In the Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2015 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Bouse, Parker, Arizona
See the map below!
This is a fairly large complex of old foundations and partial buildings. Please remember this is in the middle of nowhere, so be prepared and travel safe.
It was settled around 1909 in what was then the Arizona Territory. It served as a mining town as well as a location for processing and smelting the copper ore taken from the nearby mines. More information and GPX track can be found here - MORE
Swansea Topography Map
Prospecting and mining in the area first began around 1862, but the remote location and lack of transportation kept activity to a minimum. By 1904, the railroad was coming to nearby Parker, and local miners Newton Evans and Thomas Jefferson Carrigan saw an opportunity to develop the area. Within a few years, the two miners had built a 350 ton furnace, a water pipeline to the Bill Williams River, and hoists for five mine shafts. They called the new town Signal (not to be confused with the other Arizona ghost town of Signal). By 1908, the claims in the area had been consolidated by the Clara Gold and Copper Mining Company, which set up its headquarters in the mining camp that would become Swansea. That same year, what was to become the Arizona and Swansea Railroad connected Signal to Bouse some 25 miles (40 km) away. These two factors spurred the growth of the town, and its population quickly grew to about 300 residents.
Today Swansea is under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management, and constitutes the Swansea Town Site Special Management Area. Due to vandalism and exposure to the weather, the remains of Swansea are in decline. However, you can still see a number of adobe structures, the remains of the railroad depot, two cemeteries, and several mine shafts. The Bureau of Land Management has restored roofs to rows of single-miner's quarters, established an interpretive trail for visitors to Swansea, and is engaged in efforts to shore up other structures.
NOTE: The site is remote, and is only accessible via rough, gravel roads.
The photo - top left - is the Bouse Asay Office in Bouse, Arizona and may have worked with the mines in Swansea.
The copper ore examples in the photo to the right can be found all over the area near the mill site. This is Chrysocolla. More on this mineral - HERE