Tag Archives: mining history

Historic Mining at the Tonopah-Belmont Mine

People who are interested in prospecting for gold often find mining history fascinating. There are many stories about old mines and the history of the towns that surrounded them. Even though many historic mines are abandoned, they still attract a lot of interest from mining historians. The Tonopah-Belmont mine was active when people were prospecting for gold in the area over 100 years ago.

People began migrating to the Tonopah area of Arizona in the early 19th active around the time of World War I as people began settling in the area. They weren’t attracted to prospecting for gold at the time. Most of the first settlers came for the climate. Many World War I veterans had breathing problems due to exposure to poisonous mustard gas during the war. Tonopah has a dry climate which eased the respiratory problems that plagued veterans.

tonopah-belmontProspecting for gold began in the area around the mid-19th not just a boom for gold prospecting. In addition to gold, the mine produced lead, silver and copper. A permanent settlement developed in the area and was named Tonopah. The Tonopah-Belmont mine got its name from two different sources. It was named Tonopah after a famous mine in the state of Nevada. The mine was also named for its location in the Belmont mines of Arizona. The mine’s deepest shaft goes down to 500 feet with workings at 100, 250 and 400 feet.

Although first incidences of prospecting for gold in the area took place around 1860, the mine wasn’t active immediately. Its main activity took place sporadically from around 1860 through 1950. The mine has a special distinction. No miner was killed during the operation of the Tonopah-Belmont Mine. The mine was open to tourists until 1990. A man who may have been prospecting for gold entered the mine and fell to his death. After that time, the entrances were barricaded so that no tourists could enter. However, this historic site known for gold prospecting can be viewed from a distance. Visitors can see the mine by taking the Belmont Mountain Trail.

Weaver’s Needle – A Prominent Feature of the Superstition Mountain Range

Weaver’s Needle is a distinctive peak located in the Superstition Mountain Range. The area is east of Phoenix, Arizona. Weaver’s Needle has a special place in history due to gold mines in the region. It also has a special association with the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. People have been trying to establish or find gold mines in the area for years.

Weaver’s Needle is the most prominent landmark in the Superstition Mountain Range. It has an elevation of 4553 feet. There are a lot of legends about gold mines throughout western mining history. The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a tale about one of the richest gold mines in existence which is supposedly located in the southwestern United States. The mine is named for Jacob Waltz, a German immigrant, who reputedly discovered the mine in the 1900s and would not identify the location. According to some legends, the mine is cursed. In other versions of the story, the mine is protected by guardians that wish to keep it a secret. There are other gold mines with rich historic tales, such as the Lost Pegleg Mine in California and the story of the lost treasure of Captain Kid’s lost treasure. However, The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine legend is one of the most enduring tales of all time.

weavers needleMany people believe that The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is located in the shadows of Weaver’s Needle. The peak resembles a needle or spire and casts a distinctive shadow. Some gold hunters believe that the needle indicates the location of The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Countless treasure hunters have hunted for the mine in vain.

Since Weaver’s Needle is so distinct, some people believe it is the neck or plug of a volcano. Actually, the peak was formed through the process of erosion. It is not necessarily a good location for gold mines because it is made of a type of rock that is not hospitable to any type of metals, including gold. However, it is still an attractive area for people who seek gold due to the legends surrounding the area.