OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

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Jim Hatt

OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby Jim Hatt » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:21 pm

This should really be Kurt’s story;

I was just invited along to see it. But… since I was the only one that took a camera along, and we all know how long it takes him to tell a story… :oops: I am going to put it up for him. ;)

Jim


About the middle of last week I got an email from silent hunter (Kurt) with an invitation to go look at an old Mexican Smelter a friend of his had found, while horseback riding out in the mountains. (Not in the Superstitions, but not far from the Salt River).

According to his friend the best way to get there was via the river, which would entail a lot less hiking on foot if we approached it from the river.

The first two photos were taken as we prepared to load our kayaks into the river.
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Along the way we met a rider on horseback that knew one of the members of our group, so we pulled over and rested for a while. (Don’t tell Kurt he looks like a “Chinaman” in that hat. He calls it a Sombrero. I tried to get him to to bend the sides up and pull the front down, but he would not have any part of it!) :mrgreen:
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The next photo was taken where we stopped for a lunch break.
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On our way hiking to the Smelter, we saw a Saguaro that had more arms than we could count.
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Our first look at the smelter, with an opening for wood (fuel) at the bottom and a chimney at the top.
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Close-up of the entrance to the fuel chamber.
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Part of the hand laid wall that the chimney was made of.
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Kurt beside the top of the chimney
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Looking down the chimney
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Side view of the chimney with one of the members of our group in the photo for scale.
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Bottom of the smelter. You can see some of the remaining firebrick that lined it.
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Looking up the chimney
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Some of the soot still clinging to the wall of the chimney
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Outside of the chimney showing a healthy amount of lichen growth .
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Directly across the canyon from the smelter (about 100 yds away) we found a large cave that could have easily offered shelter for 30 miners. (Kurt at the entrance).
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Inside of cave. You can see a lot of soot build-up still clinging to the ceiling in places, from campfires being burned inside.
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Inside of cave.
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Inside of cave.
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Another view of the smelter.
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It was an interesting and educational trip. Thanks for inviting me to go along Kurt!!!

Jim

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby cubfan64 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:50 am

Neat find and good photos. Should have pulled a couple cups of dirt from the floor and had it analyzed for metals content - would be interesting to see if gold, silver or copper were found in abundance.

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby silent hunter » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:16 am

Thats a sombrero!! Lol. I take alot of heat from people about that hat but It Keeps me cool out there and its trust worthy shade that travels with me.

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby Vulture » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:13 am

Oh boy. more good stuff to read about. The pictures bring the story to life. Oh, and the humor is cool.

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby javaone » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:04 am

I like the hat. Hatt

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby alfonzo » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:10 pm

I hiked up the canyon in '85 with my GF but didnt get photos, so i hiked in yesterday from the Pebble Beach camp ground and found it again, only 20 minute hike, its on the right side, with canyons taking off in different directions, only your photos are better than mine. i had seen this on an old map that states its a Lime kiln, and there is a mine further up, but never searched for it... thanks for the photos.. alfonzo

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby silent hunter » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:18 pm

Interesting. Do you know what they were using the lime for???

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby alfonzo » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:26 pm

This particular one, no... not yet...
Clipped this from: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/archive/ ... 06838.html

Lime Kilns
Tucson, Arizona

From the 1880’s to 1920, lime kilns were built and operated in the mountains east and west of Tucson. The two kilns photographed here were built adjacent to a small outcrop of limestone which was quarried with hand tools and removed to the kilns where it was roasted. Palo verde and mesquite wood used for fuel was gathered from the immediate area. One load of quicklime (product) took as much as 15 cords of wood and four days of roasting to produce. The lime produced was used in construction throughout the Tucson area, and also in mining. The lands around the kilns in the Tucson area were denuded of wood for miles. “The extent of woodcutting and disappearance of trees was so great that the operation of the kilns in the vicinity of the saguaro forest was ended by court order in 1920…because of the outcry of local ranchers.”

alfonzo

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby silent hunter » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:34 pm

Have you found anything elese out there you could share with us??

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Re: OLD MEXICAN SMELTER

Postby Plays In The Dirt » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:05 pm

FWIW - We use lime in the processing of Gold Ore at the mine I work at.

Plays - (Greg)


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