Just north of Kingman is the small mining town of Chloride. If we talk about areas that have been continuously inhabited since the mid-1800’s, this village would be near the top.
Back in the 1840’s, miners were inspecting the region for gold, silver, or other minerals. They found that the Cerbat Mountains had plenty, so a town was established in the foothills. It was named after the silver chloride produced there.
During the 1860’s mining was strained due to Indian attacks. It would appear that the Hualapai Indians weren’t keen on the area being inhabited by anyone other than them. One day in 1863 they got a hold of some miner’s boom sticks and wreaked havoc. Eventually the military got involved and a treaty was signed. The yellow rock that has us so enthralled was soon filling pockets again.
By 1871, Chloride became one of the most populated towns in Mohave County, securing it the county seat. At that point, about 75 mines were producing in the area. Stagecoaches ran through it as well as the railroad. The latter was essential, since one mine was shipping 500 tons of ore daily. Wow!
Today Chloride is a preserved Old West town. Some of the original buildings are still standing, and are well taken care of. One can see the Santa Fe Railroad Station, the early cemetery, a 2-room jail and quite possible the oldest post office in the state. It has come to my attention that they aren’t using stagecoaches to transport mail anymore; so all USPS timetables apply in Chloride.
They have gunfight shows in the street, shops to browse in and cafés to satiate your hunger. The locals are always willing to volunteer a little Old West charm, and highly interested in keeping Chloride a gem of Arizona’s history. For the history buff, this burg is a must-see. The kids might like to do a little rockhounding in the area, as well.
Oh, for those of you who may need to check your email or have other modern technological needs, they do have Wi-Fi. Hey, historic towns like Chloride understand progress!