Chloride, AZ began as a silver mining town. In 1860, six miners began mining in what was then the Hualapai Indian territory. The miners were attacked and four were killed on site. The last two miners were able to escape and bring back the Calvary to reclaim the mine. Word got out that silver was found and by 1863 the town of Chloride was founded.
The town grew to be the largest town in Mohave County and was the county seat for a short time. Records were not well kept and some historians believe that the population may have gotten up to 5,000 but most believe the population capped at around 2,500 people.
In 1873, the US Post Office opened a branch in Chloride. The post office closed for a short time possibly because the building which originally housed the Post Office burned down. It was reopened in 1893 and after five moves it was eventually moved to the corner bar in the picture above. The Chloride Post Office is the oldest continuously operating post office in Arizona.
Seventy-five to one hundred mines were established in the Cerbat Mountain range and surrounding area. Silver was the main commodity found in the mines. Chloride gets its name from Silver Chloride which is a product of silver and chlorine. Silver Chloride has been used in photographic processing, pottery glazing, bandages, and mercury poisoning. Chloride, AZ is the oldest continuously operating mining town in the state of Arizona.
Tennessee Mine 1906
The Tennessee mine was the top producing mine. Other than silver - gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise were found although mining almost didn't happen. It wasn't until a treaty was signed with the Hualapai Indians in 1873 that mining officially began.