There are lots of stories about gold mines in Arizona and how the gold was plentiful, but none can really compare to the gold finds of Rich Hill. Rich Hill was just that. Rich! Rich with gold, this hill was located close to the town of Stanton Arizona. Stanton is located about twenty miles north of Wickenburg Arizona right at the base of Rich Hill. Stanton was originally called Antelope Station, but was later called "Stanton" after fellow named Chuck Stanton, who took over the town in the 1870s. It was in 1863 that the area of Stanton owes it's start to a tracker named Alvaro who was helping some frontiersman who were on a journey at the time.
One night the party stopped at what would have been the bottom of Rich Hill and one of the pack mules got loose and took off. Alvaro who was guiding the party took off after the mule. The mule climbed up to the top of Rich Hill with Alvaro following. Once on top of the hill Alvaro was running and tripped over a pile of gold nuggets. It is said that these nuggets were the size of potatoes. The next day, the other members of the party joined the look out for gold and it is said that gold was so plentiful that you could pop them out of the ground by hand. One acre of ground could yield about $500,000 in gold nuggets.
Of course once word got out about this find of gold it wasn't long before this small stage coach town was swelling with people. Within a short time there was 3500 miners and prospectors combing the hills looking for more gold. As always when there is riches to be had there will always be those who move into town and try to take over. This was just the case as Chuck Stanton moved into town and was up to no good right from the start. He wanted this town for his own and he set out to get it his way.
First thing Stanton did is hired some hired guns from Mexico to help out. He set out to do in George Wilson and Bill Partridge, both of whom owned a store and a stage stop. Stanton tricked Partridge into killing Wilson over some pigs, and so Partridge was arrested and sent off to jail. Now that those two fellows were out of the way Stanton went after George Wilson's business partner, John Timmerman. Barney Martin and Timmerman were business partners. Stanton devised a simple plan to get rid of both these fellows. He just had his Mexican hired guns ambush them out in the desert. These hired guns also killed Martins wife and his two small boys. This has become known as the "Martin Family Massacre." Stanton was arrested and tried for murder but the charges were dropped. However a year later Stanton was gunned down by a Mexican gunman named Lucero. Some say it was over money he owed.
The town continued to thrive with gold and by the 1890's the town had families, schools, stores, shops, post office and hotels but was still known as a very dangerous place. Then by 1905 the gold was almost gone and the town started to fall into demise. The post office closed and most people left. Today the land belongs to a prospecting group called the Lost Dutchman's Mining Association.