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Have You Heard? Black Diamond Mine near-by - Tombstone Tips, Issue #21
December 01, 2018

Insider Info Newsletter

December 2018


~ ~ Black Diamond Mine

~ ~ November Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Black Diamond Mine Approximation
First Located in 1880
Don't Even Try to 4-Wheel It Now - Too Dangerous!!

#1 - Was There a Diamond Mine Near Tombstone?

~ ~ In 1880 mining prospector Thomas Pidwell was scouting the Dragoon Mtns. in S.E. AZ. He found an opportune area. Tucson's Arizona Daily Star described it as having "the showing for many good mines there" (Feb. 1, 1880). Pidwell's Black Diamond was named a "valuable property." By 1897 he & his partner Hudson had started excavating. Financing came via partnering with a Bond Deed from Copper Queen Consolidated.

~ ~ But did they discover diamonds there? No! It was named for the types of minerals surrounding the copper & silver ores. All with a black or dark gray, sometimes sparkly coloring.

~ ~ Several Eastern businessmen got together forming the Black Diamond Copper Co. They had funding & bought Pidwell out with a Bond for Deed. Next hired experienced miner, John Graham as the superintendent.

From the Tombstone Weekly Epitaph
Sunday, February 13, 1898 - Pg. 2

Learn About Bonds For Deed

Ruins Found in the Black Diamond Mine Vicinity

#2 - Valued Highly!!

~ ~ A team began the preliminary work in April 1898. The Black Diamond Copper Mining Company filed their corporation papers with Cochise County in July. Tombstone solicitor Allen R. English was their agent.

~ ~ By the summer there were 3 eight hour shifts running. A boarding house was built for workers. A nearby spring supplied water needs.

~ ~ In mid 1900 the mine was off & running big time! They were still expanding operations.

From the Arizona Daily Star
Saturday, July 28, 1900 - Page 4

#3 - Still Expanding in 1901 - 1902

~ ~ The Arizona Republic, a Phoenix newspaper, reported in October that a Mrs. J.H.Bose had just opened a rooming house in the Black Diamond Mining Camp. She was in Tucson to buy supplies & hire 3 Chinese workers. She said the mining company had 80 workers & had just purchased a smelter.

~ ~ By the Spring of the next year all was still going well. They even formed a company to upgrade camp living conditions. That included a phone system to connect locally. The camp gained a Post Office & then a stage stop.

From the Arizona Daily Star
Friday, August 29, 1902 - Page 3

#4 - Gravity Tramway

~ ~ The mine was tunneled on a hillside. Ore extracted needed to get to the smelter downhill. A tramway was built to use gravity power, from its 800 ft. higher elevation start.

~ ~ The mine had 4 main tunnels, each connected together by a vertical opening called a winze. Ore could be chuted through via gravity to reach the lowest tunnel. Then placed into the Tramway.

Gravity Tramway Ruins - Maybe from Black Diamond?

#5 - The Good the Bad & the Ugly!

~ ~ In the middle of 1903 the Phoenix newspapers are pronouncing the Black Diamond Mine as "A big mining enterprise beyond experimental stage."

~ ~ The early 1900s saw many labor strikes throughout the U.S. Mexican & Italian mine workers in Clifton-Morenci AZ struck in 1903. This likely influenced Mexican Black Diamond smelter employees. On strike in early 1904 it led to troubles & murder of Deputy Sheriff Wight. Ensuing legal issues revolving around smelter management closed the Black Diamond Mine for a time.

~ ~ In August 1904 the mine reopened & 75 employees were back to work on three 8 hour shifts.

~ ~ That same month the Bisbee Review reported on the Black Diamond's master mechanic's interview. He stated the management was excellent & the ore was abundant.

#6 - Downhill Slide - Not on the Tramway!!

~ ~ In mid April 1906 a few news items appeared that hinted at possible financial difficulties starting for Black Diamond operations. On November 26, 1906 the court granted the Black Diamond Copper Mining Company Bankruptcy. It was announced in the Tombstone Epitaph on Sun., Dec. 2, 1906. Creditors' Meeting was scheduled on Dec. 15.

~ ~ In Autumn 1907 the Bisbee Daily Review published an urgent sounding offer by the Black Diamond Copper Mining Co. They asked for sealed bids for adding 100 ft. to a current 115 ft. mine shaft. They requested a contract "as speedily as possible" with bids submitted within 4 days.

This May Be One of the Black Diamond Tunnels

#7 - Thru the Years Til Today...

~ ~ 1908: Still a town-site - with a school & post office. But no mining - AZ Supreme Court held it up with Bankruptcy still in force in March. They finally discharged it in May.

~ ~ Property was worked intermittently until 1957. Is now considered a "ghost town" - but on private land. Owner currently listed as Keith Englander - possibly since 1973.

~ ~ Since work apparently ceased after 1957, some have tried to find the mine. Some may have rediscovered it quite a few years back. Then tried again, but encountered very dangerous conditions - roads & trails washed out. Even a 4x4 seen crashed at the bottom of a deep ravine. You're advised to not try these conditions - plus it is private property.

~ ~ It's so intriguing discovering the old mines and the people who adventured to Tombstone and surrounding areas, seeking fortunes and a new life. Who were they, what motivated them?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town reliving these people, also. Seeing the environment they spent time in - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - credit with just a first name & last initial; or only initials; or anonymous.)



~ ~ Yes the streets were empty Thanksgiving Day we heard (we went to Tucson for our family dinner). Ringo's Bar had their usual local spread, though. I think the 4 Deuces also did. Everyone else was closed.

~ ~ But that week, people were here! Many use their extra days off to come to town. A great idea!!

~ ~ The Tombstone Christmas Tree is in place at 5th & Allen. The Tree Lighting Event was held! All the celebrations have begun!! The Christmas Holiday Schedule: all on our events page - Read More>

2018 Tree is Up - Elsa Admiring It!


~ ~ Here's a super great reopening. Used to be Sister Paranormal - giving ghost tours. Arranged at night in the building next door: the old Watt & Tarbell's Undertakers' morgue. How scary!! And it was - they had the best ghost tour reviews of all in town. Then they stopped.

~ ~ Across the street - Big Iron Shooting Gallery had a new owner. Soon thereafter he moved his place, reopened across the street into Watt & Tarbell building! Whaaattt?? So recently another change - a wonderful one!!

~ ~ The Sister Paranormal shop is open, but now it's called Nora's Place. Nora Weed is giving her tours again - inside Watt & Tarbell's, just like before. So glad to hear that! Highly recommended. You can get all the details - Read More>


~ ~ Our Tombstone Custom Calendar is still at a special price for our subscribers! Through January - at 20% off always only through the special link below. But still - watch for additional savings & sales that may be offered. Even more than for non-subscribers.

~ ~ Remember, it ships from Massachusetts. And they don't begin your calendar's printing process until ordered. If it will be a gift, you want to know the delivery timing. Click the link below for all the details - Keep a watch for those sales!! This link is only for Tombstone Tips subscribers...

2019 Subscribers Tombstone Calendar Offer

4 Deuces - 4 Sale


~ ~ The Four Deuces Saloon is up for sale! Any takers out there? Their traditional website seems to be defunct right now. So who knows what will happen with their Beers 'N' Balls?

~ ~ Found out the Crystal Palace owners didn't actually buy the historical Oriental Saloon building - but will be leasing it for their new, anticipated operation mentioned in last month's newsletter.

~ ~ Noticed some interior goings on inside the historic City Hall. They redid the outside - now it may be they're working on the inside. Future plans for that?? We'll be looking into it!

What's Goin' On - Inside Those Open Doors?


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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