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