Monday, December 4, 2017

Vulture Mine: 7 Years Later


If you travel about 70 miles north of Phoenix and approximately 15 miles southwest of Wickenburg, you will find the ghost town of Vulture Mine. This once booming mining town now sits empty with many of the still standing structures slowing decaying with time. Underneath its dirt floors lay the many bones of those who crossed the wrong person and was buried right where they died. This ghost town is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of those who died there, and is an astonishing walk back into Arizona’s most colorful past.  Vulture Mine started mining gold in 1863 and proved to be one of the most industrious mines in Arizona’s history.  It was a man named Henry Wickenburg who first unearthed a quartz deposit which was encompassed with gold and started excavating the mineral to preserve for him.  He sold the mine to Benjamin Phelps, who was the representative for the Vulture Mining Company.  In the town’s heyday, the mine was yielding 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver with more than 5,000 souls living there.

My first visit to Vulture Mine was in January of 2011. The self-guided walking tour was $10 with a map explaining what the buildings were. Many of the buildings were decaying and falling down. We couldn't get into some of the structures. Right after we went to Vulture Mine, the owner sold it. The new owners shut it down and didn't allow any tours, until now.

My husband and I are in a car club called the West Valley Cruisers. This past weekend we all traveled together to Wickenburg for lunch at Screamers and then we all went to visit Vulture Mine which they call Vulture City by its original name. It is only 20 minutes from Wickenburg and I was excited to see the changes the new owners have made. They have made plenty of changes and still in the process to more to come. Vulture City will be a nice tourist town when they get it completed. For now, they are allowing tours for those who want to walk through a bit of Arizona history.

I took some of my 2011 pictures and put them side by side with the 2017 pictures so you can see the updates and restoration of the buildings. All the 2011 photos are on the left and the 2017 photos are on the right.











4 comments:

  1. Wow. I had my doubts about the new owners because they were completely cutting everyone off from this historic site, but it looks like they have done some shoring up of some of the important buildings like the assay office. Yay! This town needs to be preserved. It is a most unusual and unique ghost town.

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    1. You can see that they are in the middle of restoration. They are almost finished with some buildings and others they haven't started restoring.

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  2. What are their long term plans Julie? Why all of the restoration? Did they talk about that? Just curious.

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    1. It looks they want to turn it into a tourist spot like Goldfield. They didn't say what they were up to, but with a future gift shop, workshop, blacksmith shop and restaurant, that is what I assume their plans are.

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