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Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains

1887: Drachman’s “Chunks of Gold”

By Robert Zucker

Even prospectors had a sense of humor. In 1887 a group who returned from the Santa Catalina Mountains reported a huge gold find. They flashed specimens to convince the skeptics.

Their route from Pueblo Viejo (presumably the old Romero Ruin in Catalina State Park) took them through the Cañada del Oro and into the middle of the mountains. They wound through the canyon that opened into a large valley where,

“… on one side of which they discovered, under the over hanging rock, a vein of reddish decomposed quartz, full of gold. Some pieces were as large as one’s open hand, and every specimen found was inscribed on one side, “always buy your cigars at Sam Drachman’s, Tucson.” [1]

Samuel Drachman was the owner of Arizona’s oldest local cigar store, opened in 1874 in downtown Tucson. [2]

[1] Arizona Weekly Citizen, Tucson, A.T. March 12, 1887. Editor’s Note: Sam Drachman was an early Tucson pioneer and merchant.

[2] “Drachman cigar store, oldest in state, was sold,” The Arizona Daily Star. February 2, 1912.

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Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains

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