Ghost Town: Exploring Helvetia

Helvetia.  Once a copper mining town populated by 300 Mexican miners.  Now nothing but an old graveyard, a few crumbled adobe buildings, and a precarious hole in the ground.

Kirsten wanted to see a real ghost town.  You know, part of the southern Arizona experience, I guess.  I'd never been to a deserted ghost town before, so I was surprised when we discovered one relatively close to us.  After thirty minutes on a gorgeous, dirt desert road, we got to this sign.

I didn't notice until just now that the sign is misspelled.  Heh.  Helvetia was established in the late 1800s, and Sahuarita was established in the 1990s.  So it's safe to say this sign wasn't here when the mine was running.

The drive was great, although sometimes I thought we were going to bottom out on the rough roads.  Camden didn't mind the Indiana Jones ride.  We're blessed to have a toddler who is good in the car, but he's never so entertained as when Kirsten is in back with him.  She told him his feet were stinky.  So he kept throwing his foot in her face for her to sniff.  He thought her reaction was pretty hilarious.  

Found the graveyard and walked around.  Camden toddled behind Kirsten wherever she went.

The only headstone in the graveyard was for a baby girl.

People obviously brave the roads to come out and see their ancestors.  There were artificial flowers decorating many of the graves, although very few of them were actually marked.

We went to search for the remnants of the old post office and the mine.

We found the mine!

I carefully stepped through the barbed wire fence to get a better picture of the old mine.  I was surprised there wasn't more to block it off.  Basically signs just warned you that you were going to die if you were stupid enough to climb down.  Anyone who was able to scramble down those steep rocks certainly wouldn't be able to get back up.

I was in the middle of snapping this shot when I heard Kirsten stumble behind me as she crossed the fence, and I thought for sure she was going to hit me and we were going to tumble into the abyss!

So that didn't happen, but she did cut her toe on the barbed wire.  Almost a dramatic story?

It was hot, so Roy headed back to shade and AC with Camden while Kirsten and I searched for the derelict buildings.  We had no idea which direction to go, and we wandered aimlessly between the ocotillos.

Eventually we decided the donkeys knew the way.

But we were afraid to trespass on private property.  It just seems like the kind of place you would be shot at for trespassing, no questions asked.

And I have a baby that might miss me. ;-)

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