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Ghost Town Trail - Page 2

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Courtland, Arizona

 

Interestingly, though Courtland got its start later than nearby Gleeson, it grew to four times the size. Even more interesting is that this once larger town, which actually died later than did its nearby neighbor, has far fewer remains.

 

Getting its start in the early 1900ís, miners flooded the area to work for the Copper Queen, Leadville, Great Western, Calumet, and Arizona Mining Companies. One of the largest companies, the Great Western, was owned by W.J. Young, who named the quickly growing settlement for his brother Courtland.

 

In March, 1909, a post office was established and before long, the town boasted a population of some 2,000 residents who supported two newspapers, several stores, a Wells Fargo office, and the Southern Arizona Auto Company.

 

The Mexico and Colorado Railroad also arrived from Douglas. For amusement, the town provided a movie theater, an ice cream parlor, a pool hall, and a swimming pool.

 

 

Ruins in Courtland, Arizona

Ruins in Courtland, David Alexander, April, 2007.

This image available for photographic prints & commercial  downloads HERE!

 

 

 

But, like the other area mining towns, Courtlandís mines played out and then so did the town. Though it hung on through the Great Depression, its post office finally closed in 1942. By that time, many of its building had already been razed or moved. What was left was quickly claimed by the desert.

Today, Courtlandís only remains are the old jail, a collapsing store, a number of foundations, and plenty of mining evidence testifying to its more prosperous times. The hills surrounding Courtland are pocked with mines and old shafts so visitors should beware that hiking in the area could be hazardous.

Another 10 Ĺ miles on down the road, you will come to Pearce, the only one of these three ghost towns that continues to maintain its post office.

 

 

The old jail in Courtland, Arizona

The old jail in Courtland, Kathy Weiser, April, 2007.

This image available for photographic prints & commercial  downloads HERE!

 

Pearce, Arizona

 

Pearce was also the first of the three towns to get its start when a man named Jimmie Pearce discovered gold. He wasnít even looking for it! In fact, Jimmie, who had been a miner in Tombstone, along with running a boarding house with his wife, had decided to retire from the mining business. After carefully saving their money, they purchased some ranch land in the Sulphur Springs Valley northeast of Tombstone and settled down to the ranching life along with their three children.

 

But, it wouldnít be for long. In 1894, while out on his ranch, he found gold just lying on the side of a hill. He wasted no time taking it to Tombstone to be assayed and was heartened to hear it showed a high ore content of both gold and silver. All five members of the family immediately began to file mining claims on their land and Jimmie Pearce was back in the mining business; albeit as an owner rather than an employee. He called his new mine the Commonwealth and when word spread of his find, the area flooded with new residents.

 

Jimmie Pearce; however, didnít stay in the business long. He sold the Commonwealth Mine for $250,000 to a man named John Brockman. But, his wife, remembering some of the hard times they had through in the past, insisted on a clause in the contract that guaranteed her the right to run a boardinghouse beside the mine.

 

 

Continued Next Page

 

Pearce General Store

The Pearce General Store has been totally restored and

is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Kathy Weiser, April, 2007.

This image available for photographic prints & commercial  downloads HERE!

 

Pearce, Arizona church

Pearce church, Kathy Weiser, April, 2007.

This image available for photographic prints & commercial  downloads HERE!

 

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