June 25, 2014
In an effort to escape the heat of Phoenix we travelled to higher elevations in the Bradshaw mountains in search of the Desoto Mine. It is northwest of Cleator off of the Crown King road. The Desoto mine was opened in 1890-1972 and produced Cu, W, Ag, Au, Pb, Zn, and Fe. The mine has a main tunnel 600 feet below with a total of four other tunnels. The top level of the mine is a very large cavity larger than a house. There were only several minor remains of equipment on the site. The copper concentration was 3.75%, with silver at 1 oz per ton, and gold at 0.02 oz per ton. The mine supported the small town of Middleton with over 100 people and a post office from 1903-1908. During World War I, the price of copper and increased demand brought in $3,250,000. A tram went from Middleton to the mine, a foundation or two is still visible for this. At the bottom of the hill is an opening out of which blows very cool air even in the hot summer. The out cropping at the mine show some of the most colorful rocks that I have seen. There was also evidence by the wide flat area on top of the mountain that that ore was probably removed from the area. Copper ores include azurite (more pure blue), chrysocolla (more turquoise in color), malachite (green in color). http://nevada-outback-gems.com/copper-ores/copper_ores.htm.
We continued to the Senator Highway and passed the Palace Station, an old stage coach stop. This is one of the oldest log cabins in Arizona and now occupied by a forest ranger.