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BULLEThistory archive

History Archive Photo
The population of White Hills peaked at 1,500 during the gold and silver boom.

© Mohave Museum

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The Hills Aren't Alive
In its heyday, White Hills was a bustling mining town. But like a lot of others, it went bust — and fast. Today, all that remain are a few crumbling foundations and a historical marker.

By Andrea Crandall

If you look toward White Hills, you won't see much. But back in its heyday, it was a thriving mining town in Mohave County, not far from Kingman.

According to a story by C.E. Cooley in the February 1948 issue of Arizona Highways, White Hills was founded in 1892 after an Indian showed his prospector friend "pretty colored rocks." Turns out those "rocks" were, in fact, silver ore. The prospector promptly staked his claim.

Shortly after the discovery was reported, the area became a boomtown, with settlers staking their own claims. Homes were built, along with stores, a school, a post office and, of course, saloons. Nothing deterred the town's growth, not even the lack of water, which had to be hauled in. "The mines were booming, and building continued," Cooley wrote. "New streets were laid out in anticipation of a larger city. Money was plentiful and rolling in from all sides."

White Hills was a gleaming city in the desert.

Over a six-year period, the town prospered, netting some $12 million in gold and silver. Eventually, though, the silver and gold yields dwindled, the cost of living skyrocketed and, in 1899, a flood devastated the mine shafts.

Today, White Hills is a ghost town, and the only reminders of its existence are a few building foundations and a historical marker.

>> Back to History Archive

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