Monday, July 11, 2011

History scrapped for Arizona’s centennial?

Arizona Copper Company’s baby gauge steam locomotive number 2 stands in front of the closed Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. As shown in the photo, it was a favorite with the tens of thousands of children that visited the museum each year.

Plans for the Arizona Centennial Museum consistently show that the locomotive and other historic mining equipment will be removed from the property.  For over a year, the Arizona Historical Society has refused to answer questions about what will happen to the locomotive. 

The baby gauge locomotive is one of only twenty nine surviving steam locomotives in Arizona. However, it is much more historic than that. The little locomotive's sister engine (Number 1 and known as Little Emma) was shipped overland from Santa Fe, NM to Morenci, AZ in 1880. It was the first steam engine on the first railroad in Arizona. Before little Emma arrived, mules towed the ore cars on the 20 inch narrow gauge railroad.

Little Emma was cut up a century ago for parts to build and acid plant.

Does that make Number 2 the oldest steam locomotive in Arizona?

Does the Arizona Historical Society intend to scrap it?


William henry Robinson
The Story of Arizona
The Berryhill Co.
Phoenix, AZ, 1919
Page 272

James Colquhoun
The History of the Clifton Morenci Mining District
William Clowers and Sons LTD, London, 1924
Page 10

James H. McClintock
Arizona, prehistoric, aboriginal, pioneer, modern: the nation's youngest common wealth within a land of ancient culture - Volume 1
The S. J Clarke Publishing company, Chicago, 1916
Page 298: Arbuckle and the Baby Gauge

1 comment:

  1. I bet it would look great at the AHS Flagstaff Branch! They already have a railroad engine and a cabose in front of the museum!!