NAME: Mowry
COUNTY: Santa Cruz
ROADS: 4WD recommended
CLIMATE: Mild winter, warm summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer or fall
COMMENTS: A forest service sign marks the site. Video available, see below.
REMAINS: There are numerous adobe ruins and stone foundations; there are also the ruins of a major stone building, as well as the remnants of mining operations in and near the mine openings (due care needs to be exercised; many are partially hidden and dangerous).

Mowry as a mine was undoubtedly worked by the Mexicans prior to the entry of the Americans into what became Arizona; it was "discovered" in 1857, and originally known as the Patagonia mine (for reasons which remain a mystery). In 1860, the mine was purchased by Lt. Sylvester Mowry, a West Point graduate (who had resigned his commission); he named it for himself, and invested heavily in equipment and facilities. However, in 1862, he was arrested and charged with selling lead for ammunition to the Confederacy, and incarcerated in Yuma Prison. While there, the mine was sold: the equipment and the mine were deliberately ruined by the government receiver. Later that same year, he was released for lack of evidence (although there are reasons to believe he did, in fact, support the Confederacy); he tried for a number of years to get the government to reimburse him and return the mine, but was unsuccessful, and the mine was abandoned. >From the 1880s to the early 1900s, it passed through the hands of a number of Tucson-based firms, but never returned much of a profit during that time. The first post office, as Patagonia, lasted from 1866-1867; it was re-opened as Mowry in 1880, and again from 1901 to 1913. -Kurt Wenner

Mowry's post office was established May 7, 1866 and was discontinued July 31, 1913 with a period from 1880 to 1905 when the post office was shut down. Mowry, named after Lieutenant Sylvester Mowry, was originally called the Patagonia. After Mowry purchased the mine, he changed the name and erected smelting equipment, buildings, and a smelter. Then, the civil war came and the Indians ran most white folk out of the territory, specifically reducing Mowry to ruins. After the war Mowry again sprung into life and mining continued through the early 1900's. Today there is a small cluster of wood and adobe rubble and a small cemetery.


Mowry is located 16 miles south of Patagonia. The road is paved the first 6 miles and after that is dirt road FR 49, witch will bring you to Mowry. Mowry in Santa Cruz County is one of the oldest mining communities in Arizona. Originally the town were known as Patagonia Mine and was running by the Mexicans in 1857 and possible by the early Spanish Jesuits. Mowry was growing around silver, lead and zinc mine witch were owned by West Point Lt. Sylvester Mowry, stattionated in Fort Grittenden, who bayed the mine in 1859 for 20.000 dollars. After he bayed the mine, he changed name to Mowry and he brought the equipment to crashing the ore, he build a smelter and buildings. When the Civil War started, Lt. Mowry's mining was cut-out over in the year 1862 when Mowry were prosecuted for using the lead to made patrons for the Confederation Army. He was jailed in Fort Yuma and the mine was confiscated from the government. During the Civil war, the Indians haunted the most of the white people out of the area and they turn Mowry to the ruins. Six months later Mowry were found innocent because there was not proof against him, but he never turn back to the area. He died in England in the year 1871 in age and 39 years. After the Civil War mining started again but the mine had never that production like before the Civil War. From the 1880s to beginning of 1900s, mine was owned by more different Tucson companies, but no one received back the cost they used on mining. The first post office, like Patagonia, were open from May 7, 1866 until 1867 and opened again as Mowry in 1880 and again from 1901 until July 31, 1913. Remains are ruins, collapsed shaft and powder house. Bobby Zlatevski

Mowry in 1909
Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey

Mowry Ruins
Courtesy Dolores Steele

Courtesy Kurt Wenner

Courtesy Kurt Wenner

Courtesy Kurt Wenner

Courtesy Kurt Wenner

Hardshell Mine Ruins
Courtesy Bobby Krause