Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ray’s Corner Soapbox – Living in a Ghost Town

Many new tourists come each year to southeast Arizona and have to check out the local ghost towns.  Gleeson, the town Jean and I live in, is officially a ghost town having lost the Post Office sometime in 1949.  The surrounding mountains are pock-marked with several mines, some were gold, some silver but the biggest mineral here is simply copper.

I guess some of the miners were disappointed because gold and silver were valuable items used in jewelry and coins but what was the poor copper used for?  Yes, electrical wiring and tubing but when you think of copper you think of pennies first.  Not much romance in saying “I’m a copper miner.  I am a penny expert.”

Today most of the copper mines have gone silent after digging out the majority of the copper, gold and silver they could find in the mountains.  When the price of copper hit dirt bottom after WW2, it spelled the end of Gleeson. (Note: A mining company has bought the rights and is researching the feasibility of reopening mining operations.)

We also have Courtland and Pearce, AZ.  The majority of Courtland is gone leaving only a few adobe walls and foundations where a bustling little town once covered the mountain.  The old jail is still standing with a lot of damage but a tribute to some architect that knew how to make them strong.  The Gleeson jail was almost identical to the Courtland jail and has recently been purchased by a local resident.  It is now a museum open on the first Saturdays of the month.

Some people don’t believe in ghosts but they do exist.  During one of our local camera group outings I spotted a ghost in the old Timbucktoo restaurant and captured it on film…ah, on memory card.  Look at this photo and you can see his hideous form looking out the window at me.

4846-The Ghost of Timbucktoo Large Web view

So all I have to say to those skeptical people out there that don’t believe in ghosts, is let the chips fall where they may.  Or to put it another way….

5059-Let the Chip Fall Where They May 640x382 The picture is from me, the cow pie was from last night’s hamburger.

5063-House Interior-BW & Sepia 640x426 The group did another photo shoot in the field.  This ranch house was only around 15 feet across and was in a octagonal (8 sided) shape.  One of the reasons I used B&W on this picture was because the floor actually had green shag carpeting.  Now that is really old!!  I’ll include other pictures taken on the photo shoot as I process them.  (OK, YA I’M GOING TO ENHANCE THEM!!)

And as usual…

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


  1. Thanks for the tour, Ray. Ghosts? Maybe so, I'm not ready to be certified believer, but I'm not a certified non-believer. Just call me "certifiable!"

  2. Great blog are the host ghost with the most toast. Keep em coming big guy:))

  3. Chinese anyone? Okay, I used the translator function of Bing search engine and didn't see anything "off-color" in the comments other than not know what really is said. Rather than reject I add this for your reading pleasure.