Desert Messenger

February 16, 2011

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P��� 20 VOICES FROM THE PAST Excerpts from “In the Shadow of Saguaros” By Rosalee Oldham Wheeler Find In the Shadow of Saguaros at Readers Oasis Bookstore, Qtz. From Copper Giant to Ghost Town (Previous story was: “Quartzsite The Swansea - Matriarch Leaves Behind a Legacy”) Last week’s Desert Messenger paid tribute to one of our earliest contribu- tors, Rosalee O. Wheeler. In her honor, the publisher of Rosalee’s “In the Shad- ow of Saguaros” has agreed to continue submitting excerpts from Volumes I and II, with Volume III and selected “Memoirs of a Desert Rat” to follow. The primary investors in this one-time silver and then later copper mine, were Do you have Neuropathy, Diabetes, Poor Circulation, or Just Aches & Pains? Refl exology Put your feet in my hands and let Nature start to heal. 1 HOUR SESSION $30 Behind the Senior Center, next to Cactus Curlers 735 W. Cowell Call for your appointment today! 480-532-0434 ���.D�����M��������.��� from Swansea Wales, thus the name, the Swansea Mine. The 16,400 acre Swansea Wilderness Area is approxi- mately 30 miles northeast of Parker and partially situated in both La Paz and Mohave Counties. Swansea was once a fl ourishing copper mining development. The entire Swan- sea Wilderness Area includes the eastern-end of the Buckskin Mountains, the Black Mesa ex- tension to the north, and six miles of the sce- nic Bill Williams River. Early prospec- tors began work- ing in the area around 1862. The mining operation was slow in becoming profi table because the ore had to be crushed, then hauled to the Colorado River, and fi nally shipped over to Wales where it was smelted. The fi rst big strike was in 1886; three miners struck silver-lead ore on the Ruby Silver claim. When the silver started to run out it left what, at the time, was thought to be a worthless copper deposit. The original prospec- tor, John W. Johnson, sold his claim to �������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������� �������������� ���������������������������������������� ����������������������� Ironwood Accounting 225 Central Blvd North of Horizon Community Bank ����������������������� ������������������� ������������������� ������������������� ������������� P O Box 4389 Quartzsite, AZ 85359 ACCOUNTING BOOKKEEPING NOTARY FAX / COPIES TAX – Business & Individual Email: SHIPPING Offi ce/Fax: 928-927-8543 F������� 16, 2011 the Signal Group who, with the help of the railroad, was able to make the mine more profi table. Then a Swansea-born Welsh investor with fi nancial backing from foreign in- vestors built a power plant, a blast-fur- nace smelter, and a pumping plant to pump water from the Bill Williams Riv- er. The water was to supply the sluic- ing system as well as the town’s water supply. The investors hired more work- ers and dug additional and deeper mine shafts. In Bouse a new railroad spur connect- ed the Swansea to the main railroad line and made the investors more confi dent that there was a cheaper and more reli- able source of transportation for the ore and required supplies. The Swansea Train Depot was made of adobe with stained glass windows so as to impress investors when they fi rst arrived. The new spur allowed the owners to transport the refi ned ore via railroad to  SEE SWANSEA PAGE 21

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