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8 Facts About the Quirky Town of Chloride, AZ Arizona

Chloride, AZ is a small mining town located just north of Kingman in Mojave County. But what more do we know about it? Check out these 4 facts about Chloride.

1) You Might Have Heard Bout Chloride, AZ Because of Its Junk Art

A caterpillar sculpture made of junkyard art in Chloride, AZ.
Flickr User mlhradio
Flickr User mlhradio

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 junkyard. 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

Welcome to Chloride, AZ sign with a Santa Claus wearing a cowboy hat on it.
Flicker User oetiii
Flicker User oetiii

As a booming mining town in the 1920s, 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 keep 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 For a Long Time

Colorful gas station in Chloride, AZ.
Flickr User ap0013
Flickr User ap0013

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 Operating Post Office in Arizona

The roof and sign of the U.S. Post Office of Chloride, AZ
Flickr User Brad Rhodes
Flickr User Brad Rhodes

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

An old brown wooden saloon in Chloride, Az.
Flickr User David Denman
Flickr User David Denman

We should probably specify that these are mock gunfights, 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 gunfights, 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, AZ is Actually a Popular Place to Retire 

A junkyard in Chloride, AZ.
Flickr User Justin Miller
Flickr User Justin Miller

You might expect that it would be only 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, AZ 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

Exterior night shot of the Chloride, AZ fire department.
Flickr User David Denman
Flickr User David Denman

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 which has significantly improved the town.

8) You Can Find the Famous Purcell Murals in Chloride, AZ

The Purcell Murals in Chloride, AZ.

Roy Purcell was a prospector but also a painter, which is an interesting combination if we’ve ever heard one. In 1966, Purcell had 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!

Cheyenne Reed

Cheyenne Reed was born and raised in Ohio. She recently relocated to rural Wyoming to try out working at an exclusive guest ranch. She graduated from Kent State University with an English degree, and most enjoys writing about travel. If she has free time, you may run into her anywhere, because she is always itching to explore new places. Her personal motto is, "Any day can be an adventure if you make it one!"

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