1953: JEROME: P-D Mine Officially Closed March 23.


"An enormous quiet spreads today over the sprawling works of the Phelps Dodge Corp. in Clarkdale. The smelter --- or what is left --- is a serene tangle of machinery."

"The roasters, partially dismantled, are a mass of twisted, rusting metal, barely resembling the efficient rows of only a short while ago."

"The halls of the general offices are still. Where dozens swarmed, now only a few still work."

"There is scarcely a sound in the vast yard. Human activity is nearly at a standstill."

"Week by week, sections of the works still useful elsewhere are trucked out, or shipped by rail. Personnel are leaving almost daily for work in other P-D towns to the south."

"Only in the concentrator is the roar of machines at work heard now. Even there, the long rubber conveyors carry to the ball mill a bare fraction of the grayish ore they did in years gone by. Just one of the four great ball mills is at work. Just two of the battery of drums on which the concentrate is dried are turning. The huge pits where zinc and copper concentrates were further dried are all but empty. The few scoops-full that lie there now look all but lost."

"Still the miners work, bringing metal from 4,500 feet beneath the surface now. Still the ore train chuffs up the mountainside."

"Carefully the ore is assayed. Somewhere between its grade and the market price of copper and zinc lies the answer to how long the mining will continue."

"As for the spreading plant, it is a ghost already."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, August 31, 1952; page 1, columns 2-4.)


"High officials of Phelps Dodge Corp. visited Jerome and Clarkdale Saturday amid new statements the mine would shut down, but the local management declared late yesterday it was aware of no new developments."

"Mine superintendent Henry Clark said, 'We don't know any more than we did last summer when we were rather confused. As far as the statements in Phoenix are concerned, we don't know anything more about them.'"

"The statements were made by Louis Cates, P-D chairman of the board, two days prior to his visit here. Cates said, 'We are scraping out the last remnants of ore now. It may be a few days, it may be a couple of months.'"

"With Robert Page, president of the company, and other executives, Cates visited here for several hours."

"ROUTINE VISIT: Clark added an intriguing footnote to the visit when he said yesterday that aside from Cates remarks in Phoenix the visit was routine for this time of year."

"It is known that company books were inspected Friday and that key employees have made further plans recently in anticipation of transfer to other P-D operations."

"It is estimated the company now employs about 125 people, most of whom live in Clarkdale. In Phoenix, Cates said no plans have been made for disposing of Clarkdale townsite or other company properties in Jerome. He admits P-D is negotiating with the Indian Service to take over abandoned offices in Jerome, and a concrete offer, together with one on the Jerome school buildings, is known to have been made."

"RUMORS RIFE: A flurry of renewed speculation about P-D operations was stirred up when a Phoenix newspaper last week used a headline saying, 'End Comes to Famed Jerome Mining Camp.'"

"Company officers, employees and those who observe the ore train's travels behind Clarkdale were unable to believe this. It was reported also that absolutely none of the Jerome residents who read the headline packed up to go."

"Duing their visit here, P-D executives relayed information that they were too busy to see other newspapermen and that they had nothing to add to what Cates had said already."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, February 5, 1953; page 1, columns 4-5.)


"The Jerome mine owned by Phelps Dodge Corp. closed officially at midnight Monday, heralding the gradual disappearance of a mine company payroll here for the first time in years."

"The end came, miners said, without fanfare. As the men left the works. 'It was the same old story,' one remarked, 'no excitement at all.'"

"Clearing ore from bins within the mine continued after the official shut-down, and on Tuesday some 17 carloads of ore remained to be hauled to the concentrator."

"Concentrating operations will be continued possibly until the first of next week, mine officials said, and all employees will maintain present work schedules until notified further."

"The announcement Monday that the famous old mine would close came without a warning. It was recalled, however, that Louis Cates, P-D board chairman, said in Phoenix almost exactly two months ago that operations would end 'in a couple of months.'"

"The company's announcement gave no clue as to what would happen to Clarkdale, almost entirely company owned. An estimated 100 employees were expected to be released, some for transfer to other P-D projects by degrees."

"150 HISTORIANS: Formed only 11 days ago, the Jerome Historical Society took on a sudden new significance this week. It claims about 150 members already." ...

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, March 26, 1953; page 1, column 5.)


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