Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Ghost Town Of Mineral Park, Arizona

Mineral Park, Arizona is located about 25 miles north of Kingman, Arizona on Highway 93, the road connecting Las Vegas and Kingman. A signed dirt road leads about five miles to the town site.

Mineral Park was founded in 1871 with discoveries of silver, lead, and gold in its surrounding hills. It quickly became the county seat of Mohave County and boasted of a newspaper, stores, saloons, an assay office, a hotel, and a stagecoach station. But the railroad bypassed Mineral Park in favor of Kingman, and by 1887 the Arizona legislature vote to transfer the county seat to Kingman. The outraged citizens of Mineral Park refused to accept the change. A few days later, a posse arrived from Kingman and, literally, took all country records and documents with them back to Kingman.

Worse news for Mineral Park came soon thereafter when the mines started to play out and eventually closed. The post office closed in 1906 and the town was totally deserted months later.

Unlike many other ghost towns, the structures of Mineral Park used plenty of wood and adobe. Unfortunately, most are in a state of collapse like the one below:

The building below is the best-preserved one still standing in Mineral Park; the walls are adobe over a wood frame with a tar paper roof. I guess this one dates from toward the end of Mineral Park's life.

There is supposedly a well-preserved cemetery in Mineral Park, although I was unable to find it on my visit. There is renewed open-pit mining in the area
, and I suspect it won't be much longer before the remains of Mineral Park vanish back into the Mojave desert.