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Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 010612-2

 

STODDARD, ARIZONA

 

By Mark Quigley

APCRP Booster

 

Stoddard, AZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve enjoyed exploring this historical town several times over the last 30 years. Recently I had the pleasure of showing Neal Du Shane, Stoddard. It is located 5 miles northeast of Mayer on the Agua Fria River. See map below.

 

A permit from the State Land Department is required to visit since parts are on State Trust Land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birdsills Building/house

 

 

 

 

The Town

 

The original town sat on the banks of the Agua Fria River that flows year round. Its US post office began December 15, 1882 and was terminated September 15, 1927. The town is named in honor of Isaac T. Stoddard. The town had a school, a boardinghouse, a general store, auto garages, and saloons except during prohibition. Many of the homes were a combination of tent and board. Its maximum population was 300.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Binghampton Mine (left), Copper Queen Mine (Right)

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

 

Ore Trough

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

 

The Mines

 

Nearby copper mines supported the town; the most noted mines were the Stoddard, the Binghampton, and the Copper Queen. Most are northwest of the river and the town. Several are very impressive. Shafts go down to 1000 feet. If you have ever been to Jerome’s museum and seen the displays of underground mines which traversed all over, Stoddard’s mines are very similar. By the way if you haven't, it’s worth the visit.

 

Stoddard Smelter/Furnace

 

 

History reflects two mills were built, unusual for such a small area. Most impressive was the copper smelter. With the nearby Mayer smelter, it makes one wonder why investors placed so much value on having another.

 

Stoddard Today

 

A few foundations remain as well as the old warehouse (Du Shane’s and my speculations) and other house chimneys in the area. After studying many of the old buildings’ photographs, most appeared not to have had foundations, but instead were built quickly on cement blocks. When you walk the area, one suddenly comes across a pile of nails where a house or a business once stood. As with most ghost towns throughout the West once they turned "ghosts", ranchers and nearby townsfolk salvaged all the lumber. This was especially true during the depression. There is, also, an old meat house built into the hillside and a couple of water pumping stations hidden along the river banks.

 

Photo by Neal Du Shane

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

 

Mines Today

 

Mines are literally everywhere around Stoddard. There are several locations that I recommend visiting. First, the impressive slag piles. They fill an entire canyon with pure white sand as if hauled in from White Sands National Park. Slag was a by-product from the nearby smelter, made up of metal oxides and silicon dioxides. It’s not wise to breathe this stuff so travel slowly when crossing. Second, the smelter area is worth a visit as well as the two mill sites. There is, also, an old wooden shoot that still stands. See map for locations.

 

Store or warehouse at Stoddard

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

Exterior, same store or warehouse at Stoddard

Photo by Neal Du Shane

One of several residential chimneys in area and fireplace brick

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mounatins.com

Possible food or dynamite storage area

Photo courtesy Bradshaw Mountains.com

 

 

M=Male, A=Adult, H=Hispanic

Three of a possible five graves identified

By Neal Du Shane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graves

 

Du Shane speculated that because of Mayer's close vicinity, the dead may have been buried in the official cemetery. He also speculated that others were just buried out back of the residences. He concluded both to probably be the case and located a total of 5 graves behind homes. No official graveyard could be found.

 

After World War I ended in 1918, the need for cooper declined. Finally in 1927, the town post office closed. Stoddard became a ghost town, but had a brief comeback during the years of 1945 to 1950.

 

During the last 5 years much of the Stoddard area has been mined for landscape rock. I recommend visiting Stoddard in the fall or winter months. During summer monsoons and spring runoff the Agua Fria River can suddenly flood, and one has to cross it to get to Stoddard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see more images of Stoddard from Mark's website... www.BradshawMountains.com

 

Red dots on map indicated area we traveled. By Neal Du Shane

 

Visit our website...

 

www.BradshawMountains.com

 

BradshawMountains@gmail.com

 

Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 010612-2

 

WebMaster: Neal Du Shane

 

n.j.dushane@comcast.net

 

Copyright ©2012 Neal Du Shane
All rights reserved. Information contained within this website may be used
for personal family history purposes, but not for financial profit or gain.
All contents of this website are willed to the Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project (
APCRP).

 

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