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In Search of Fortunes : A Look at the History of Arizona Mining (Hardcover) (William Ascarza)
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This impressive volume on Arizona mining covers many historical aspects from the mines themselves, to the minerals they produced and the transportation and extraction methods used to ensure their product marketability. Thousands of miles of railroads were built in Arizona to sustain mining operations that formed the crux of the territory’s and later the state’s economy. Hundreds of towns in Arizona owed their longevity or in many cases their ephemeral existence based upon the productivity of the local mines. Extensive mapping of the territory was undertaken, not specifically for settlement but for mineral discoveries and for ensuring the ease of extraction from the ground to the market. Mining captivated the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans and later the great influx of American miners and pioneers who arrived in Arizona after the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. Since then, Arizona’s economy and community has greatly benefited from mining enterprises resulting in heightened employment opportunities both mining related and supported along with an improved infrastructure of roads, railroads, bridges and dams, hospitals, schools, cultural and civic centers. Mining has also influenced state tourism and recreation as many of the forest service roads and highways were built for the purpose of connecting mines to refining facilities and on to market. Tourist destinations including the towns of Ajo, Bisbee, Jerome and Prescott, would not have their aesthetically appealing store fronts and town layout were it not for revenue generated from the local mining operations. Gem and mineral shows across the state including the annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Show and the Quartzite Show generate millions of dollars directly benefiting the hospitality industry and local and regional attractions. Over 250 mining related images appear in this volume to represent Arizona’s place as one of the great mining centers and mineral producers in the world. This volume is a compilation of 105 articles published under the heading of “Mine Tales”, a Monday column in the Arizona Daily Star. Broken down into three physiographic provinces, Arizona has a diverse mineral content that has enabled it to be at the forefront of the mining industry in the United States and the world. 9 by 12 inches, hardbound, 160 pages.