Swansea is one of Arizona's best preserved ghost towns,
with ruins of a smelter, mine shafts, and more than a dozen buildings.
Swansea was named after Swansea, Wales, where semi-refined ore was shipped.
Swansea, Arizona, was headquarters for the Clara Consolidated Gold and Copper
Mining Company which built a copper smelter in the early 1900s to process ore
locally instead of shipping it to Swansea, Wales. Clara Consolidated closed
the smelter in 1912, but other companies continued mining in the area until 1924.
There are two cemeteries at the site, and ruins of the smelter are extensive.
The town was active until copper prices bottomed out during the Great Depression.
Swansea is 27 miles from Bouse and the last part of the journey is steep.
Although 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, cautiously driven cars can
navigate the dirt roads to the site.
Camp Bouse is sequestered between rugged mountain ranges in the remote
Butler Valley and was the site of a top secret WWII training base.
New night fighting tactics and an ultra-secret tank-mounted weapon
designed to "change the course of the war" necessitated complete secrecy.
The men named their new weapon "The Gizmo." General George S. Patton, Jr.
led a reconnaissance party through the desert Southwest in 1942 and reported
not seeing one inhabitant in four days. This led to the establishment of the
Desert Training Center (DTC). Camp Bouse was so extremely top secret,
it was not listed with the dozen other training camps of the DTC.
To this day, historian/authors often miss Camp Bouse when writing about the DTC.
Camp Bouse is 25 miles from Bouse. Although 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended,
cautiously driven cars can navigate the dirt roads to the site.
Oatman began about 90 years ago as a mining tent camp and quickly became a
flourishing gold-mining center. In 1915, two miners struck a $10 million gold find,
and within a year, the town's population grew to more than 3,500.
Oatman was named in honor of Olive Oatman, who was kidnapped as a young girl by
Mojave Indians and later rescued in 1857 near the current site of the town.