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Tombstone in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Mines of Tombstone

 
 
The Mines of Tombstone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2014
1. The Mines of Tombstone Marker
Inscription.  Tombstone was a mining town. Everything that happened here happened because of the lure of the silver and gold found by Ed Schieffelin in the hills of Tombstone in 1877. And so they came, the prospectors, laborers, miners, lawmen, “shady ladies,” gamblers and those who hoped to prosper from the ones that “struck it rich.” Thirty nine million dollars in ore were extracted from the mines in the 1880s until the 1930s. The area was enormously rich in silver and gold and much of the ore was close to the surface. This made early mining ventures easy if you consider that the labor was supplied by the backs of young strong men and the major tool for evacuation was a shovel. But the lack of a plentiful water supply was a problem. Mills were built on the San Pedro River, 10 miles from Tombstone. Ore was hauled in wagons pulled by 20 team horses or mules over steep and rugged terrain. The water problem seemed to be solved when water was struck in the Sulphuret Mine at 520 feet. But the water that seemed a savior proved to be the mines executioner. The same water table was soon encountered in all the other mines. In 1883, gigantic
Marker detail: Tombstone Mines Map (<i>from left side of marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Tombstone Mines Map (from left side of marker)
This is a modification of a Topographical 1908 U.S. Geological Survey map, digitally enhanced. The sketches from old photos of the mines were done by Joy Robeson. Photos of the Cornish Pumps courtesy of Tombstone Courthouse Historic State Park. Special thanks to Burton Devere for his invaluable contributions.
Cornish style pumps were installed to pump the water from the mines at the Contention and the Grand Central Mines. In 1886, the pumps at the Grand Central burned leaving only the pumps at the Contention to handle all the water. They proved inadequate, forcing the suspension of all mining below the water table. From 1886-1901 mining was at low ebb. In 1901 the Consolidated Mining Company was formed, a four compartment shaft was sunk and mills were built. The Contention, Empire, Lucky Cuss, Silver Thread, Toughnut, West Side and Grand Central were reconditioned. By 1906 the Boom shaft had reached 1000 ft. level and water was being pumped at the rate of 3000 gallons per minute. Approximately 3,700,000 gallons were pumped on a daily basis. In 1909 water again dealt mining a serious blow. Defective fuel for the boilers caused the pumps on the 1000 ft. level to seize and stop. Sinking pumps failed to handle the water and the overtaxed boilers ruptured, stopping all pumping. New compressors and boilers solved the problem, but the cost of defeating the water coupled with the falling price of silver and insufficient high quality ore bodies made mining economically unfeasible. In 1911, all pumping was stopped and the 600, 700, 800, and 1000 foot levels of the Boom shaft were allowed to flood. This was the last hurrah for mining in Tombstone. While mining continued for a number of years it
The Mines of Tombstone Marker (<i>wide view; marker located at Consolidated Mines entrance</i>) image. Click for full size.
3. The Mines of Tombstone Marker (wide view; marker located at Consolidated Mines entrance)
never reached the production levels of the early years.
 
Erected 2007 by Tombstone Restoration Commission. (Marker Number 37a.)
 
Location. 31° 42.689′ N, 110° 3.989′ W. Marker is in Tombstone, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker is at the intersection of East Toughnut Street and South 5th Street, on the left when traveling west on East Toughnut Street. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 435 East Toughnut Street, Tombstone AZ 85638, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Million Dollar Stope (a few steps from this marker); Tombstone Engine Co. No. 1 (within shouting distance of this marker); City Marshall Virgil Earp (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Owl Cafe and Tourist Hotel (about 300 feet away); Southern Pacific Train Depot (about 300 feet away); Rose Tree (about 300 feet away); The Grand Hotel (about 400 feet away); The Oriental Saloon (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tombstone.
 
Also see . . .  Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company. In 1901, the Grand Central Company, the Tombstone Mill and Mining Company and the Contention Company were joined to form the Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company.
Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company Sign (<i>located directly in front of marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2014
4. Tombstone Consolidated Mines Company Sign (located directly in front of marker)
With the joining of the three companies, the majority of the larger mines in the district were consolidated and the decision was made to once again pump the water and develop the deeper ores. The deeper ores were only partially oxidized, so in the same year the cyanide mill was converted and expanded. Using stamps, slime cones, Wilfley tables and cyanide tanks, the mill operated at a capacity of 225 tons per day. Independent mines reopened and mining at Tombstone regained some of its old vigor. Silver was selling for 67 cents per ounce, lead at 5.6 cents per pound and gold at the fixed price of $20.67 per ounce. (Submitted on March 15, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers
 
Tombstone Mine Slag Buggy image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2014
5. Tombstone Mine Slag Buggy
Tombstone Mine Electric Ore Car image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2014
6. Tombstone Mine Electric Ore Car
 
More. Search the internet for The Mines of Tombstone.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 15, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   5, 6. submitted on March 16, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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