Monday, January 12, 2015

Sasco, Arizona January 10, 2015

                                 A shot up BLM sign

Location: To get to Sasco, Arizona, take Interstate 10 west of Tucson, Arizona, for about 23 miles to the Red Rock Exit. Exit the interstate and turn left. Immediately after exiting the highway immediately look for Sasco Road. The first part of Sasco Road goes through a recently built subdivision for the town of Marana, Arizona. Keep driving and soon the road surface becomes a graded dirt road. The road to Sasco might be passable for passenger vehicles with higher clearance. The problem is that Sasco Road does ford the Santa Cruz River which might present a challenge if it has rained recently.

History: Sasco is an acronym for the Southern Arizona Smelting Company. Founded in 1907 Sasco served as the primary smelting location for the mines at Silverbell and Picacho Peak. The town once had 600 residents a smelter, company buildings, saloons, stores, and the Hotel Rockland. In 1919 mining in the area declined resulting in a decline at Sasco as well. Today, no one lives at Sasco but there are extensive ruins throughout the area including a cemetery with victims from the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic.

Special Consideration: Residents of Arizona use the ruins of Sasco as well as the surrounding desert for target practice and "war games." When I visited on Saturday I heard many shots echoing in the area. Near where I parked there was a group of males firing shotguns as well as automatic weapons. It became apparent that walking around would not be a wise decision. Sadly, I also saw a significant amount of shell cases on the ground and trash related to target shooting. I also saw individuals had spray painted their name on some of the ruins. Nevertheless, I still want to return on a weekday when it is safer to explore the area. (Information from Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by Philip Varney).

                 Impressive ruins

                              Concrete foundations

                   More concrete ruins; you can see the vandalism I talk about.

                      More foundation

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