With the freezing weather now behind us, it seemed like a good time to get the ATV's out of mothballs and go for a ride. Nothing special was in mind as we headed out to Florence Junction and the ample parking lot on the South side of US60 about a mile East of the turnoff to Queen Valley.
Four of us including azwhitewing(Howard), Bill, Tom and myself, all residents of the same Old Farts community in Apache Junction hit the trails around 0930. This was my first time in the area and research showed me that there were lots of old mines in the mountains along the East side of this desert cattle land. We started out by going around Dromedary Mountain, sticking strictly to the trails through the wash and along the side of the mountain. Lots of good views to the South down towards the Coke Ovens and Box Canyon, but that wasn't our destination for todays outing.
We got back onto Mineral Mountain Road
and continued heading East where we came across an old building site. This looked too extensive to be a home and I figured that it must have had something to do with the mines in the area. Damage to the site was pretty thorough with walls knocked down and "stuff" scattered down the hillside. Upon investigation, one large piece of junk was a boiler and chimney sections encased in concrete indicated that this was high temp processing equipment so the building may have been for final ore concentrating.
Now it was getting interesting so we continued driving East until we reached a fence line and cattle guard with a large billboard sign and a detailed map of the area. We located our position on the map (You are here)
and saw that Reymert mining area was just a short distance ahead. A little more than a hundred yards farther was a turnoff (Reymert Road) which follows a dry wash leading up into the mountains. We found a couple of dead-ends and finally ended up at the old Smelting site along another dry wash. Again, damage to the site was extensive with stone walls knocked down and the smelting ovens partially destroyed. Other buildings which would have been associated with the smelting operation were completely gone.
A short distance up the wash was a stand of colorful Willow trees indicating a spring was nearby and lots of pipe feeding a large concrete water containment structure in front of the smelter. We took several photos of the area, had a break in the warmth of the late morning sun then climbed aboard our mechanical steeds and began out 8-mile journey back to the parking area.
This trip was too interesting and left too many unanswered questions so I resolved that I was going to have to do some research to find out more about this mining operation and why it was so thoroughly destroyed
Some History Notes
James DeNoon Reymert started a silver mining/processing operation at the site in the 1890's giving the site his name. About two miles further up the main wash was the site of the mine itself. He established the town of DeNoon (again named after himself) where the miners lived. DeNoon had a population of around 150 and included a Post Office, stores and a couple of taverns. More buildings had been proposed, but the town didn't last too long and today nothing remains. The confusion exists today as to which site is Reymert and which is DeNoon.
Researching further, I found that the old town site was bulldozed in the 70's leaving almost nothing behind, thus explains the condition of the building we visited previously. I don't understand why people have to destroy sites with historical significance
It was a fun and interesting day but the amount of litter, shot shells and junk along the routes is deplorable and all too typical of trails frequented by the Jeep/ATV crowds Foliage
Only a few locations with springs had trees, but they had very good Autumn color.