Gold King Mine Ghost Town – Jerome, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

Gold King Mine Ghost Town

Once the product of an inexplicable gold strike, this ghost town is now home to one man and his love of classic machines. 


In 1890, the Haynes Copper Company sunk a 1200-foot shaft into the middle of one of the richest copper deposits ever discovered. Much to their chagrin, they found no copper. Luckily, they struck gold instead, creating the small boom town of Haynes, the remnants of which are today an intriguing mix of ghost town and mechanical hobbyist’s paradise.

While the Gold King Mine Ghost Town boasts a disused mine shaft and antiquated buildings, owner/proprietor Don Robertson is both the source of and a large part of the main attraction. A tinkerer with a knack and an enthusiasm for all things mechanical, Don purchased the site of the abandoned town of Haynes and has turned it into his own gearhead paradise.

The attractions assembled and lovingly cared for by Don Robertson include antique mine equipment still cranking away, as well as a turn-of-the-century sawmill still actively filling orders, a circa 1901 blacksmith shop, classic gas engines, and a wide array of restored antique cars, including vintage trucks and race cars. The open-air museum also features resident animals—including donkeys, rabbits, goats, and chickens—looking for treats and scratches from visitors.


Know Before You Go

Keep right past the Fire Station; becomes a dirt road pretty quickly.

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