Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Congress: A Gold Mining Ghost Town


We are taking another trip and I will be writing about the history and present day conditions of the places we will be stopping at. We will be traveling from Wickenburg to Prescott and spending the night there in a haunted room. One of the places along the way is Congress.

Just up the highway near Wickenburg sits a shell of an existence known as Congress, Arizona. This once booming mining town is virtually abandoned and now a ghost town. It was on March 25, 1884, Dennis May discovered a gold mine and shortly afterwards Congress was established. Word spread of his discovery and a short time later many people flocked to the tiny town to work the mines and live. The Santa Fe Railroad was built only 3 miles from the mine in 1893. The station was named Congress Junction and built the town’s only post office. By this time the mine had been sold a couple of times while it continued to flourish.

Because of the many people that took up residence in Congress, it was divided into two sections, “Mill town”, and “Lower town”. Since Mill town was located near the mines it had the mine offices, businesses, hospital and residences. Lower town consisted of the school, churches, restaurants, shops and the Silver Dollar Saloon where many of the miners liked to lay their hats and have a drink. Congress had an electric light plant but water was sparse.

In 1898, a fire almost abolished all of the businesses. The mines stayed prosperous until the mid 1930’s when it closed up for good. By 1938, the post office moved to Congress Junction. Today there are little remnants of the town, just a railroad station, the old cemetery and what is left of the mines.

9 comments:

  1. I have to admit that their cemetery was the best western cemetery I've ever been to and I was so distracted by it, I never got into the shell of a town to see it. I am excited we will get to see it.

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  2. I am excited to see the Congress cemetery after what you said about it. We are going to take our time and enjoy every place we stop at.

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  3. Go for it, looks really interesting!

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  4. huh I never knew that, that's interesting.

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  5. I have a huge fondness for history, and I am very envious of your trip. I hope you take a lot of pictures, and I hope we get to see them on your next entries.

    -Bryan

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  6. Doo, we will...

    Zoey, I can't wait to see it in person.

    A Beer; I will be taking many pictures of all the places we go. I want to bring all of you along with us through my photos.

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  7. I have actually seen GHOSTS in the Congress Cemetery--not the old old one......but the old one.

    Congress was quite the town in its day

    Three of us saw them...in the day time.

    Debe Branning

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  8. Debe, you have me even more excited about visiting the place! I will have to keep my eyes peeled for ghosties.

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  9. You all have the most interesting trips. I can't wait to see your pictures.

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