and it was so steep, you couldn't build much on it without a lot of dozer work. Didn't buy it. So much for dreams... While we are dreaming, I would've liked to have bought Duquesne, fixed up one house for me to live in and kept the others open for people to come see. I understand about having private property, but when you fence these areas off, they are lost to all...

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