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July 4, 1870, on a small ridge just north of Crown King, the first big strike was made. It had people really excited. Jackson McCracken, James Fine, Charley Taylor and T.G. Hogle discovered the Del Pasco mine that day. Just a few days later, these men headed up to Prescott to show off what they had found. A newspaper said that the Bradshaw’s were one of the richest mining districts in the west, which got a lot of people interested in them. With food, water, dynamite and other supplies, the group of men headed back to the Del Pasco. Along with them were miners such as Charley Taylor, who mined in Turkey Creek. Many of these men were members of the Walker Party, which was part of the First Territorial Legislature, which met at Fort Misery in Prescott, AZ.
In August of 1870, two arrastras, or small circular devices that crushed the ore, were hard at work. With 112 ounces of Gold, the proprietors of the mine returned to Prescott, Arizona on August 15. The gold at this time was worth about $17 an ounce so their gold was worth about $1,904.
The Miner in Prescott proclaimed, “…The richest gold mine in the world, which had been named the ‘Del Pasco’ and is situated upon the summit of the Bradshaw Mountain…”.At this time the community at the Del Pasco Mine was growing. Mr. Christie, who worked at the Del Pasco, headed about a mile away to begin prospecting in Bradshaw Basin. He along with Mr. Poland worked in the area near the Crowned King Mine. At this time, T.G. Hogle sold his part of the Del Pasco to the Jackson’s for $1,000. These brothers than bought a four stamp mill. From 20 tons of crushed ore, Jackson McCracken and Charley Taylor ended up with about 116 ounces of gold. Also during this time, the Jackson Brothers moved their stamp mill around to service other mining claims that were beginning to open. In December, the Del Paso Mine area was being timbered and contained over 30 knowledgeable miners. Miners were all over this area, which was said to be the richest area in the world. From five to twenty dollars were made a day with those who panned for gold.
By September of 1871, the stamp mill that the Jackson Brothers owned was now permanently left at the Del Pasco Mine. However, a lack of water prevented the mill from running all of the time. In October, 1871, the Jackson Brother’s ran their mill for 72 hours and made about $700. Water was discovered and allowed the mill to be run a little more frequently. In February of 1872, the mill was running at full capacity and was churning out about 50 ounces every day. One of the Jackson brother’s, Jesse Jackson went into Prescott where he sold and showed off over seven pounds of gold. Jess Jackson at this time also began working with Shupe on the War Eagle mine. In January of 1873, ore from this small mine was being sent to the Del Pasco Mill for processing. By March of 1873, Jackson had gotten about 30 tons of ore out and made about $1,000. In May of this same year a well had been dug to provide water for the mill, however was forced to shut down a few months later. Finally, after some water recycling, the mill was able to run 8-9 hours every day.
By the end of the year, 1873, the War Eagle Mine was becoming pretty successful. It had a 60 ft. shaft and a 75 ft. long tunnel. In 1874, Levi Bashford bought 250 feet of both the War Eagle and Del Pasco Mine’s as well as 3/4’s of the mill. In 1878, Cal Jackson and W.J. Tompkins purchased the War Eagle and ended up making an extension mine.
By the 1880’s however, the focus of mining was no longer on the Del Pasco or War Eagle. With larger mines popping up such as the Tiger, Peck, and Crowned King Mine, the Del Pasco was now mostly forgotten.
The Del Pasco and War Eagle Mines can be seen by taking Gladiator Mine Trail north. The Del Pasco is on a turnoff near the end of this trail and the start of the Towers Mountain Trail. (Click here to see it on a map) Remnants at the Del Pasco include ore, mining equipment, a dump truck, an old school bus and a few buildings. At the War Eagle, only ore and a small structure is left in addition to the mine itself.
An old bus at the Del Pasco Mine
Mining remnants at the Del Pasco Mine The War Eagle Mine (now filled in)
Wilson, Bruce M. Crown King and the Southern Bradshaws: A Complete History. Chandler, AZ: Crown King Press, 2002. Print.