APRIL 13, 2011

Historic Stamp Mill being restored is now upright

Cave Creek Museum to Host April 19 Hoedown Fund-raiser

stamp millCave Creek Museum is hosting a special hoedown fund-raiser on April 19 at Harold's Corral to celebrate a major milestone relating to its historic Stamp Mill: the 20-foot uprights were set firmly in a concrete foundation last month, making the stamp mill one step closer to being completely restored. With more labor-intensive work ahead, the Museum is seeking financial support and volunteers. Courtesy photo by Charlie Connell

CAVE CREEK – Volunteers working to restore Cave Creek Museum’s historic stamp mill are celebrating a major milestone: the 20-foot uprights were set firmly in a concrete foundation last week, making the stamp mill one step closer to being completely restored.

To mark the special occasion, the Museum is hosting a special “Hoedown” fund-raiser on Tuesday, April 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. Tickets cost $40 per person, and include a delicious buffet-style barbecue. The event also features a silent auction, a live auction, and entertainment by Cowboy Balladeer Mike Ewing.

Cave Creek Museum is also hosting several other special events in April, including a fun “Make-It, Take-It” Egg Decorating children’s program taught by Eggury Master Artist Fran Hunold on Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Museum, 6140 Skyline Dr., in Cave Creek. Admission to the children’s program is free, but space is limited and reservations are requested.

Also in April: a Rackensack Canyon Goldmine Adventure on Sunday, April 17 led by tour guide Johnny Ringo. Guests can choose from two exhilarating off-road tours at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. to the Tonto National Forest and then down the winding canyon road into the mine. Tickets are $100 and reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the Cave Creek Museum.

The Museum’s “Write with Light” Photography Competition is also underway with applications and original photographs due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2011. Professional photographer Jerry Sieve, formally the photography chair for the Cave Creek Film & Arts Festival, is spearheading the contest, which is open to all Arizona residents in two age categories: youths ages 12 to 18 and adults 19 and older. Entry fees are $10 for youths and $25 for adults. Prizes range from $50 to $750 and will be awarded at a special showcase at the Desert Foothills Library in mid-July. Visit www.cavecreekmuseum.org for contests rules and applications.

Historic Stamp Mill: Two Years Later
Two years ago, Cave Creek Museum volunteers began the process of transporting Cave Creek’s original 10 stamp mill and its associated parts from the Golden Reef Mine site on Continental Mountain to the Museum. Since then, volunteers have logged more than 2,000 hours cleaning, fixing, and lugging more than 80,000 pounds of iron pieces on Museum property as they worked to restore and rebuild the historic stamp mill that is believed to date back to 1880.

While some museums house stamp mills, typically they are from another location.
“We are thrilled to have the original stamp mill from our own Cave Creek mining district, which stretched as far west to 1-17 and included Cave Creek, Carefree and North Scottsdale,” said Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum’s executive director. “We’re extremely proud of our Stamp Mill Dream Team, which is led by our board member Al Zeman and Charlie Connell of the Phoenix Mining and Mineral Museum.”

With more labor-intensive work ahead, the Museum is seeking support from the public. In addition to more volunteers, the Museum needs financial donations to help fund items that are not donated and heavy machinery partners to assist with lifting, power equipment and making replacement parts.

Large and heavy stamp mills were used in the late 1800s and through the 1920s to crush hard rock ore so that the gold could be separated and saved. At one time, many such mills were reported to exist in the Cave Creek Mining District.

The Golden Reef Mine stamp mill was declared to be an Arizona State Historic Property by Arizona State Parks in 1986. Museum guests can view it along with several outside exhibits, including ranch implements and large tools, a gazebo, the first church of Cave Creek, and the last known original Tubercular Cabin in Arizona, which is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

For information, call 480-488-2764, or visit www.cavecreekmuseum.org.