Harshaw is a mostly-abandoned ghost town in Santa Cruz County, just south of the town of Patagonia. Harshaw appears to have a few residents and has a few remaining buildings to see.
In 1877, a rancher by the name of David Tecumseh Harshaw had his cattle grazing on designated Apache land. It was at this point that Indian Agent Jeffords told him to move his cows. Harshaw complied and relocated his herd west to the present site of Harshaw.
Because Harshaw was interested in mining, and because he happened to relocate nearly on top of a rich silver vein, it was destined for Harshaw to strike it rich. The Hermosa Mine was established in 1877. Harshaw sold his claims a couple of years later to the Hermosa Mining Company of New York who built a 20-
stamp mill at the mine. Its peak came in 1880 in which the mine reported a $365,654 earnings in just four short months. During this prime time, 150 men were working the mine and the town had 2,000 residents. The town had stores, hotels, up to 30 saloons, and even a newspaper – the Arizona Bullion.
The triumph at Harshaw was short lived however. A freak thunderstorm caused a fire and in turn, damage to several buildings. The quality of ore coming out of the Hermosa plummeted shortly after. By 1882, over 150 of the 200 buildings had been abandoned.
In 1887, James Finley of Tucson purchased the claim for $600. The town sprung back to life on a smaller scale up to about 100 citizens, however still held “modern” amenities like a school, a few saloons, and a blacksmith shop. Finley worked the mine and built a prominent brick house for his family (which still stands today). He died in 1903. With the value of silver declining, the town had become abandoned by 1909.
From 1937-1956, the Arizona Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) operated two mines in the area. After this however, the town has become nearly abandoned with only a few residents remaining today.
Today, at Harshaw there are a few building left to see. Follow Harshaw Rd. south from Patagonia. A U.S. Forest Service sign marks the beginning of the town, then follow the “main” road back to see the rest. There is a cemetery west of Harshaw across the road.
Sherman, James E., and Barbara H. Sherman. Ghost Towns of Arizona. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1969. 76-77. Print.
Varney, Philip. Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Dept. of Transportation, State of Arizona, 1994. 109-10. Print.
Ruins at Harshaw
James Finley's house in Harshaw