NAME: Klondyke
COUNTY: Graham
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
COMMENTS: Current residents. Stop by the general store.
REMAINS: Many original buildings.

Klon Klondyke was founded in the early 1900's and named for its Canadian counterpart. Unfourtunately, the founders couldn't spell very well and the town wound up with a "y" instead of an "i" in the name. Silver and lead were the mainstay of the mines. Klondyke's peak population was about 500. Today there are only about a dozen residents. -GT

Klondyke was founded around the turn of the century by gold diggers who returned after gold rush in Klondike, Yukon Territory in Alaska. They believed it would bring luck to name the new home after the big gold found in Klondike. And, to give the place some individuality, they used "y" instead "i". The town reached a population of 500 people and besides the mining operation they lived from ranching. The first store in the town was started from Mr. Bedoya in a tent and later he built a saloon and wood store. In 1904 he opened the John F. Greenwood store and post office and he was the first postmaster who served the town between 1907-1917. His store burned down later but he immediately built a new one. The town had school and church. During the Depression, half of the town's residents left the town. The post office closed in 1955. As in any other ghost town, there is not much left to see here. Located after Aravaipa Canyon in beautiful Aravaipa Valley where Aravaipa Creek is running dry, surrounded by harsh Galiuro Mountains in southwest and Santa Teresa Mountains in the north, Klondyke is the most beautiful and extreme peaceful place to live in and in the middle of 1980s a half dozen people lived here. People don't travel to Klondyke like in other towns, but those who come here, they love this peaceful place and area around the town. Klondyke is the home of one of Arizona's most notorious stories which has elements of "Old West" tragedies. Southeast of the town is Klondyke cemetery where Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Power, his wife, daughter and two of their three sons lie. Jeff Power brought his family from Texas to Arizona in 1909 and he started a cattle ranch. Powers wife, Martha Jane was killed in a buggy accident in the year 1915 when the horse started to run wild. One year later, Power took his children to his mine in the Galiuro Mountains where they built a cabin in Ratlesnake Canyon. Here his daughter Ola May died when she was bitten by snake in 1917. Charley, who was Powers oldest son was wounded in the First World War and the old man decided that his other sons John and Tom Jr. shall never be food for the canons and he kept the boys home when they were called for military duty. They were declared as deserters and on February 10, 1918 four lawman from Graham County were sent to arrest the brothers. When they arrived at Powers place, the shooting started. When the shooting ended, three of the lawman and old man Power were dead. Brothers Tom and Jim were wounded and they escaped to Mexico, but they were captured, brought to the court and convicted for killing. On February 26 and 28, 1918 they were send to jail in Florence and their broother Charley left the area. The Power brothers left the jail in 1960 after 42 years in prison and John returned to the Klondyke area. After John's explanation Tom was poised in Los Angeles and he died in 1970 in Sunset, Arizona (about 47 miles south of Klondyke). John moved the bones of his father and brothers to Klondyke cemetery and placed them beside his mothers and sisters grave. On his father grave he wrote: "T. J. Power Sr. 1918 - Age 54. Shot down with his hands up in his own door." Now John is buried beside them in Klondyke cemetery. Bobby Zlatevski

Klondyke General Store, 1910
Courtesy Arizona Historical Society

Courtesy Kurt Wenner

Courtesy Kurt Wenner


Powers Cabin
It had been restored by the forest service. It is at the site where the mine they worked is located and is the scene of the shootout.
It is located in Rattlesnake Canyon in the Galuiro Mountains many miles south of Klondyke and is accessible only by foot or horseback. It is a nine mile journey from the trailhead. Tom McCurnin