Friday, March 5, 2010

Today’s ghost town expedition to Sasco, Arizona

Following an early morning visit to the dentist to replace a filling that fell out ten days ago, I decided to explore a mining ghost town in southern Pinal County known as Sasco. I was out of the dentist chair and on the road before 9:00AM.

I had to pass through part of the Ironwood Forest National Monument. Like many national monuments, I was greeted with the usual “Travel Caution” sign(see previous blogs) warning me of illegal immigration and smuggling. I guess every public recreation area in this state had been invaded by illegal aliens and drug smugglers. Remember to bring your firearm.

The road from Red Rock was impassable because the Santa Cruz River was flowing. I had to go in the back way through Marana. This road is actually smoother and wider than I’m accustomed to. Travel to this site was easy. As is almost always the case, we had the desert all to ourselves.

Ghost Town: Sasco, Arizona

Sasco is a mining ghost town in Pinal County, Arizona west of Red Rock Sasco, which is an acronym for the Southern Arizona Smelter Company, was a company town for the smelter, which served the Silver Bell mines. Sasco's post office was established July 10, 1907 and was discontinued September 15, 1919. At its peak about 600 people lived here. Remaining structures include the impressive shell of the Rockland Hotel, extensive foundations for the smelter, and the old cemetery.,_Arizona

Sasco Ghost Town Haunts

Sasco shows off its history to visitors. While many ghost towns have been transformed into modern day tourist attractions, Sasco retains its ghostly aura in the form of its ruins. Many building foundations still stand in maze-like fashion. Sections of the Hotel Rockland’s walls still stand. Even the towering smelter furnace can still be seen. Many of the walls sport spray paint because the site is frequently a haunt for teens and paintball parties.

A short drive east to La Osa Ranch Road, then north .6 of a mile to a "Y" in the road, leads to the Sasco Cemetery. Among the memorials are several concrete crosses, reminders of the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 – 1919 that claimed more than a half-million American victims.

Rejilla Baldinegro, father Francisco Baldinegro born Yuma, AZ, mother Gertrinda Venzuella born Benson, AZ. Rejilla was born in Casa Grande, AZ and died 7 Dec. 1927 on the Juana Aruzo Ranch near Picacho of Tuberculosis. Was buried on 8 Dec 1927 in the Sasco Cemetery, 22 years old at time of death. [Page #196]
Today’s weather was perfect for an excursion. The temperature was in the low 70’s and there was hardly a cloud in the sky.