January 2019 History Question of the Month

January 2019 History Question of the Month
Posted on 01/01/2019

Mining activities in Little Cottonwood Canyon began in the mid-1860s. Soon, smelters were constructed at the mouth of the canyon to process the ore.  At least four smelters and one stamp mill were built.  Two of these smelters were in the present boundaries of our city, which ones were they?


The Flagstaff Silver Mining Co. Ltd. was incorporated in London, England, and operated the Flagstaff Mine in Little Cottonwood Canyon, along with a smelter at the mouth of the canyon. The smelter operated between 1870 and 1873, and it appears that financial problems were the cause of its downfall.

The second was the Jones and Pardee Smelter, which was built about the same time. Known as the Little Cottonwood Smelter, it was sold in 1872 to a company in San Francisco.

The EPA identified tailings from both smelters in 1991 and contaminated areas were cleaned up.