History of Gold Mining in Arizona
The history of gold mining in Arizona is related to the mines of Pima, which was the first opened in Arizona and they are considered among the best. Basically, they are of quartz, but placers have been worked at several points and those at the Santa Rita Mountains have given good results. South-west of Tucson in the Papago zone was extensive dry washings and the Papago Indians brought gold dust to the Tucson merchants for several years. Of the quartz lodes, the Cerro Colorado and the Patagonia are the best known. The lodes were argentiferous rather auriferous.
It is important to mention that the best placers were found in Yavapai in 1863. For several years, large quantities of gold were taken from Lynx Creek, the Big Bug, the Hassayampa and other streams, and for a long time, at certain seasons, the washings were very attractive and remunerative. Basically, the zone is prolific in quartz lodes, both of gold and silver, but especially the latter. The Accidental mine in Lynx Creek had a vein 2 ft wide, 1000 tons of ore crushed by arrastres gave important incomes to the owners. The Sexton mine in the Weaver area is in the famous Antelope Hill where the largest gold nuggets were taken in 1863. The gold was found free and the ore was crushed in arrastres.
Rich placers were discovered in the Santa Maria district, about 128 km south-west of Prescott. The gold was coarse and of good quality. The work was done by the Mexican dry washing system. In Mohave, the Greenwood mine was one of the largest gold properties. Some promising gold lodes were found in the Cerbat Range, north of the Wallapai Mountains. Some placers were worked near Ehrenberg in Yuma, and rich gold-dust was found over an area 64 km long and 24 km wide. Nuggets worth were taken out. There being little water, the dry process was used. Mexicans brought gold from the vicinity of Gila city located 32 km from Yuma where placers were worked for many years. The vein gold of Arizona is almost entirely found in the argentiferous lead ores and the state is remarkable for its silver rather than its gold.