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Old Dominion Mine Park: Where Hiking Meets History

*This article was recently updated and re-posted. 

Looking for a place to hike in the Globe-Miami area?  The Old Dominion Walking park provides a series of hiking trails which loop around the historic mining site. Established in 2011, it provides visitors and locals alike a chance to walk the grounds of what was once the greatest mining operation in this area.

 

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Photo by: Robert Fugate The head frame of the Old Dominion was dismantled in 2007, but a group of photographers led by Ohio Photographer, Bill Woody, was allowed on site months before the actual demolition. This photo by Bob Fugate accurately reflects the image of the Head Frame and pump house which inspired the Parks’ logo.

 

The History of the Old Dominion Mine

The community of Globe-Miami was built on copper and the East Coast money which flocked here at the turn of the century to cash in on the rich bodies of copper ore. At one time there were over 35 operating mines around Globe and none were bigger than The Old Dominion Mine.

Like mining in general, the Old Dominion had fits and starts as it came to life and passed through several owners. The Old Dominion company was originally a silver producer, but in the early ‘1880’s erected a small copper furnace west of Globe to treat some ores found nearby. From 1876 – 1884 the “camp: produced about 21 million pounds of copper until the price of copper dropped to 9 3/4 cents and was closed down. Four years later, the price of copper ‘soared’ to 17 cents and the mines reopened.” (The Border. pp10. pub.1909)

“From 1899 -1905 the mine developed few new ore bodies and it was even thought that the supply would soon be exhausted. Yet, the discovery of a large ore body west of Globe, which would become Miami Copper, proved there was still much to be discovered in the area, and by 1906, under new management, the mining engineers with the Old Dominion discovered one of the largest low-grade ore deposits in the United States.” (The Border. pp10. pub.1909)

The mine was shut down in 1931 and has remained closed for nearly eighty years.

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Large 4′ x 4′ Signage around the Park will provide visitors a glimpse into the regions rich mining history

 

A new future for an old mine:  A Historic Mine Park

The idea of a walking park on the Old Dominion property was first raised twenty years ago, but it wasn’t until 2003 that a committee was formed to seriously advance the idea and began working with all stakeholders including BHP,  the City of Globe, FreePort McMoran and others. The small group which led the way on the project includes: Thea Wilshire , Mary Ann Moreno , Brandon Parker , and  Ellen Kretch. The group succeeded in getting all the necessary permits and approvals which took over 7 years of wrangling with lawyers and stakeholder interests to arrive at an agreement on how the property would be used and what was permissible on the site.

The Generosity of others in funding a Walking Park

The Park was made possible through the slow and steady persistence of this group in working through every obstacle. Funding for the site came from many sources including: $140,000in grant monies and donations; including a Govenors’ Rural Tourism Development grant for $140,000, $12,500 from BHP, $10,000 from Globe Rotary, $2,000 from the Rotary District, $2,000 from Gila Historical Musuem, $2,000 from WAIME, $2,500 from SME, $5,000 from MWH, $3,000 from FreePort McMoran, $1,000 from Resolution Copper and $5,800 from individuals.

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Looking East at the head frame before it was dismantled in 2008

 

In addition, the group received over $70,000 of ‘in kind’ services involving engineering and design.

The Old Dominion Historic Mine Park is open from Dusk to Dawn…

Located just up the road from DeMarcos Italian Restaurant (off Hwy 60), it is easily accessible and offers good parking, picnic areas and mining displays showcasing the history of the Old Dominion.

It has approximately 3 miles of walking paths marked by large 4’x4′ signs detailing the history and evolution of mining in the region. The Self-Guided tour offers visitors a rich sense of the regions’ mining history including “evolving mining methods”, and the impact of railroads on the mining industry.

CLEAN UP DAY
Clean Up Day at the Old Dominion Park includes adding new signage, building new trails, putting up another ramada. The work goes on to improve the park each year thanks to many volunteers!

 

 

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This is inside the “Hoist House” for the A-Shaft. The large spools of cable are powered to raise and lower multiple cables like a bank of highrise elevators. The Hoist house is not planned to be accessible to patrons of the future Walking Park.
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Surrounded near and far by areas that have experienced demolition and reclamation, these 9 concentrate bins were left for historical preservation. Concentrate was loaded into the tops and a tunnel below allowed rail cars to receive a load of copper concentrate and take it to the smelter for further refining. Veiwable from Park Trails.

 

 

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About Linda Gross

Linda Gross
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.

4 comments

  1. Avatar

    Is the Old Dominion Mine Park in Miami AZ.?

  2. lcgross

    It’s basically located across from the Chamber of Commerce on Hwy 60 between Globe and Miami. The entrance will be where DeMarco’s Restaurant is and you just follow the road up the hill.

  3. Avatar

    My father and uncle both worked at the mine, Ambrose and George. Both were from Briber which I believe to have been Yugoslavia at the time of their birth. George suffered from what was diagnosed as miners TB and died at Globe.

    A few years ago I came to the mine with my oldest brother, oldest sister, a nephew and his wife and one of my daughters along with one of my grandsons. We were given a private tour for which all of us still surviving will always be thankful. I have been back one more time since. On that trip we donated some type of safety award given our dad to the museum across the street from the mine.

    My dad was taught to be a tombstone cutter in his home country and cut one stone in the USA this was for his brother George. We found this stone at the cemetary at Globe. We were overwhelmed.

    Since that trip my last two brothers and oldest sister have both died. As a family I believe we are coming back to Globe at least one more time and find the article about the park very exciting.

    This trip we will probably stay at the Noftsger Hill Inn and am looking forward to making contact with any or all of you to thank you for your efforts.

    Louie Kaliman
    Tacoma, Wa.

    • Avatar

      I believe one of my relative’s son worked there. He listed it as his place of work on his draft card. His name was Joel Allen Gibson. He was a hoisting engineer. Wish I could find out more about him.

      Cheryl

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