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The Ore Cart Trail


You know that old saying about putting the cart before the horse?

Well, actually Cows came first. Then horses.  And now Ore Carts.

They all represent a large scale public art event intended to draw attention – They Do! And in the cases of the Cow Parade and Painted Ponies, have raised millions for charitable events.

The Cow Parade, which originated in Zurich, Switzerland in 1998 was brought to the US in 1999. It has been shown in 18 major cities throughout Europe and the US, including New York, London and Brussels. The first show started phenomena which has launched artists, garnered millions for charity causes and brought a smile to passers-by who admire both art and whimsy. The original “Cow Parade” was world’s largest public art event. It spawned a similar showing involving horses in three life-size poses; rearing, grazing or standing. Both the Painted Ponies Parade and the Cow raise millions for local charities (they are generally auctioned off at the end of the “show” to great fanfare. With the average bid per statue hovering around $25,000, but the smaller figurine reproductions have become collector items and are sold at gift shops worldwide. (You can find Painted Ponies at True Blue Jewelry and Shirley’s Gifts)


Which brings us to the Cart? Ore Carts to be exact.


One of several ore carts which can be seen along the Ore Cart Trail following Hwy 77 from Globe to Tucson and Winkleman to Superior.
One of several ore carts which can be seen along the Ore Cart Trail following Hwy 77 from Globe to Tucson and Winkleman to Superior.

The Ore Cart Trail was initiated several years ago by a group calling themselves the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. Newly formed back in late 2003, the CCEDC conceived of the idea to create a trail which would” increase tourism along this corridor of small mining towns” from Tucson to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Initially it included the towns of Oracle, San Manuel, Mammoth, Aravaipa,Dudleyville,Winkleman, Hayden, Kearny, Superior and Boyce Arboretum. The Trail was later broadened to include Globe and Miami.


The Trail (shown here) will be marked along the way at each site with a turn-out or park containing the Ore Cart and a Kiosk highlighting points of interest within that community. According to a July 2007 article in the Arizona Daily Star, The Copper Corridor group has received $240,000 in federal transportation money through U.S.Rep. Ric Renzi’s office to fund the art project and the coalition has to pitch in $60,000.

The first Cart and Kiosk have been installed at Mammoth and shows a life-size sculpture entitled, “The Skeleton Crew.” The  work was completed by former mine worker and Oracle sculptor Jerry Parra whose design concept won out over 18 other artists.


All 19 artists were required to creative miniature versions of their designs for public display. The idea is to have each community vote on the ore cart design they would like to have in their community. The minature sculptures will be on display at the Gila Historic Museum thru June.


See:  Gila Historic Museum   # 928-425-7385   1330 North Broad Street  Globe. Open Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm   Saturdays 11am – 3pm.

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