SILVERBELL

NAME: Silverbell
COUNTY: Pima
ROADS: 2WD
LEGAL INFO: T11S, R8E
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Some current mining at the site. One of the biggest tailing piles in the state.Take I-10 Rillito Exit 242 (Avra Valley Road) or via Red Rock - Exit 226 or via Marana - Exit 236. Via Rillito: Drive 23 miles to the west to The Silver Bell mine and continue to Silverbell. After pavement ends drive 5,8 miles to west. After 5,8 miles take road to northwest. Possible to pass with 2WD but 4WD is the best.
REMAINS: Many mining structures and foundations among new structures. UPDATE 6/22/98 :old Silverbell has been destroyed by ASARCO and its vicinity now sits way behind their fence. The only thing that can be visited is an old cemetery, about 2 miles West of the townsite, probably because there may still be some living descendants. If not, ASARCO would have fenced that, too. Steve Meiller

Silverbells's post office was established August 18, 1904 and has not been discontinued. Copper was the mainstay (and still it) for Silverbell. Discovered in the early 1860's, ore is still being produced. Three thousand people flocked to Silverbell in its heyday and Silverbell was one of the most renowned mining camps in the southwest. Described once as the "hell-hole: of Arizona, Silverbell was home to many lawless acts. Just days Before Deputy Sam McEvan arrived to his new job, three murders had been committed. 1911 marked the beginning of the downfall for Silverbell and in 1948, the new town of Silverbell was born.

Silverbell began growing in 1902 after E.B. Gage and W. F. Staunton together with Develop-ment Company of America started exploiting mining rights. Post office opened in 1904 and Wells Fargo station opened in 1906. Progress was going to 1911 when the fire in mine and financial problems stopped work. Work in the mine continued by American Smelting & Refining Com-pany from 1915 to 1921 when the lower prices made work non rentable. 13 miles of dirt road between Silverbell and Sasco is a nice trip. The road is original part of "Arizona Southern Railroad" built in 1904 for transportation of ore from mines in Silverbell to smelter in Sasco. The track were taken off in 1934. No problem for 2WD. Submitted by: Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Silver Bell
Courtesy Kurt Wenner


Tailings at Silverbell


Silver Bell
Courtesy Kurt Wenner

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