Mining Ruins, Humboldt, Arizona
Iron King Mine & Humboldt Smelter
We drove up to the small town of Humboldt to check out the Historic Iron King Mine & Humboldt Smelter with the intention of exploring the grounds. I stopped in downtown Humboldt to take some pictures and ran into the local historian in front of the old bank which now serves as the Gateway Baptist Church and Museum. He was friendly and directed me to the historic areas in town.
Since the Iron King Mine closed in 1968 I thought the location would be easy to explore, but that wasn’t the case. The mine/smelter was about a mile in behind large barbed wire fences that surrounded the property. I started to drive the perimeter of the property when a local police officer started following me. He kept his distance since I wasn't breaking any laws, but I got the hint. After reading the posted signs on the gates, I figured it would be a bad idea to get anywhere near the smelter.
It's really a shame that the mining operation doesn’t clean up or offer paid assistance to relocate the families of Humboldt to a safer area that does have contaminated soil or water. [read more]