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Mineral Park Arizona

It was back in the 1860s that gold and silver was first discovered in this area of the cerbat mountain range. There was a story about three miners who had found a vein of gold and started shafting down. One day while the three miners were down in the shaft they were attacked by native indians who started tossing heavy rocks down the shaft on top of them. What a hell of away to go. Anyhow that bit of news didn't seem to disuade other miners and prospectors from coming to this area to seek their fame and hopefully their fortune.

This was really rugged country back then and difficult to get to. One of the biggest problems here was that the water had a very high mineral content and you couldn't drink it and so water bad to be hauled in over narrow rocky trails from several miles away. However because the gold and silver was so rich, people kept coming into the area and by 1870 the first mine was going into production. This mine was known as the Mayflower mine and it was followed by the Keystone mines shortly after. By 1871 a small town was taking shape and the following year this small town got a post office.

Because the town was so remote, one of the biggest expenses was getting ore sent out to be crushed. Ore first had to be loaded onto wagons and then shipped down the Colorado River to the Gulf of California and then shipped up to San Francisco. I read one article that stated the toal cost of shipments was $125 per ton by the time this ore got to it's final destination.Then in 1976 a 5 stamp mill was built in the area and that changed everything. Now with a mill in place exploration of new deposits took top priority and soon more deposits were found and by 1877 there were a couple of new mines working in the area. The following year the Mineal Park became the county seat and had a court house and a jail. By 1880 the town had a a hotel, public school, blacksmith shop, a couple of stores, four saloons and a stagecoach service running to Kingman. It even had a weekly newspaper called the Mohave County Miner.

Then in 1883 the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was built to the town of Kingman which was about 20 miles away. This was a real boost to the town because now supplies could be shipped in a lot cheaper. However little did anyone know at the time that this rail road would also spell the downfall of the town of Mineral Park. No one was counting on Kingman becoming a major supply hub to all the mining areas surrounding it and the next thing you know the town of Kingman was named as a county seat when a county-wide vote was done in 1887. It was always said that rail road could make or break a town and the rail road did eventually break Mineral Park as Kingman continued to grow and local merchants found it hard to compete.

Mineral Park did continue on for a few more years until some of the mines started to run into lower grade ore but the real decline started in the early 1900's. As people started to move out the post office closed along with local merchants. There was mining that continued and then in the early 1960's, an open pit mining operation started and took over all the area of where the town and old mines once were located.

The most productive mine at Mineral Park was the Keystone Mine. This mine is reported to have produced 3,000 ounces of gold and 450,000 ounces of silver. It was the last of all the mines in the area to close in 1948.