Carlito asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Where do I go to look up historical information about Arizona ghost towns?

Specifics: Looking for info on Bond Canyon, history of Alto Camp, folks who lived in the area, schools, Alto Cemetery, and Josiah and Minnie Bond. Minnie was killed by lightning on 9/1/22. Her husband, Josiah was a mine egineer. Also looking for info on the Alto Camp Post Office and General Store that was supposedly owned by Josiah and Minnie. Any offspring of them would be nice to find.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have done some historical research on other mining activities in that area and can give you a few places to look for more details:

    The mining camp of Alto was located in Santa Cruz county on the southwest slope of the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. Just to the south was the larger and better known mining camp of Salero, so you may want to look for info on Salero as well. The entire area was considered part of the Tyndall Mining District. The district was worked back in the Spanish period (1700s) and was a small producer of lead, gold, and silver until the 1960s.

    There are several good books on Arizona ghost towns including Phil Varney's "Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps" and James Sherman's "Ghost Towns of Arizona". The entry for Alto on the website that another poster lists above is pretty much copied exactly from Varney's book (with out giving credit, I might add). As you can read, it only gives a brief background on the camp.

    The most detailed account of the mining activities in that area is in the book "History of Mining in Arizona, Vol 3" (various authors). In Chapter 3, "The Patagonia Area Mining Districts, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, 1536-1930", Robert Lenon gives a detailed description of the various mining companies and owners. He specifically mentions Josiah Bond as well as George Clark, Jens Peterson, Albert Steinfeld, Mark Lulley, Mike Hogan and Herb McCutchin as operating mines in the area after 1911. It refers to an 'Alto Mines Co.' that combined the 'Alto' and 'Wandering Jew' mine claims (Lulley referred to himself as the 'wandering jew').

    Another good resource is the booklet, "Index of Mining Properties in Santa Cruz County, Arizona" by the Arizona Bureau of Mines. For the Alto Mine Group, it also lists Bond as an owner and notes that the mine produced 3,500 tons of ore averaging 12% lead, 14oz silver per ton and 3% copper in an ore body of quartz-barite fissure veins running through Creataceous rhyodacite and Jurassic granite. Despite its long life-span, the mine was a usually a comparative small-time operation.

    The book "Arizona Post Offices" by Patera and Gallagher notes that the Alto post office was established on June 6, 1912 and discontinued on Dec 30, 1933.

    Depending on how much detail you want, here are some other sources of info you should check:

    Arizona Historical Society Archives (Tucson, near UofA) - Many people and companies donated their papers and records there.

    University of Arizona Library, Special Collections - Also a good source of documents and records. I seem to recall at least one collect there that had a lot of info on the nearby Aztec mines group.

    United States Census - If they lived there at a decade mark (1910, 1920) than you should be able to find them listed in the census. This would give their age, income, occupation and other useful information. These can usually be found on microfiche at major libraries.

    Local Newspapers - The Arizona Historical Society has archives of many old AZ papers. The Tucson papers (Citizen and Star) often carried mining news and probably would have noted somebody being killed by lightening.

    Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (Phoenix) - They usually keep a folder with a lot of good ownership and operations information on each major mining claim in AZ.

    Arizona Corporation Commission (Phoenix) - If they incorporated a company in Arizona (especially after statehood in 1912) than there is a good chance that the company papers would still be on file (including owners and funding).

    The people at the Arizona Historical Society or Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources could probably give you other leads.

    Source(s): Arizona resident and historian. Have visited the site of Alto camp. Arizona Historical Society: Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources:
  • 1 decade ago

    Your best bet is go to type in Arizona Ghost town...or specifics like Alto Camp, Josiah and Minnie Bond, etc. Good Luck!!

  • 4 years ago

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  • Hi.

    Here is a good link I found.

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