Oracle, AZ mining history- the Old West's Gold Legend
Little known, but largely involved, Oracle, Arizona has been the epicenter for over a century of a literary and film adventure still alive and growing concerning Gold. Oracle, Arizona is located north of Tucson in the Southwest USA.
We all have heard of "The Mine With The Iron Door" legend and most know the film by the same name, which was shot in and near Oracle, AZ.
Most are not aware that the film was re-done four times over six decades. One was "The Secret of Treasure Mountain" in 1955 and "McKennas Gold" in 1968, both were partial re-writes.
Video of Flint Carter describing one of the lost landmarks in the mining town of Oracle, Arizona. Video by Mark Headley.
From the beginning, the crux of the epic legend is Gold. There is a saying that Gold does not breed co-operation and therefore any research will yield outrageous and highly controversial assumptions.
Joseph Michael has a line in a song called "Gold Town" which says "Gold still glitters in the ground, hidden secret, like a laughing clown".
As most can imagine, anything on the surface is gone, along with the huge galleries mined by large corporations under growld. For millenniums, mankind has ground and smelted any rock even thought to contain gold with most deposits now depleted. Today, the heavy yellow metal approaches $1,000.00 an ounce compared to $8.00 when the Anglos started coming to the area.
At the Oralce Steakhouse & Lounge, in Oracle, Arizona, is a display of the stones that started the legend. Gold and Silver ores in quartz visible with the naked eye.
The "Cody Stone", named for Buffalo Bill Cody and from his lost mines near Oracle, is now in eight museums world wide and in the National Mining Hall of Fame.
Today in Nevada, 500 tons of ore are required to produce 1 oz of Gold. Particles so small that they can not even be seen with a microscope are recovered.
The "Cody Stone" should not be confused with refined gold and silver, as in nature more than one element is present.
For example, Galena = Silver and Lead, Chalcopyrite = Copper Gold.
No two stones are the same and vary in amounts of gold and silver. However, the stones are extremely rare and make very attractive pieces of jewelry, preserving our local Heritage. Very little of the rich deposits remain, but there was a time when the hills were alive with people delving in the earth for its treasure. The artist who discovered, produced and is promoting the stones is W. T. Flint Carter, who has been in the area going on forty years.
Video of Flint Carter and local Oralce landowner describing one of the lost landmarks in the mining town of Oracle, Arizona. Video by Mark Headley.
Cody Stone is from the Santa Catalina Mountains in Southern Arizona, USA and designed as jewelry grade gold and silver in quartz. Cody stone specimens and hand made items are on display at the Oracle Inn Steakhouse & Saloon in Oracle, Arizona. Call Flint at 520-289-4566 or email [email protected]. Mention the Iron Door web site.
"Ballads of the Santa Catalina Mountains" CD
Listen to songs and ballads on CD about the Iron Door Mine, the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Old West by Arizona historian Flint Carter. $9.95. Call 520-289-4566 for more information and to purchase directly. Mention the Iron Door web site.
Iron Door Mine Legend Tour and Artifacts
Explore displays of over 1,000 Old West artifacts and specimens from the surrounding area with Flint Carter. Learn about Western legends. Call Fint at 520-289-4566. Mention the Iron Door web site.
About the Artist, Author
William Thomas Carter, "Flint" to his friends, is an artist and author born in 1947 in Danville, Illinois. After attending Danville High School, he served in Panama during the Vietnam conflict at the Latin American Headquarters Post. He received the National Defense and Good Conduct medals. Returning home, Flint attended Danville Junior College and later Southern Illinois University. Special interest in the design department, headed by Buckminster Fuller, inspired the building of Arizona's first solar heated and cooled museum. Contact Flint Carter at 520-289-4566. Read more about Flint Carter.
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