The Cave Creek Museum’s AZ GOLD MINING EXPERIENCE is unique with its display of the complete hard rock ore extraction process, with the mine shaft, tramway, ore carts, crushing and extraction, that are always on display, but operated on 2nd Saturdays. The highlight is Arizona’s only fully operational ten-stamp ore crushing mill. The ten 1,000 lb stamps slam down in synchronized motion to pound the ore removed from the mine into a fine gravel. The stamp mill was brought from its former location at the Golden Reef Mine on Continental Mountain to where it sits today. This is the only operational mining stamp mill in Arizona today that sits only 5 miles from its original site on the mountain.
The program begins with a lively recounting of Cave Creek Mining District’s heyday, followed by a visit to the arrastre, a primitive apparatus that pulverized ore with the power of beast or man. Hold onto your hats when the old mine blows its top! Then onto the Golden Reef Stamp Mill and Tramway, where our highly trained and dedicated “Dream Steam” fires up the engines of the stamp mill and once again the mountainsides echoes with the crashing beat of the mechanical crusher. Watch as the tramway carries ore to be pulverized!
Then onto the Blacksmith Shop for a demonstration of skill that was highly valued in a time where parts and tools had to be fabricated on site. Next be sure to try your luck at our Gold-panning station, where docents will show you how to pan for ore and minerals just like the old prospectors did. Maybe you’ll strike gold!
Remember, your admission ($7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, children under 12 free) is also good for a leisurely tour of the Museum’s Historical and Archaeology collections and be sure to visit our other Outdoor Exhibits: the collection of many other articles from Cave Creek’s mining and agricultural past, the Historic First Church, and our TB Cabin, which is on the National Register of Historic Places as the only known existing tubercular cabin from that era.
Get ready to travel back in Time!