This blog is a continuation of our previous post, “Gold Mines and Crested Saguaros,” describing our one day visit to the Wickenburg area. After visiting an abandoned mine area surrounded by Saguaro, we returned to the main road, turned left and continued to the old abandoned town of Stanton.
Once known as Antelope Station, Stanton experienced gold rush fever in 1863 in the form of a gold strike. What was once a stage stop, transformed over night into a western boomtown thanks to its rather large deposits of gold. Legend has it that when a prospector left his group to go round up some mules on a nearby hill, he literally stumbled on gold nuggets lying right atop the soil. The subsequent strike, on the aptly named Rich Hill, allowed the group to dig up $100,000 of gold in less than six months. By the 1890s, Stanton was a legitimate community filled with miners, their families, a general store, a stamp mill, a hotel, a boarding house, and several other buildings. Unfortunately, the town declined and eventually died out when the gold had dried up. Today, Stanton is owned by the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association and has been transformed into a campground for RVs.
The RV park surrounds many buildings that remain from the original town.
A sign next to one of the original buildings provides information about the history of the area.
The RV park has a wide variety of vehicles, from large modern motorhomes, to small old trailers like pictured below, to tents.
It appears that almost everyone in the park is there to see if they can get lucky by working a small mineral claim on the surrounding federal land. ATVs, used to haul rocks back from the hills, are everywhere. Most of the RVs have mining equipment around them to process the ore. Below is a picture of equipment located behind a fifth wheel trailer.
After a quick tour of Stanton, we returned to Wickenburg to check out the historic downtown area. The streets are filled with many small clothing and jewelry shops. At various locations in the downtown area you find bronze sculptures of historical figures. Press a button near the figure and you’ll hear a bit of Wickenburg history.
Small bronzes of local area desert creatures are located along the sidewalks between the major sculptures. Two are pictured below.
Our stopover here was mainly to visit the old mines and find the Crested Saguaros. We didn’t realize that Wickenburg was such an interesting town.
Next we are off to Las Vegas ! ! !