By 1944, the cost of materials
and labor had increased to such a degree, it became too expensive to
extract the precious minerals from the nearby hills. The mines closed and
though the population declined dramatically, the post office remained
open. Within just a short period of time,
Chloride was considered a
During the counterculture period of the
1960s, a band of hippies led by a man named Roy Purcell made their home in
the hills just east of
Chloride. During their stay, Roy
painted what are now known as the "Chloride
Murals." Forty years later, on the anniversary of their painting, the
artist returned to repaint the art, so the murals are bright and vibrant
There are still a few mines in operation today, but
Chloride looks elsewhere for prosperity. Over the last decade
residents have banded together to pull the town out of "ghost
town” status to evolve into a
tourist mecca and a snow-bird haven. The goal of the residents is to
preserve the past, while allowing the town to live on in the future.
The year-round population at
Chloride is about 300, but peaks during
the winter months at closer to 400. This quaint "Old
West” town is filled with gift shops offering handmade art, crafts,
and jewelry. Attracting some 20,000 tourists from all over the world
every year, Chloride provides a great opportunity to
experience the history of this old mining camp.
The town prides itself on the preservation of buildings
like the Jim Fritz Museum, the old jail, the historic post office, and the
old train station. Chloride's
Volunteer Fire Department, the oldest in
Arizona, proudly displays its 1939 Ford
Fire Engine to visitors.
At high-noon on Saturdays, you’ll be
entertained by gun-fight troupes re-enacting comical scenes of the Old
The remains of the
Tennessee and Schuylkill mines are east of town but closed to the public. West of town is an old cemetery that is worth a look.
Outside of town you can see the Chloride Murals, as well as a scattering
To get there, take Tennessee Avenue,
main road, past the post office then follow the signs. This unpaved
road generally requires a high-clearance vehicle. With a four-wheel
drive, it is possible to continue up a steep and rocky clearance where
more mining remains can be seen.
To get to
Chloride, travel northwest on US 93 for
approximately 20 miles from Kingman, Arizona. The turnoff to Chloride is well-marked between mile
markers 52 and 53, then east three miles on a paved road.
Post Office Box 268
4940 Tennessee Ave.
of America, updated May, 2017.