Cave Creek Museum fires up ‘Golden Reef’ stamp mill April 15

Cave Creek Museum’s “Golden Reef” Stamp Mill is the only operational 10-Stamp Mill in the state. (Photo by Marc Fleischer)

Cave Creek Museum’s “Golden Reef” Stamp Mill is the only operational 10-Stamp Mill in the state. (Photo by Marc Fleischer)

As the sun begins to set on Tax Day, Wednesday, April 15, Cave Creek Museum will conduct a 6 p.m. demonstration of its historic “Golden Reef” Stamp Mill which dates back to 1880.

Cave Creek Museum logoThe free celebratory event includes refreshments and a blacksmith demonstration.

The 16th Amendment gave Congress the right to levy taxes in 1913, which began with a 1 percent tax on incomes greater than $3,000.

“Back then, miners were required to perform ‘improvements’ on their claims in either labor or materials,” said Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum’s executive director.

“I’m confident that our miners raised a glass to toast their accomplishment of tasks completed.”

Cave Creek Museum’s “Golden Reef” Stamp Mill is the only operational 10-Stamp Mill in the state.

There have not been any operational Stamp Mills in Maricopa County since the closure of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in 2011, which housed a 5-Stamp Mill.

Large and heavy stamp mills were used in the late 1800s and through the 1920s to crush hard rock ore so that the gold could be separated and saved.

At one time, many such mills were reported to exist in the Cave Creek Mining District. The museum’s “Golden Reef Mine Stamp Mill” was declared to be an Arizona State Historic Property by Arizona State Parks in 1986.

The museum is particularly pleased to showcase this 10-Stamp Mill that came from its own mining district and was originally located on Continental Mountain.

Cave Creek Museum is located at 6140 Skyline Drive in Cave Creek. For details, call 480-488-2764, or visit www.cavecreekmuseum.org.

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