Saturday, November 19, 2011
Kearny and Winkelman: Lesser Known Mining Towns
Hiding in the mountains near Globe/Miami, AZ are a couple of small mining towns, Kearny and Winkelman. Kearny was established in 1958 and built by the Kennecott Mining Company. It got its name from General Stephen Watts Kearny who traveled past that region in 1846 while heading to California. He was leading about 100 cavalrymen through the harsh desert and hostile Indian Territory. Because the smaller towns surrounding Kearny were located in the growing copper mine’s pits, its population peaked at almost 3,000 people when their residence had to move. Located near the town were the Ray Mine and Hayden Smelter. Today the town has a few residence left with many buildings and homes left abandoned.
Winkelman had a much earlier start but was not known by that name until March 8, 1905. It was first established as Dudleyville when a post office was built and named after Dudley Harrington. Harrington had a ranch in the area since 1879 and was the first postmaster. The post office helped move the increasing supplies and mail which came though Florence to all the smaller surrounding towns. By the 1890’s problems arose from the cattle overgrazing, and preventing grass from growing back. The nearby San Pedro River would flood causing the town’s folks to move their store on many occasions. In 1903, the railroad line was laid out close to Peter Winkelman’s land resulting in the post office being relocated. With this move, the town of Dudleyville was renamed Winkelman. This town has also shown signs of a poor economy, with many places left empty and with the ghosts of the past wandering through the diminishing walls.