The Arizona & Utah Railroad, a territorial era rail line

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In search of railroad history in northwest Arizona.

in northwest Arizona is less than an historic footnote. It is a dusty and forgotten chapter from the closing years of the frontier era that is providing fodder for a couple of new Jim Hinckley’s America adventures.

The mining camps in the Cerbat Mountains date to the 1860’s, and purportedly, Chloride is the oldest continuously mining town in Arizona. By the late 19th century many of the mines had closed, and the towns that they had supported were ghost towns. Chloride, and nearby White Hills, were, however, booming as the mines went deep. The Tennessee Schulyhill is one of the deepest mines in the state. The high cost of shipping, however, cut deep into profits. 

Discussions about linking the rich mining camps in the Cerbat Mountains with a rail line had commenced almost as soon as the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad laid rails west from Kingman to the Colorado River. In 1898, the Sacramento Valley Railroad was incorporated to transform the discussions and dreams into reality.  The first stage, a line from the main line of the A.T. & S.F. at McConnico west of Kingman to Chloride was completed in the spring of 1900.

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