Klondyke, Arizona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Klondyke
Mining town
The general store at Klondyke in 1910.
The general store at Klondyke in 1910.
Country United States
State Arizona
County Graham
Population
 • Total ~12
Time zone MST (no DST)
Post Office Opened: 1907
Post Office Closed: 1955

Klondyke is a ghost town in Graham County, Arizona, that was founded around 1900 by some miners who had recently returned from Alaska after participating in the Klondike Gold Rush. The town is located west of Safford in the Aravaipa Valley. The Galiuro Mountains lie to the southeast and the Santa Teresa Mountains to the north.[1]

History[edit]

The mainstay of the town was the lead and silver mines, as well as the nearby cattle ranches. Klondyke's population peaked at 500, but today there are only about a dozen residents.[1]

The first general store in town was started by a Mr. Bedoya inside a tent, but in 1904 he built a saloon, a wooden store, and a post office that was opened in 1907. The store burned down at one point, but Bedoya immediately built a new one. The town also had a school and a church.[1]

During the Great Depression, half of the town's residents left and the post office closed in 1955. The site today may be classified as barren, although the Klondyke General Store and the Power's Cabin, located south of the town, have been preserved and are now open to tourists.[1]

Power's Cabin Shootout[edit]

The Power's Cabin as it appeared before restoration.

According to Bobby Zlatevski, "Klondyke is the home of one of Arizona '​s most notorious stories which has elements of  '​Old West '​ tragedies." The Klondyke Cemetery, located southeast of town, holds the remains of "Old Man" Jeff Power, his wife, Martha, their sons, John and Tom, and their daughter, Ola May.[1][2]

In 1915, Martha was killed in a buggy accident and two years later Ola died of an unknown cause. Then, just weeks after Ola's death, Jeff Power and three lawmen were killed when the latter attempted to make an arrest at the former's cabin in the Galiuro Mountains. Both John and Tom were also slightly wounded and with the help of a family friend, Tom Sisson, they managed evade what was then the largest manhunt in Arizona history and escape into Chihuahua, Mexico. However, the United States Army picked up their trail and captured them on March 8, 1918, apparently without resistance. All were later found guilty of first-degree murder and sent to the prison at Florence. Tom Sisson died in custody in 1957 and the Power brothers were released in 1960.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Klondyke – Arizona Ghost Town". Bobby Zlatevski. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Guns and Gold: History of the Galiuro Wilderness (The Power Family)". Retrieved June 24, 2012. 

Coordinates: 32°50′07″N 110°19′56″W / 32.83528°N 110.33222°W / 32.83528; -110.33222