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Swansea Ghost Town page
Welcome to Michael's Swansea Ghost Town page

Swansea Ghost Town is located about 30 miles East of Parker, Arizona U.S.A. Below is a little about the history of Swansea and some pictures I took on January 2nd 1999. I have been to Swansea Ghost town four times in the last 10 years. Scroll down to see the pictures I took.

Mining in the area began in 1862 with the discovery of copper rich ore northeast of Swansea. Prospecting slowed in the area until 1886 when 3 miners struck silver-lead ore on the Ruby Silver claim, later called the Signal Group. The silver ran out leaving a then worthless copper mine. The key to developing copper was the Arizona & California Railroad which began breaking ground near Wickenburg for a line west to Parker in 1904. Evans a Carrigan, 2 of the 3 miners, began looking for investors. Carrigan talked to Swansea born Welshman George Mitchell, into visiting their prospects. In 1908 the 3 men got off the railroad in Bouse and began a 21 mile buckboard ride through the desert. Mitchell was impressed and incorporated the Clara Consolidated in 1908 and began selling shares to foreign investors. By the end of that year a 350 ton capacity furnace, hoists for 5 shafts and a 3.5 mile pipeline to carry water from the Bill Williams River to the townsite were under construction. By 1909 a group of wood-frame buildings, postoffice Mitchell's two-story residence, a general store, saloons and even a moving picture house were built. Townspeople included an unoffical mayor, insurance salesman, and a "lady editor", who ran the mining-camp newspaper, called the Swansea Times, which reported that Swansea housed 500 residents, mostly men. On February 23 1910 the first train arrived on the Arizona & Swansea railroad from Bouse. The last of the machinery arrived by rail and in May 1910 the furnaces began producing the first copper at a rate of 50 tons every 24 hours. Mitchell was already in financial trouble, with to much money invested in ore reduction and not enough on opening mines. By 1911 the treasury was empty, the miners who had gone without wages filed a lien and bankruptcy was declared. A rise in copper prices caused a short revival of the mines in 1912. It was worked again by new owners from 1914 to 1929. In 1929 the American Smelting and Refining Company rebuilt much of the town. However, due to the Great Depression the mine was closed for good in 1937.

12 bourding houses ruins: built 1917, one story adobe cottages 13' X 13'.

Smelter dust chamber: 20' X 90' X 12' brick and concrete structure, part of it is still standing today. Built in 1909

Flotation mill site: 1919, cement foundations.

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