SILVER KING

NAME: Silver King
COUNTY: Pinal
ROADS: 4WD
LEGAL INFO: T1S, R12E
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Privately owned. Get permission before entering.
REMAINS: Not much is left after vandals burned down the building featured on the cover of many ghost town books.

Silver King's post office was established December 21, 1877 and was discontinued May 5, 1912. Silver King was discovered once, lost, then discovered again in 1875. So much ore was taken from Silver King that a milling town was constructed nearby, called Pinal. Two hotels were constructed at Silver King, which neither owner liked. One day they had a shootout to see who would monopolize the hotel business in Silver King. Both were bad shots and missed each other but it is rumored that one was forced to take his meals standing up for the next few days. In 1888 the price of silver dropped and so did the town of Silver King. Today there is not much left.

From the Pinal Drill, A Dec.17, 1881 OUR MINES, The Silver King. A Brief Description of the Richest Silver Mine in the World. The company was organized in San Francisco in May, 1877. The capital is $10,000,000, shares $100 each. During itís entire existence, James M. Barney has been itís manager and Aaron Mason itís superintendent. Within the last six months, A.J. Doran has been acting Superintendent. The mine is five miles from Pinal at Silver King village. The works are at Pinal. The works consist of 20 stamps, six concentrating tables, three roasters, one large roasting furnace, five tanks &c for lixiviation, refinery and assay office. About 50 tons of ore are worked daily,hauled by teams from the mine, and on an average $20,000 in silver bars is shipped every week, as the product of the establishment. An enormous quantity of tailings covers acres of ground at the mill, containing large quantities of silver and copper. The base metals have. until within a few days, not been extracted from the ore, but works are now in operation extracting the copper. We have heretofore described the Silver King Mine and itís apparent- ly boundless wealth.. Last week we had the pleasure. to accompany Mr. Doran on his visit to the mine, and in company with him and the foreman, Mr. Robert Bowen, passed through the labyrinth of levels and drifts, up the stopes, amongst the timbers, from floor to floor, in the windings and descents of this monstrous excavation. The main shaft has reached a depth of 730 feet. There are levels at 110, 250, 300, 350, 408, 510, 612, and 714 feet. All the ore that has been worked for one year past has been takne out between the 300 and 408 levels, and masses are standing in view on all sides. This large chamber, or stope, is timbered, as also the mine elsewhere, with pine from Oregon and Truckee, California. which costs here $45 per thousand feet. The posts are 12 by 12 inches and 14 by 14 inches, and the sills 10 by 14. In this large chamber which is 60 by 75 feet, we climbed 100 feet upwards amongst these timbers that appear as solid as adam-i ant. Nothing hut ore has been taken out of this large, now empty space. There are also several drifts from this chamber to the west and south, all in ore. On the 714 foot level there is one drift 54 feet to the north, all in ore bristling at you whereever you look. You find the ore in the quartz, in spar and in porphyry. From the 612 level there is a winze connecting with the 510 Ievel, all through white quartz and porphyry carrying rich ore, and masses of pure white quartz carrying lower grade ore. The 510 is, we think the richest level. There are native silver, antimonial silver and zinc blende prominent, and forming of itself a grand bonanza. The ore in the large 408 chamber is chiefly native silver, with polybisite and galena, carrying antimony, of great value in silver, On the 300 level there is a cross cut to the west, 35 feet in porphyry, and a drift to the east 60 feet through whiie quartz. We found quartz a width-of about 60 feet along the sides and then porphyry beyond. There is a body of spar running from the 408 level to the 250 level all the way up on the southeast side of the porphyry, which will probably run into the old works on the surface, from which so much rich ore was taken and shipped. Quartz, spar and porphyry appear distinct and also intermixed. The ore above the 250 foot level to the 110 level has been left intact for future use. In fact, the levels down to the 300, although much work has been done, are yet but for prospecting purposes. We have tried to see and find walls, but really we must say that none exist, for what appears to be a wall, that has been called a hanging wall, is but a seam with porphyry on the other side, carrying rich ore. Down in the depths at 730 feet it appears that the real ledge is found, the backbone, thus surmounted with an enormous mass of ore, of which some of the richest has been taken, yet so abundant that it seems inexhaustible. But there are also immense bodies of low grade ore, which will in time encumber the work, and must even now be inconvenient. This must be worked in a different manner and on a more economical plan, as also the tailings about the mine. - There is money enough in these lower grade ores to make the King forever famous, apart from the rich ores therein, and with suitable and more extensive machinery, the amount of yield is onlyva matter of industry. The near future will most probably confirm what now appears to us demonstrated, that the seams and courses of the mine with it's rich veins, run west of north and east of south and that the present mine is but a surface development in the heavy covering that rests upon a vast quartz body below, through which this volcanic maelstrom of molten mineral has been thrown, containing, all varieties of silver ore, combined with baser metals as if if were a witches cauldron. Larger, more extensive works are most imperatively called for. The mill has an abundant supply of water for 100 stamps or more. We have fuel plenty for considerable time from the desert, but the coal fields call loudly upon us and the timber close by these will supply all our anticipated w*nta of that kind. A narrow track railroad could he built, for a three months yield of this mine, connecting Pinal with the coal fields and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Millions in silver lay glaringly before the feet on the surface and in the mine. By enlarging and remodeling the present- works, and adapting a process for the profitable working of the lower grade ores. that is, ores below $100 per ton, the yield of this mine will be at once quadrupled. ARIZONA WEEKLY ENTERPRISE, Jan. 20, 1883 Superintendentís Report, Pinal, Arizona, Jan. 1, 1883 On the 1st February..tbe ore was being taken from the 714 level only. Including the station and drift, 10,770 cubic feet had been extracted. Since that time the displacement has been 236, 581 cubic feet, the work extending to 150 feet and 92 feet in it's greatest length and breadth, and to 42 feet at itís highest. This level is in ore on all sides of it. It is securely timbered with 98 sills, 201 stretchers, 804 posts, and 1560 caps and ties. The sill stretchers and posts are of 14 inches square lumber, and the caps and ties of 12 inches square lumber. And is further secured with pillars built of the waste, to a height now of 25 feet and progressing. A tank has been cut on this level, 16x8 feet, by 8 ft. it measures in the clear. The only work on the 6.12 level has been cutting outa winze station and sinking a winze to the 714 level for air. This level is in ore. The ground all in place. The 510 level had been tapped of 8600 cubic feet, and itís station had been timbered. A drain has been cut out to a tank at the shaft, the draft timbered, the floor extended and stopes started. The space measures 20,104 cubic feet. Itís timbers are of the same dimensions as those of the 714 level. In this work now there are 24 sills, 49 stretchers, 86 posts, and. 233 caps and ties. All this work is in ore. A drain has been cut out on the 408 level to a tank at the station and drift timbered throughout. Only the heavy ground has been taken out to relieve the timbers, and as in the 7l4 level, pillars have been built of the waste in such manner as to hold the ground in place until wanted, when it can be easily got at, the pillars always adding to the support of the timbers. No other work has been done on this level, which is partly stoped through to the 356 level. I found the space measured 133,020 cubic feet. It now measures 133,730 cubic feet. This level has ore in itís face. . . The drift of the 356 level has been dressed down and timbered. Through this the waste is carried, and from it, shot to the pillars being built to the 403 level. The timbers have been eased where necessary. No other work has been done here. It is stoped in part, through to the 304 level. I found the displacement to be 97,900 cubic feet. This level and itís stopes are in ore. In the 304, 252 and 110 levels nowork has been done this year. Excepting the drifts through them, this ground is all in place today. On the surface the ore was uncovered while extending the excavation for the foundation of the hoisting machinery. The northeast campartment has been fitted with guides, trimmed down and cages have been run in both campartments since May last. As at the first of the year, the water is of little moment--under 2000 gallons a day. It comes in above the 408 level where the greater quantity is caught and drained into the southwest. (intake) compartment of the shaft. The rest seeps through to the winze and is drained at the 510 level as at the 408 level. Below the 510 it is a dry mine. All the ground has to be blasted. The ventilation is good. The mine looks well throughout. Itís ore limits are not known in any direction underground. A new steel boiler has been set UI) and connected. The old boiler has been repaired. By this the consumption of wood was reduced from 31/2 to 11/2 cords a day. The hoisting machinery and itís foundation have been taken out, a new foundation put in, and the machinery refitted. It works well. A car-penterís and blacksmithís shop and sawmill: have been put up. An ore house is in course of erection. lt is to contain a rock breaker which is now on the ground. The work is to be completed this month. A trestle has been completed from the old dump to the ore house. The water at the pump station has been equal to the ore demand. 695 cords of wood be been consumed at a cost of $6250 dollars. 18,863 tons of ore have been delivered at the mill. 18,000 of them were taken from the 714 level. The rest, with but few from the 408, came from the 510 level. Three hundred fifty tons remain on the dump. At the mill two of the batteries have been taken down, two new mortars set in place of old ones and the, batteries refitted. Two more tables have been set; up and have worked since Nov.6tb, making 8 tables, now running. The mill building has been extended required. The ore yard has been raised to the level of the feeder hoppers of the battery., increasing the elevation of the site to 22 feet. Assay offices, a blacksmith and carpenter shop have been built on the site. By direction of the General Manager, Col. Barney, the reduction of ore by leaching ceased October 31st. The month of November gave an opportunity to closely test the work and the following was the result: .1,523 tons, or a value by assay o f$61.08-100 per ton, gave 78.944-1000 tons of concentration, of a value of 1,094 -1,555-10,000 per ton by assay. Thus 19.41-100 tons were dressed down to one ton. The ore shipped weighed 5.16-100 per cent of that crushed, the loss being 7.69-100 per cent of $4.9,534 10,000 per ton. Over one-third Ďof the value was in native silver. 1,900 tons of ore remain in theí yard.... From the Pinal Drill, Dec 10, 1881 SILVER QUEEN The shaft is now down to 400 feet. At this point they drifted to the north, and have reached 96 feet, where they struck the ledge. This is quart copper ore, and shove quite a body across the whole width of the ledge. The drift is now in 11 feet. They have also in the ledge, streaks of talc and iron and copper ore, mixed,, copper being predominant. There is more water coming in from the ledge, but not enough to hinder the work. Assays show that the copper carries silver. The exact percentage of copper is not yet ascertained, but to all appearances it is over 50 per cent. - Courtesy Tom McCurnin


Silver King circa 1880
Courtesy Arizona Historical Society


Silver King
Courtesy Kurt Wenner


Silver King in 1977
Courtesy D DeMontigny

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