NAME: Santarita
GRID #(see map): 7
CLIMATE: Mild winter, warm summer
Spring, winter, fall
COMMENTS: Today it is an active open pit Copper
REMAINS:Mining operations
The interesting and turbulent history of Santa Rita date back to 1800 when the Spanish military fort existed in the area. It is said the commandant of the fort befriended an Apache Indian who was suffering from a rattlesnake bite. In return for his kindness, the Indian guided the commandant to a rich deposit of native copper. Not having the financial capability to develop the property, the Spanish commandant sold his interest in the property to other Spaniards who started operations albeit somewhat crude. Indian raids were frequent. It was in 1837 that a plan was devised to invite the Apaches to the town to share in a peace conference. It was a ruse to gather as many Apache braves, women and children into a courtyard where they could help themselves to as much ground corn as they could carry. The Spaniards then opened fire with canon and rifle. Three hundred Apaches were killed in the massacre. To retaliate, the Apaches mounted intense raids against Santa Rita forcing abandonment of all mining operations and the exodus of the town's population. During the exodus, the Apaches killed nearly two hundred. The property changed hands several times until 1910 when the Chino Copper Company acquired ownership and began open pit operations that continue to this day. Courtesy Henry Chenoweth.

Mountains Near Santa Rita
Courtesy James Carlile

Santa Rita
Courtesy James Carlile