Thursday, October 13, 2011

Will Arizona’s historic stamp mill be scrapped?

Following their hostile takeover of the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, the Arizona Historical Society closed it and disposed of the contents.  At this time, the historic mining artifacts outside the building remain in place.  That includes the restored stamp mill. All the AHS has ever said about these mining artifacts is that they will be “relocated”.

Relocated to where?  The Maricopa County landfill?

In the 1890s, the 19 foot tall mill crushed ore at the Swallow Mine 17 miles north of Wickenburg, Arizona.  Driven by a 50 horse power, single cylinder, Western States engine, it was capable of processing 8 tons of rock a day. It then remained intact but unused at that site until 1996 when the owner of the mine donated it to the AMMM.  Volunteers then moved the huge mill, piece by piece, from the mine to the museum.  In 2000, the volunteers began restoring the mill.  Finally, in 2007, after thousands of hours of labor, it was again capable of processing ore, just as it had in the 1890s.  It was then one only a few stamp mills in the USA capable of operating just as it did a century ago. Visitors could watch the 1000 pounds stamps dropping 60 times a minute as they again crushed gold bearing ore.  The photos below show the restored stamp mill, and the mill in full operational mode with a catwalk around it.

Today, the AHS will not even allow the volunteers access to the mill to maintain it in operating order.  The AHS is demonstrating complete disregard for Arizona’s mining heritage, and a total lack of respect for the volunteer restoration effort. Yet they still display an obviously insincere motto on their website; Saving Arizona's History since 1864.


  1. From all the articles that have appeared on your blog the past 2 years, AHS should worry about saving their own hide. Anyone reading all of these posts can figure out that AHS is being run by over paid, underperforming administrators that need a performance review done on them and not their regular staff.

  2. Why would you expect Woosley to save a large item of Arizona History like the stamp mill. She didnt even want the one AHS has now in their Tucson Museum. Her plans were to scrap it or move it to the patio in their plans for the ill fated Rio Nuevo Museum in Tucson. Great place for a stamp mill, in the patio for rental parties. They were going to dump the Mining Hall exhibit for the Rio Nuevo Boondoggle Museum.
    You all remember the Rio Nuevo Museum. City of Tucson spent $230,000,000 for nothing. Oh I forgot.....Woosleys exhibit buddies back east got $1,400,000 for paper plans. Plans!!! Thats OK the FBI is involved now conducting an audit. This should be fun. Hope the AHS Board of Directors wont be called to testify?? LOL....What exhibit, what museum, we voted for what??.... Dim bulbs at best.

  3. I wonder why the governor keeps Woosley? I assume the Board would need to get rid of her, but the governor can give a little push in the right direction to the Board Chairman. The lady does make $120,000 a year plus expenses. I am sure there are a lot of candidates just ready to interview for Woosley's position.

  4. I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.