Vulture City, Arizona

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Vulture City
Ghost town
Vulture Mine-Assay office, built in 1884
Vulture Mine-Assay office, built in 1884
Vulture City is located in Arizona
Vulture City
Vulture City
Vulture City is located in the United States
Vulture City
Vulture City
Coordinates: 33°52′44″N 112°47′42″W / 33.87889°N 112.79500°W / 33.87889; -112.79500Coordinates: 33°52′44″N 112°47′42″W / 33.87889°N 112.79500°W / 33.87889; -112.79500

Vulture City is a ghost town situated at the site of the defunct Vulture Mine in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States.

Vulture Mine[edit]

Vulture Mine was a gold mine which was discovered in 1863. It was the most productive gold mine in the history of Arizona. From 1863 to 1942, the mine produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver.[1][2] The Vulture mine was discovered when Henry Wickenburg, a prospector from California's gold rush, stumbled upon a quartz deposit containing gold while traveling in Arizona. Wickenburg began mining the outcrop himself.

In 1863, after Henry Wickenburg discovered the Vulture mine, Vulture City, a small mining town, was established in the area. Vulture City's post office was established on October 4, 1880, and Henry Wickenburg was the town's first Post Master. The town had more than five boarding houses and several buildings. The huge Vulture Mine-Assay Office building, built in 1884, still stands today. The town also had cookhouse and mess hall plus stores, saloons and even a school.[3] The town once had a population of 5,000 citizens. The town was marked by violence. Eighteen men were hanged on an ironwood tree located by the ruins of Henry Wickenburg's house.[4]

Abandoned Vulture City[edit]

After the mine closed, the city was abandoned and its buildings decayed, becoming a "ghost town". The deposit was later sold to Benjamin Phelps, who represented a group of investors that eventually organized under the name of Vulture Mining Company. The mine continued to produce at a decreased level until World War II, when it was permanently closed. The buildings and the Vulture Mine are privately owned. The owner offers a two-hour, dirt path guided walking tour at the historic Vulture mine, The tour offers a glimpse of the olden days through a tour of some of the remaining buildings of Vulture City, the once booming mining town.[1][2][3][4]

Vulture City and Vulture Mine[edit]

The following is a list, which includes a photographic gallery, of some of the remaining structures of historic significance in what once was known as Vulture City. Some of these structures are just mere ruins while others are still standing in fairly good condition. Also included in the gallery are some images of the Vulture Mine.[1][2][3][4]

Images of Vulture City and Mine
Name Image Name Image
1 Vulture City main gate house Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Gate House.jpg 2 Houses Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Ghost town houses.jpg
3 Dynamite House where dynamite and ammo was stored. Wickenburg Vulture Mine -Ammo House.jpg 4 Gas station Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Gas Station.jpg
5 Workshop Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Workshop.jpg 6 The Vulture_Mine-Assay office. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Assay House-2.jpg
7 Side view of the Vulture Mine-Assay office Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Assay office-1884-3.jpg 8 Vulture City Chow House where the miners ate. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Chow House.jpg
9 The Vulture City Chow House kitchen. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Inside Chow House.jpg 10 Hanging Tree. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Hanging Tree.jpg
11 The ruins of Henry Wickenburg's Settlers Home in Vulture City. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Wickenburg's Settler home-2.jpg 12 One of the Miners Living Quarters Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Miners living quarters.jpg
13 Rita's Brothel Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Rita's Brothel.jpg 14 The ruins of the Vulture City Saloon Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Saloon ruins.jpg
15 The ruins of the Vulture City Post Office which opened in 1880 and whose postmaster was Henry Wickenburg Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Post Office-1880 ruins.jpg 16 Original equipment used in the Vulture Mine Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Mine equipment.jpg
17 Vulture Mine and Vulture Mountain and caves. Wickenbug Vulture Mine-Vulture Mounatin and caves.jpg 18 Nickel Shaft Wickenbug Vulture Mine-Nickel Shaft.jpg
19 Entrance to the Vulture Mine gold mine shaft. Wickenbug Vulture Mine-Entrance to Vulture Mine Shaft.jpg 20 Inside of the entrance of the gold mine shaft. Wickenburg Vulture Mine-Vulture Mine Shaft.jpg
21 The Texas Hotel was built in 1895 in Vulture City. In 1904, the hotel was moved to Wickenburg. The hotel had a restaurant on the street floor and eight rental units upstairs. Wickenburg-Texas Hotel-1895.jpg

Further reading[edit]

  • "Arizona's Haunted History"; by: Jill Pascoe; Publisher: Irongate Press; ASIN: B004478ELW.
  • "Ghost Towns and Historical Haunts in Arizona"; Publisher: Golden West Publishers; ASIN: B003HF06YA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jon E. Spencer and others, 1989, "Geology of the Vulture gold mine," Arizona Geology, v.19 n.4.
  2. ^ a b c "National Park Service - Prospector, Cowhand, and Sodbuster (Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings)". 2005-05-22. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  3. ^ a b c Vulture Mine
  4. ^ a b c Vulture City - Ghost Town

External links[edit]