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The Mining Town Of Chloride Arizona

A lot of the old west towns had the same name and in a lot of cases they were named for the same reason. Take for instance Chloride Arizona. It was named because of the high grade silver that was called chloride of silver. There is also another old Chloride ghost town with a few inhabitants in New Mexico. And of course it too was named for the same reason. High grade silver chloride.

Chloride Arizona got it's start in the mid 1860's after silver was found there. The only people who mined and prospected the silver there was the soldiers that were located at Fort Mohave. It wasn't until the early 1870's that others arrived in the area to prospect. This is because at this time there were peace treaties that were signed with the local natives that were in the area. Once the treaties were signed settlers and miners moved in.

By 1873 the own was in full gear. There was a post office and a brewery and several saloons. The post office is still there today and it is said that it is the oldest post office in the USA that is still functioning. There were shops and stores and houses were being built. Population at this time was nearing 1500-2000 residents and most of them worked in one of the several mines that were located in the area. Aside from silver mining there was also gold and a few other minerals such as copper, molybdenum, and vanadium. Chloride was by this time a town on the map!

The Butterfield Stage Line served Chloride from 1868 until 1919. In 1898 the railroad came to town and ran until 1935. By this time the population was over the 2000 residents as there were about 75 active mines in the area. Things were bustling in the town of Chloride. It was said that silver production from just one of the mines was over 7 million dollars worth.

Most of the mines ran until the mid 1940's. It was at that time that men were needed for the war effort and labor was scarce. Also the precious metals were considered no strategic metals and the government was more interested in industial metals like lead, copper and iron ore. The last of the mines closed up in around 1944.

Today Chloride Arizona is just a sleepy quiet town with about 200 residents. Artists and retired types who want that quiet life style have moved into Chloride. There is still some prospecting that goes on and some small miners out there who are still looking for that glimmer of metal.