Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wickenburg’s Vulture Mine may be bulldozed for new development

According to Earl Runte, President of Gunsight Development Corp. and a member of numerous heritage related organizations, Wickenburg’s Vulture Mine is up for sale (details at www.jpc-training.com/sale.htm). The owner has held an option on the mine for a number of years, but is now considering developing the site rather than preserving it. Mr. Runte recently learned that the owner’s option expires in several weeks. The owner may be negotiating with a development group out of Florida to bulldoze the site for new residential development.

What you can do. Contact Mr. Runte and ask him to convey to the owner your support or ideas for the preservation of Vulture Mine. Earl can be reached at 623-594-8227 or earlrunte@cox.net

Vulture Mine History

The Vulture Gold Mine was discovered in 1863 by Henry Wickenburg. Henry sold the mine after a few years, but the Vulture went on to become the most productive gold mine in our state’s history. Vulture City grew to a population of almost 5,000, and the mine helped spark the development of Arizona and the city of Phoenix.

The Vulture Mine produced gold worth more than $200 million; the exact amount is unknown. Some say that nearly half of the Vulture’s gold was stolen. "High-grading" or theft of high grade ore was common at the Vulture. At least 18 men were hung on the Vulture City’s hanging tree, nearly all for high-grading.

When U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt closed the mine in 1942, people left believing they would return in six months. The mine never reopened. Almost overnight a once thriving community became a ghost town.