Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1 If you’ve heard of Chloride before, it’s probably because of their junk art.
How it happened we don’t really know, but Chloride became the poster child for “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Since the desert environment doesn’t allow for perfectly groomed lawns of grass and flowers, the people of Chloride resorted to turning their yards into a walking art exhibit, the medium being, well… junk. Some houses have created unexpected masterpieces, while other spots look more like they might actually be a junk yard. We’ll leave it to you to tour the whole town and pick out the best bits.
#2 There were once more than 2,000 people in Chloride!
As a booming mining town in the 1920’s, Chloride had seventy-two mines in operation! Mining was their claim to fame! These days, there are only a few mines left, and other industries keeps Chloride afloat. As the mining industry declined, so too did the population. About 250 people call Chloride home now.
#3 Chloride, Arizona has been around a long time!
Chloride first sprung up in 1862 as a silver ore mining town. You’ll find it located in the desert between Kingman, Arizona and Boulder City, Nevada at a 4,000 foot elevation.
#4 Chloride has the oldest continuously operating post office in the state of Arizona!
The Chloride Post Office was established way back in 1862 along with the establishment of the town, and has been open ever since! There are plenty of other old buildings to check out as well, like the Old Jail and the Playhouse. The Chloride Historical Society takes good care of these old buildings.
#5 Chloride is a great place to watch a gunfight!
We should probably specify that these are mock gun fights, although back in the day, plenty of very real gunfights took place in this town as well. Over in Cyanide Springs, the older part of the town, gunfights are held routinely on Saturdays and often even more frequently throughout the summer. The gunfights are usually between two groups: the Black Mountain Gunfighters and the Wild Roses of Chloride, who happen to be the world’s only all-female gun-fighting troupe! They have a ton of fun putting on gun fights, bank robberies, and the lot. Keep a wary eye out — sometimes they even pull an innocent bystander out of the crowd to marry one of the Wild Roses!
#6 Chloride is actually a popular place to retire.
You might expect that it would be popular among tourists, but it’s also a popular spot for people to call home. Specifically, many writers, musicians, and artists choose to move to Chloride as they age. Many of them open shops to sell their goods, and it seems like everyone appreciates the laid back atmosphere of the town.
#7 The Chloride Fire Department has their own special equipment.
The Ford Motor Company built Chloride’s fire engine especially for them! It’s from 1939 and it’s still operational! In addition, the fire department has a Mack fire engine. They use both if necessary, and they make use of a new central water system has significantly improved the town.
#8 You can find the famous Purcell murals in Chloride.
Roy Purcell was a prospector but also a painter, which is an interesting combination if we’ve ever heard one. In 1966, Purcell has some spare time on his hands and took to painting rocks. And by rocks we mean 2,000 square feet of murals on a granite cliff face! His murals are about a mile and a half outside of town at the end of a dirt road, and they’re still surprisingly vibrant even after close to half a century has passed. Purcell’s art is well respected in the southwest even today!