Saturday, December 06, 2014

Chloride, Arizona - An Artistic and Ghostly Town

Chloride, Arizona, asserts that it’s the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona.  In the early 1900s, it once had 5,000 residents and was the county seat. Today, it has a population of about 350. 

Downtown Chloride
Chloride is primarily known for the Roy Purcell Murals, just outside of town, down a dirt road that was in pretty rough condition the day we drove it. My hubby and I saw sedans on the road, but I was glad we were in a high clearance vehicle.

Roy Purcell Murals
After we took in the murals, we drove through Chloride several times, amazed at the sight of the trailers, RVs, houses, shacks, historical sites, mysterious rock cairns, abandoned buildings, piles of junk, and public folk art, all mixed together. It’s a winning combination of artistic and eccentric.

Once the train depot in Chloride
Over a lunch of French fries and a beer at Digger Dave’s (located on the only corner in town with a stop sign), the bartender told us that recent flooding had made the road to the murals impassable, but Digger Dave himself had fixed the road so people could still get to the canyon.

While we were having lunch, a young woman came into the bar and ordered a veggie burger and a Corona. She smelled of patchouli and had a text book and a notepad with her. We talked about the murals. “It’s amazing energy out there, isn’t it?” she said. She told me she’d come out to help a friend with a homestead for a few weeks and had stayed a few months (and didn’t know when she’d be leaving).

It’s easy to see how you could wind up staying in Chloride far longer than you anticipated. It’s my kind of place, full of the unexplainable draw of the desert.

Have you seen the Purcell Murals  or visited Chloride?
All pictures by me, Terrisa Meeks

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