Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Several Mines in Southern Arizona--Then and Now

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default Several Mines in Southern Arizona--Then and Now

    I recently came across an online collection of USGS photographs that were taken in 1909 in the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains of Arizona. Those photos were later used in a USGS bulletin published in 1915 detailing the mineral resources of those mountain ranges. The interesting photos in the group were of several mines visited during the field research. I had to go see what was going on at the old sites today. I went to these mines: Alto Mine, World’s Fair Mine, Sweet Mine, Helvetia Mine Camp, Copper World Mine, Isle Royal Mine, and Total Wreck Mine. I went near the Salero Mine, but it is heavily posted against unauthorized entry! I still have several other sites to see as time permits.
    The first set of photos are the “then”(1909) and “now”(2012) of the Sweet Mine. This old mine is located west out of Temporal Gulch at the southern end of the Santa Ritas. It is a few miles north of the town of Patagonia. This mine was operated in conjunction with the nearby Black Cap Mine and they were known as the Mansfeld Group and together produced copper, lead and silver ore. The Sweet Mine was accessed by a 360’ vertical shaft which is still open today. Also installed at the mine was a 30 ton matte smelter. Today, not much exists at the mine except for the dumps, the mine shaft with its concrete collar and a few other concrete foundations. Using the early photo, it was possible to associate several of the foundations with their former structures.
    The second set of photos is of the Copper World Mine. In 1909, it was the primary producer of copper ore to the Helvetia Smelter. The mine is located alongside a popular 4WD trail on the northwestern slopes of the Santa Rita Mountains about 1 ¼ miles north of the Helvetia site. This mine was accessed by a double compartment inclined 500’ shaft. There were 12000 feet of tunnels, drifts, winzes and stopes. At one time there was quite a bit of surface development as seen in the 1909 photo. Esentially, NOTHING exists there today! I did find the remnants of one of the old water tanks, the platform for the hoisting machinery and very little else. The mine area has been reclaimed, I believe, by the folks wanting to pursue the mine at Rosemont.
    I have set up a webpage showing the “then” and “now” at these and the other sites from the list above. Those photos are higher resolution than those posted here. Plus, there are photos of some of the relics seen around the sites. The link is:
    www.azbackcountryadventures.com/rita.htm
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sparks NV
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Nice job on the then and now photos, really interesting.
    Explore Forums Ghost Town and Mining Camp Forums

    Create your own ghost town galleries, blogs, forums, discussion, and much more, free.

  3. #3
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Galeyville, AZ
    Posts
    1,109

    Default

    Great post. This is the area of AZ that has been of the most interest to me for years. That you did the work to get the "then & now" shots from ths same perspective is brilliant. I have some Salero photos I'll have to dig up & post. Yes it is on private property. There is a community preserved at Salero, there is one wall preserved at Helvetia. Public access allows the dregs to ruin history. The only ruin at Alto is defaced with grafitti.

    Thanks for the effort to present this history. The link to your site is worth checking out.

    Muchos Gracias!

    <
    "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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default

    While down in the Santa Ritas to do the photographs, I happened to cross paths with a Border Patrol officer. After a few minutes of conversation, he told me about a cabin further up in the mountains. Needless to say, I had to go check things out. It is on a pretty rugged trail, but it may be the most liveable cabin in those mountains that I have been to. BTW, if any of you local guys have any inclination to check out the Isle Royal Mine, Copper World Mine or the slag dump at Helvetia, keep a sharp eye out. I dropped a new 4G Samsung Stratosphere phone in that area. Its battery was dead before I could get back with another phone to ring it up. I have walked the area several times with no luck......

    Name:  cabin.jpg
Views: 1189
Size:  75.5 KB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Big Bear Lake, CA
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Wow! Love the "before and after" pictures like those. Thanks for posting!
    Josta

    Big Bear Lake, CA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Awesome before and current photos! One thing that always amazes me between the two is the difference in trees and bushes. In the old pictures, the desert looks almost barren (compared to the current pictures). I am assuming this is due to cutting up the trees and bushes around these camps for fire wood? Is that correct? Also, LOVE your website. You've got lots of cool adventures there.
    "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

  7. #7
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Pretty dang awesome! I love seeing before/afters. Keep them coming. And, nice website btw too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Really nice pics, thanks.......Speedy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Great post!

    I must have poor imaginative powers, because without your before photos I would not have imagined anything like the structures in the "before" photos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wastlands north of Palm Springs Ca.
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Toysx2 View Post
    While down in the Santa Ritas to do the photographs, I happened to cross paths with a Border Patrol officer. After a few minutes of conversation, he told me about a cabin further up in the mountains. Needless to say, I had to go check things out. It is on a pretty rugged trail, but it may be the most liveable cabin in those mountains that I have been to. BTW, if any of you local guys have any inclination to check out the Isle Royal Mine, Copper World Mine or the slag dump at Helvetia, keep a sharp eye out. I dropped a new 4G Samsung Stratosphere phone in that area. Its battery was dead before I could get back with another phone to ring it up. I have walked the area several times with no luck......
    Name:  cabin.jpg
Views: 1189
Size:  75.5 KB
    That is a nice cabin. Thanks for posting.
    - Wolfgang -

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Nice Finds in Southern Arizona
    By Toysx2 in forum Current Status of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-08-2010, 09:10 PM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-20-2009, 12:50 AM
  3. Visiting Southern Arizona - Need Advice
    By meadower1 in forum Current Status of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-08-2007, 12:56 PM
  4. Several Mines in the southern Panamints of Death Valley
    By Toysx2 in forum Current Status of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-05-2007, 04:20 PM
  5. abandoned mines rappelling exploration southern cal
    By pfs78 in forum Directions and Locations of Ghost Towns
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-05-2007, 04:29 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •