Crown King, Arizona

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Crown King, Arizona
Ghost town
Crown King Saloon
Crown King Saloon
Crown King, Arizona is located in Arizona
Crown King, Arizona
Crown King, Arizona
Location in the state of Arizona
Coordinates: 34°12′20″N 112°20′19″W / 34.20556°N 112.33861°W / 34.20556; -112.33861Coordinates: 34°12′20″N 112°20′19″W / 34.20556°N 112.33861°W / 34.20556; -112.33861
Country United States
State Arizona
County Yavapai
Founded 1875
Named for Crowned King Mine[1]
Elevation[2] 5,771 ft (1,759 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 133
Time zone MST (no DST) (UTC-7)
Post Office opened July 29, 1888
Post Office closed May 15, 1954

Crown King is an unincorporated community in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, located at an elevation of 5,771 feet (1,759 m).[2] Crown King has a ZIP Code of 86343; in 2000, the population of the 86343 ZCTA was 133.[3] The site of a former gold mining town, Crown King is 28 miles west of Interstate 17 on Senator Highway, high in the Bradshaw Mountains. The community is named after the Crowned King mine, but the name was shortened to Crown King in 1888. Horsethief Basin Lake resides 6.5 miles southeast of Crown King on Crown King Rd/Forest 259 Rd.

An estimated US$2,000,000 in gold was taken from the Crowned King Mine alone; the mines have been closed since the 1950s and for the past half-century tourism has been the only reliable source of income in the area, despite the fact that the unpaved, mountainous access roads are rocky, rough and slow to drive.

The first recorded gold claim in Crown King was "Buckeye" and was filed by Rod McKinnon on July 1, 1875. Over the next 40 years, more than 15 mines or claims were made in the area. At its height, the town had 500 buildings, including several company stores and boarding houses, two Chinese restaurants and a post office. The town was electrified by 1897 and had one telephone at that time.

While an active mining town, Crown King was served by the Bradshaw Mountain Railroad. Rail service to the area began in 1904 upon completion of "Murphy's Impossible Railroad" — a series of switchbacks and trestles that ascended the mountain terrain between Cleator and Crown King.

Crown King was the terminus (1904–1926) of the railroad, built by Frank M. Murphy to serve the mines of the southern Bradshaw Mountains. However, these mines were never very productive, and the BMRR was a financial failure. The line was abandoned in 1926. Much of the road to Crown King uses the old railroad bed.[4]

Crown King Saloon

Of the buildings still standing and in use in Crown King, the Crown King Saloon has maintained its place as the center of activity in town. The Saloon was originally constructed and operated in the nearby mining town of Oro Belle (now also a ghost town). In 1910, It was disassembled and brought to Crown King piece by piece after the mine at Oro Belle had played out. The building was home to a brothel and bar in both towns and now serves the public as a hotel, cafe, and bar.

The red one-room schoolhouse was built in 1917 and still serves a small number of K-8 students. High school students typically leave town to attend class 14 miles away in Mayer.

The post office was established on July 29, 1888, and was discontinued on May 15, 1954.[5] It has since reopened inside the Crown King General Store.

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Crown King has a Mediterranean climate, abbreviated Csa (though verging on Csb) on climate maps. It is atypical of this type because its dry season only covers the first half of summer and is followed by heavy monsoonal thunderstorms in July and August.

An exposed location relative to moist southerly airflows from the Gulf of California gives Crown King among the highest precipitation in Arizona – in fact it holds the official state record for the most precipitation in one calendar month with 16.95 inches (430.5 mm) in August 1951,[6] and the station has thrice approached this record with 16.21 inches (411.7 mm) in December 1967 (including 87.3 inches or 2.22 metres of snow), 16.63 inches (422.4 mm) in February 1980 and 16.75 inches (425.4 mm) in January 1993.[7] The wettest days have been April 17, 1917 with 7.65 inches (194.3 mm) and December 31, 1948 with 7.10 inches (180.3 mm).[8] The wettest calendar year has been 1978 with 56.42 inches (1,433.1 mm) and the driest 1960 with 14.31 inches (363.5 mm).

Snowfall can be heavy, with 116.2 inches (2.95 m) falling in January 1949, although in general snow cover is minimal due to relatively warm days in winter.

Climate data for Crown King, Arizona (1914-1995)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21)
75
(24)
79
(26)
85
(29)
94
(34)
104
(40)
102
(39)
101
(38)
94
(34)
90
(32)
80
(27)
69
(21)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 49.0
(9.4)
52.0
(11.1)
56.9
(13.8)
66.0
(18.9)
74.0
(23.3)
86.0
(30)
87.7
(30.9)
84.4
(29.1)
80.1
(26.7)
69.7
(20.9)
58.2
(14.6)
51.3
(10.7)
68.0
(20)
Average low °F (°C) 25.8
(−3.4)
27.3
(−2.6)
30.4
(−0.9)
35.8
(2.1)
41.4
(5.2)
51.6
(10.9)
57.5
(14.2)
55.8
(13.2)
49.6
(9.8)
39.9
(4.4)
31.2
(−0.4)
26.7
(−2.9)
39.4
(4.1)
Record low °F (°C) −5
(−21)
0
(−18)
11
(−12)
16
(−9)
22
(−6)
31
(−1)
41
(5)
43
(6)
32
(0)
17
(−8)
12
(−11)
−5
(−21)
−5
(−21)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.34
(84.8)
3.16
(80.3)
2.91
(73.9)
1.43
(36.3)
0.60
(15.2)
0.46
(11.7)
3.37
(85.6)
4.38
(111.3)
2.11
(53.6)
1.48
(37.6)
1.89
(48)
3.34
(84.8)
28.47
(723.1)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.9
(25.1)
7.8
(19.8)
6.7
(17)
2.1
(5.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
2.1
(5.3)
8.2
(20.8)
37.2
(94.4)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 5 5 5 3 2 2 9 9 5 3 3 4 55
Source: Western Regional Climate Center[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Varney, Philip (April 2005). "Yavapai Ghosts". In Stieve, Robert. Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps: A Travel Guide to History (10th ed.). Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Highways Books. pp. 20–21. ISBN 1-932082-46-8. 
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Crown King
  3. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&_zip=86343
  4. ^ John W. Sayre, 1985, Ghost Railroads of Central Arizona, Boulder, Colo.: Pruett, ISBN 0-87108-683-2
  5. ^ Sherman, James E.; Barbara H. Sherman (1969). "Crown King". Ghost Towns of Arizona (First ed.). University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-8061-0843-6. 
  6. ^ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Weather Extremes for the Western States
  7. ^ Western Regional Climate Center; CROWN KING, AZ; Period of Record General Climate Summary: Precipitation
  8. ^ Western Regional Climate Center; CROWN KING, ARIZONA: Period of Record General Climate Summary - Precipitation
  9. ^ "CROWN KING, ARIZONA (022329) – Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". Western Regional Climate Center. 2012.  Retrieved on May 11, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bruce M. Wilson, Crown King and the Southern Bradshaws: A Complete History, Mesa, Crown King Press, 1990, 104 pages. ISBN 0-9627573-0-6

External links[edit]

Horsethief Lake near Crown King, Arizona.