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Mining History:
The Mint at the Mescal Mine

The Mescal Mine


The Mescal mine lay on the east slope of one of the largest mountains in the Mescal range...A tunnel opened in the side of the mountain about half way between its base and summit, ran in three hundred feet and crosscut an almost perpendicular vein of silver ore of about eight feet in thickness. The ore had been stoped down from the top for some distance and a wide chamber had thus been made about the interior locality of the “pay.”

This was the condition in which the mine was left in 1889 when the price of silver dropped from 95 to 65 cents an ounce, and Bill Williams, the owner, shut down the property with a suddenness which fell like a heavy blow upon every human heart in camp.

At this time there were about sixty people there whose livings depended on the product of this mine. The houses were well built, of adobe brick with good shingle roofs, and this notwithstanding that all lumber had to be hauled fifty miles from the railroad over a dry desert trail. There was a store there and a postoffice. The small smelter employed about ten hands, and the balance found work in or about the mine; a number of men lived with their families there, wages were good, work steady and everybody was happy; but through politics, or finance, or commerce, or whatever else, the price of silver tumbled, and a forty-ounce silver ore mine situated as was this cold no longer be mined at a profit; so that with this decline in the market value of the commodity, operations at the Mescal ceased.

Activities there remained suspended until the early part of 1892, when, silver lying at the bottom notch on the market, the inhabitants of one or two little copper camps near by and the agent and a few others at the railroad station, forty miles distant, who comprised all the population for fifty miles around were astonished one day to learn that the Mescal was going to start up again.



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