Congress: A Gold Mining Ghost Town
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.