Middle Aged (35-54)
North American (General)
North American (South West - Texas)
North American (US South)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
mhm. Mhm, Yeah, you out here in the West, when folks think about Parker, Arizona made conjures up visions of the easy life body Parker Dam partying in the sun and just enjoying life on the Colorado River. But there's somewhere Spooky just a little ways away, but tells a different story about just how hard the old West really was. Welcome to Swansea, a ghost town. Prospecting and mining used to be the way of the West, with fortunes made and lost on digging holes for riches and Swansea was no different. It all began sometime around 18 62 but with this remote location and lack of viable transportation, mining was hard, not very profitable. In 18 86 silver was found, which sparked a short term frenzy. But even that soon cooled off when the miners realized silver was very limited and what they were digging up was nearly worthless copper ore. With the lack of available smelting, the ore had to be taken by mule in the heat of the desert to the Colorado River, where it was shipped to the United Kingdom to the town of Swansea, South Wales, to be smelted and sold that all started to change around 19 oh four, when the railroad was approaching the nearby town of Parker. Because of the approaching railroad, two local miners, Newton Evans and Thomas Jefferson Kerrigan, got together and seize the opportunity to develop the copper rich area. In a few short years, Evans and Kerrigan had built a sizable furnace, a water pipeline to the Bill Williams River and the making of five workable mineshafts. The original town was called signal, and by 19 oh eight. The claims in the area had been consolidated by the Clara Golden Copper Mining Company, which set up its headquarters in the mining camp that would soon become Swansea. Soon after the consolidation, a new name to the area, George Mitchell was hired to promote the Newtown and soon became the main narrator. In this rags to riches to Ghost town story. A metallurgist by trade, Mitchell took to the road to promote the developing town and entice investors to the new venture. Unfortunately, Mitchell wasn't much in the know of running a mining business, let alone curbing his appetite for doing things in a big way, and that was later to unfold. The Fame smelter was built in 19 oh nine, but because of the flamboyance of George Mitchell, it was too large and cost more to smelt the ore than the or could be sold. Fortunately, during World War One, the demand for copper increased and about a million dollars of copper or were shipped out of Swansea. Somewhere around 1910, the Arizona and Swansea Railroad was established that connected the new mining town to Bauhaus, about 25 miles away. This made it much easier to get the ore from the mine out to be smelted and became the main way in and out of Swansea. In its heyday, Swansea was a bustling town of about 500 with all the amenities, including an auto dealer, a lumber company, the saloon, a barbershop, the physician and, of course, the mining and smelting facility. When the war ended and the price of copper slid, so was the beginning of the end of the town. Though the smelter is no longer present, parts of the process, especially the dust chamber, still stand today. The original mining company went bankrupt in 1912, but the town stayed active to about 1924 when it was finally abandoned today, thanks to the restoration efforts of the Bureau of Land Management, what remains of the semi restored single men's barracks, the ruins of the dust chamber, bunch of piles of tailings and the foundations of a once booming mining town. The tracks that once connected Swansea two bows are no longer part of the landscape as they were uprooted and sold for scrap. Get into Swansea. Today is really not that hard, although it's recommended that a four by four, or at least an all wheel drive vehicle with some ground clearance be used to get here. The initial road is fairly maintained graded dirt, but the road into the valley where Swansea is located can have its challenges, depending on if you come from Parker of the town of Bows, be prepared to be on dirt roads for most of the 30 mile trip here today is popular for off Roaders and ghost town seekers alike. Before you go, remember that this is a desert, so plan appropriately, you just may be the only ones out here and sell services non existent. Also respect that this is a protected area, and if you wander into a mind, you just might not come back. But in the end, if you're adventurous and you stand on top of one of the tailings or even near one of the covered mineshafts, just listen. It's kind of creepy. But if you're like me, you'll hear the spirit of the mind come to life. And if you're lucky, you just might hear a minor to still down in the shaft looking for riches. Yeah, mhm.