From Jeff Hustad <email@example.com> I have learnt that Ajo, is the birthplace of copper mining in Arizona, and has a rich history dating back hundreds of years. Today it is a popular tourist destination and retirement mecca offering an inexpensive lifestyle.
Indians, Spaniards and Americans have all extracted mineral wealth from Ajo's abundant ore deposits. Around 1800, there was a Spanish mine here nicknamed "Old Bat Hole." It was later abandoned due to Indian raids. The first American in Ajo, Tom Childs, came in 1847 and found the deserted mine complete with a 60-foot shaft, mesquite ladders, and rawhide buckets. High-grade native copper, so rich it was shipped to Wales for smelting, made Ajo the first copper mine in Arizona. (One of the local owners was the Ronstadt family, later to have Tucson police chief, parks director, and the singer as members)
Ajo did not boom, however, until after 1900 with the advent of new recovery methods for low-grade ore. Col. John Greenway formed New Cornelia Copper in 1906 and expanded on a grand scale. In 1921, Phelps Dodge, the nation's largest copper company, bought New Cornelia. For several decades more than 1,000 men worked for Phelps Dodge at Ajo.
Ajo (pronounced ah-ho) comes from either the Spanish word for garlic (ajo) or the Papago (now Tohono O'odham) Indian word for paint (au'auho). Papagos obtained red paint pigments from the area. The Ajo lily, an onion-like plant, grows nearby.
Located in western Pima County, this ethnically diverse town is on state Highway 85, north of the junction with State Highway 86 and south of Interstate 8. Ajo, at an elevation of 1,798 feet, is unincorporated. Mountains and the Sonoran desert surround the region. The area is recognized as an internationally for its unique flora and fauna.
I am told ajo means fool in Japanese. Rather auspicious since the letters
are also my initials. Does ajo translate from any other language? Write
to me. Translate ajo.
A.J.Oxton, OA, OO, OAE, k1oIq
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Copyright © 2003, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , 03813-0144.