Entertainment Magazine: Arizona

Oracle, Arizona– historic mining town

By Robert Zucker

Tucked into the hills of the northern range of the Santa Catalina Mountains is the town of Oracle, Arizona. Originally, Oracle started in the 1870s as an outpost for local prospectors and mining groups.

Oracle was founded in the late 1870s by prospecting miners and grew into a community hub for several mining districts– the Old Hat, American Flag, Campo Bonito, Apache Group, Mammoth, Oracle Ridge and others.

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Oracle, Arizona

Oracle, Arizona is located northern side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, about 40 miles northeast of Tucson.

Today, several thousand people call Oracle home. In this above photograph, the Oracle Inn Steak House (center) has been a popular diner, neighborhood barand entertainment venue for decades.

As more residents settled in Oracle, extensive mining operations were set up around the growing town to further explore and exploit the veins of minerals running through the mountains.

Some of the big producing mines in the Old Hat District near Oracle endured well into the 1900s. One of the Oracle deposits developed into the mining town of San Manuel. The San Manuel copper mine, northeast of Oracle, became the largest, underground producing copper and gold mine in the state. [1] One of the by-products of copper is gold. According to a U.S. report on the San Manuel Mine in 1988, thirty five thousand ounces of gold and silver were produced each year through a filtering process. [2]

Continue reading about The Founding of Oracle.

[1] According to David Ridinger, former president of the San Manuel Mine in 1985, it was “by far the largest underground mine in the state.” From Going for Gold: The history of Newmont Mining Company, by Jack H. Morris. University of Alabama Press, 2010. Page 95.

[2] “Site Visit Report: San Manuel Facility Magma Copper Company,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste. 1992. Page 3-52.

"Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains"

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Robert Zucker has published several Tucson, Arizona-based tabloid newspapers– Youth Alternatives, Youth Awareness Press, Tucson Teen, The Magazine and Entertainment Magazine.

All rights are reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher.

Permission is granted to use quotes and cite references to the contents in this book with proper credit noted: “Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains,” © 2015 Robert E. Zucker.


Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains

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