Ghost Towns, Mayer, Arizona
I’ve passed by the Mayer Smoke Stack a few time in the past and decided to investigate the location since the weather was good. There are a few ruins to see, the stack is the only structure left that is mostly complete. I ran across a black and yellow king snake, at the time I wasn’t sure if it was poisonous so I decided to leave the area.
Mayer is situated where, in 1882, Joe Mayer built a store that also had overnight accommodations for travelers. It was so successful that he added a stage station and saloon. Mayer's store was the handiest place around. Cattlemen would lodge there while laying out $3,000 or $4,000 for reprovisioning. As mines opened at Stoddard, Copper Mountain, and Poland, the town expanded. It received a post office in 1884, and two years later Joe Mayer constructed the two-story Mayer Hotel. The Prescott and Eastern Railroad arrived in 1898, further solidifying the community's importance as a center of commerce.
Joe Mayer was a natural entrepreneur. A 1902 issue of the Prescott Journal-Miner reports that Mayer, in partner-ship with E.S. Rogers, planned to market toothpicks made from cactus thorns as "Indian Souvenir Toothpicks." The newspaper had received a sample lot and was duly impressed. The most obvious landmark in Mayer is the lone smokestack, 120 feet high, of the Great Western Smelter. Built in 1916, it was planned as part of a complex that would raise the daily capacity of the smelter from 200 to 700 tons.