docentjoyce from Los Osos, u.s.a., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

docentjoyce from Los Osos, u.s.a., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Infamous Mile-Wide Mine

Shaka Guide

Listen to audio story:


Hey! Whether you took a well-deserved rest or got some hiking in, I hope you had a great time.
Our next big stop is Signal Hill to see the Hohokam petroglyphs. Just keep going down Golden Gate Road for about six minutes. But right now, I’ve got a crazy story about one of the more famous – or infamous – mines in the area. The “Mile Wide Mine,” over by Wasson Peak, and got its name because the plot of land where the mine sat was about a mile wide. Real clever with the name there, guys. Anyway, with a claim that large you’d think it would be easy to turn a profit, but it turned out to be a mile wide fiasco for everyone involved. Well, almost everyone. 

A man named Charles Reiniger purchased the claim in 1915, and quickly got investors to buy in for hundreds of thousands of dollars. After all, the mine was reported to be full of rich copper ore. Um, reported by who? Well Reiniger, of course! 

But three years later, the Mile Wide mine had yet to produce close to the promised quantities of copper. And then, when it came time to collect, the investors discovered that Reiniger had vanished, along with $100,000 of their money. That’s nearly 1.8 million dollars in today’s money. Ol’ Reiniger was never seen or heard from again. The mine closed soon after, leaving the investors deeply in debt, and probably red with anger.

I’m thinking the lesson here, is to avoid get rich quick schemes. Oh, and maybe leave this fragile land alone, too. What do you think?

Just stay on this road, and we’ll be at Signal Hill soon enough.

Interested? Check out our Saguaro National Park Tour!

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