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Thread: A trip to Old Ripsey Mine, Arizona

  1. #11
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    Jan 2010
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    Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
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    great pics!!!!!!!!!

  2. #12
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    Sep 2011
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    Toysx2,
    What a coincidence. I just went to the Oro Valley Historical Society's open house at Steam Pump Ranch. They gave a very interesting talk about the place and people. Yes, George Pusch and John Zellweger went into business in Tucson in the late 1800s. George ran Steam Pump Ranch, while John purchased a ranch north of Tucson. That map you uploaded is great. What year is that from? It doesn't look like it's shown as Zellweger Ranch today. Do you think it could be what's called "Horse Ranch" today? Name:  horseranch.jpg
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    One of the best things about yesterday's presentation, was going for an unofficial tour into the desert nearby where someone just recently discovered additional foundations, trash piles and equipment from the Steam Pump Ranch era. It also appears that they may have found some old, really old, adobe ruins and foundations from before the white settlers came into the area. What a cool find.
    "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

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Matt, I think that I would agree with you that the location that you have marked on the map is the old Zellweger place. Barbara Marriott,in her book “Canyon of Gold”, writes the history of the Canyon Del Oro. In it there is a chapter dedicated to George Pusch/John Zellweger. She writes that the two men’s business relationship, in Tucson, began around 1874, but dissolved in 1883. From her book, “For $32,000 George acquired the ranch and all business property in Tucson including the butcher shop and the ice house.For an additional twenty thousand, George acquired the PZ brand…….John and Sophia headed north. The Zellwegers purchased the Tea Cup Ranch near Florence………”
    The modern Tea Cup Ranch is located just a few miles southwest of the Zellweger place shown on the old map. Since it is so close to the modern Tea Cup Ranch I think that place on the old map is the place that Zellweger moved to after his partnership with George Pusch came to an end. The reason for the break-up was not discussed in the book. I wonder if it was amicable or not?
    From the Marriott book, it appears that it was Pusch alone who make the large land acquisitions north of Tucson. She says that began in 1893. The ranch headquarters was known as the PZ Ranch located a few miles south of Winkelman where I grew up. Unfortunately, I was not aware of its historical significance when I lived there and so I never took the opportunity to walk around it. There are several buildings from the old ranch that remain. It is currently posted against entry.
    This link has recent photos of the PZ Ranch and an interview with one of the Pusch descendants:

    http://www.ovhistory.org/Stories/Hen...ver8-final.pdf

    That is an interesting find in the desert close to the Steam Pump. My dad thinks that one of my great-grandfathers may have been employed at the original ranch as a mechanic to keep the pump running. One of these days I will have to make contact with the folks in charge to see if there are any employment records available.
    Last edited by Toysx2; 01-15-2013 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #14
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    Sep 2011
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    Toysx2,

    Great story. After hearing some of this information, I want to go read some more about this place. Not sure that the PZ Ranch is the one you're refering to just south of Winkleman. They referenced that in that article that it was just north of Mammoth. I found it on the Topo map and google earth'd it. Looks like the same one to me??

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    Topo Map of PZ Ranch??

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    Photos from Steam Pump Ranch and trash pile found.
    "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

  5. #15
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    Jun 2011
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    AZ, WA, DC
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    Great photos!

    Have you ever had any major jeep issues on your adventures? I love exploring remote places but I always have the fear of our jeep breaking down while we're in BFE with no cell signal for miles.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    128

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonids View Post
    Great photos!

    Have you ever had any major jeep issues on your adventures? I love exploring remote places but I always have the fear of our jeep breaking down while we're in BFE with no cell signal for miles.
    No problems yet (crossing fingers). But a good suggestion is to always travel with others, that way they can help you out if you get stuck or break down. If you have to go alone, then I would suggest getting a GPS locator messenger like Spot http://www.findmespot.com/en/. I bought one last year and really like it.
    "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. #17
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
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    Dude you got some talent and some guts to go out to some of these places. I've really enjoyed reading some of threads about these old mines and towns you go out looking for. I just moved from Arizona myself and I spent so much time on my travels looking for some of these places, problem is I don't have anything with 4WD so its usually hoofing it for me.

  8. #18
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    Apr 2006
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    Really a cool site you have thar pardner. No really, a lot of great pics and info Matt. Thanks for posting.
    I'm not a Republican
    I'm not a Democrat
    I'm an American

    and I want my Country back

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeast Arizona
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    Just kind of an update on the Ripsey Mine area. I have a friend who lives in nearby Kearny and he says there's serious talk of a landfill/garbage dump going in in the Ripsey Wash area. It sounds like access to Ripsey Wash from Flo-Kel Highway will be seriously hindered if this happens. I guess we'll see what happens. This is also the area of Apache Kid fame.............

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