The Apache Mining District
The Apache Mining District was established in the late 1870's on the eastern slope of the Black Range after silver was found in the area. Eventually there were over 480 surveyed mines within the District which supported several towns. The largest of the towns was Chloride, established 1880, with a population of 3000 plus. The other towns included Cherryville, Grafton, Phillipsburg, Robinson, Roundyville and Winston.
Out of all those mines ten or twelve made big mines including the U S Treasury, Midnight, Bald Eagle, Wall Street and St. Cloud. The Silver Monument, located eleven miles upstream from Chloride, was the largest mine in the District. The mine itself had five levels underground and employed a large number of men. They built several houses for management and a motel like structure for laborers to live in during the work week. They had a school, an assay office and a large boiler for steam power. The Silver Monument along with some of the other large mines were almost like small towns.
The Bald Eagle was owned by Mr. Chase who, we are told, left the area to form what is now Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Chase built a large two story home for himself at the mine, of which just parts of the chimney and foundation could be found in recent years. This mine also had housing for management and quarters for laborers as well.
The Wall Street was really a complex of several different mine holes three miles west of Chloride. Mr. Woodhouse, a Chloride resident, was the mining engineer for the Wall Street. A testament to his abilities is the story that he started two crews digging toward each other from opposite sides of the mountain and when they met in the middle the two tunnels were only off by about six inches! The tunnel, still visible today, starts on the north slope just above the road and comes out on the other side just below the road (the tunnel is straight, the road climbs). Looking across the canyon from this spot one can see were the tunnel continues on through the next mountain.
The St. Cloud, six miles south of Chloride, is still a functioning mine. Many old mining claims are private property even though they may be located within the Gila National Forest boundaries. If you want to explore old mining claims be sure to get permission from the property owner and use caution as mines can be very dangerous.
Chloride, a gateway to the Gila National Forest and the Apache Mining District, is just 40 miles west of Truth or Consequences via Hwy 52. The Pioneer Store Museum displays mining equipment and tools along with many other items from the 1880's. The Monte Cristo, which once served drinks to thirsty miners, showcases the works of local artists and has a wide assortment of gift and art items to choose from. Open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. For more info contact 575-743-0493, 575-743-2736 or email@example.com