Our Family Home Evening group decided to have an activity, so we caravaned to Oatman, AZ, a town founded on mining.
The mines are all but gone, but the town now thrives on tourism, with people drawn there to see the old mines, and for the numerous burros that wander around town. There were about a dozen when we were there. Several stores used to sell several hundred pounds of carrots a day to tourists for burro treats. They had to stop, because the burros were getting fat and having health issues On the sugary carrots. Now they use hay cubes, which are not as tasty as carrots!
We had lunch in the saloon, which has one dollar bills stapled all over the walls, posts, and ceiling. I mean there was probably $10,000 in there. There was also a big shootout in the street, based on some colorful characters from the past.
A local person told us a lot of the history, including modern history. Above the town is a home shaped like a pyramid, with a glass top. It was built in the 1970’s by an eclectic couple. They believed that aliens were going to hover over their house, and take them up through the skylight, so they can live forever.
Well, they died - surprise! The next person was also a unique fellow. He added an A frame to the front of the house. He was a recluse, so people very rarely saw him. One day, folks realized they hadn’t seen him in a long time, so had the sheriff check on him. Well, they found him, and his many animals, all mummified from the dry atmosphere.
The next owners had plans to make the place a B&B, so started a major renovation. They discovered that a shaft went from the home down to one of the mines, which would be a great attraction for tours. It seems that the previous owners not only knew about the shaft and mine, but used some of the items they found. One thing they found was a large supply of dynamite, which they proceeded to stuff all those old dynamite sticks in the walls! Talk about big boom! As a result, the reno was cancelled, and the place has been abandoned ever since. Such is the eclectic life in an old mining town in Arizona.