Gleeson, Arizona

Gleeson, Arizona: A Historic Mining Town

Gleeson, Arizona is a ghost town located in the southeastern part of the state. It is situated in the foothills of the Dragoon Mountains, about 15 miles east of Tombstone. The town was founded in 1900 and was named after John Gleeson, an Irishman who discovered copper deposits in the area.

Early History

The area around Gleeson was first inhabited by the Chiricahua Apache tribe. In the 1870s, prospectors began to move into the area and found turquoise deposits. The town of Turquoise was founded in 1877 and was a thriving mining community for several years. However, the turquoise deposits were eventually depleted, and the town declined in the late 1880s.

Copper Mining Boom

In 1900, John Gleeson discovered copper deposits south of Turquoise. This discovery led to a copper mining boom in the area, and the town of Gleeson was founded. The town quickly grew, and by 1910, it had a population of over 500 people. The Gleeson mining district was one of the most productive copper districts in Arizona. Between 1900 and 1950, the mines in the district produced over 200 million pounds of copper. The mining boom brought prosperity to Gleeson, and the town had a number of businesses, including hotels, saloons, and general stores.

Decline and Ghost Town Status

The copper mining boom in Gleeson began to decline in the 1920s. The price of copper fell, and the mines became less profitable. By the 1930s, most of the mines in the district had closed, and the population of Gleeson had declined to a few hundred people. The town continued to decline in the 1940s and 1950s. The post office closed in 1950, and the last school closed in 1954. By the 1960s, Gleeson was a ghost town.


Gleeson is a popular destination for ghost town enthusiasts. There are a number of ruins of old buildings still standing in the town, including the jail, the schoolhouse, and the assay office. The town also has a small museum that tells the history of Gleeson. Gleeson is also a popular spot for hiking, camping, and off-roading. The town is located in the Coronado National Forest, and there are a number of trails in the area. The Chiricahua Apache National Monument is also located nearby.


Gleeson is a fascinating place with a rich history. It is a reminder of the boom-and-bust cycles of mining towns in the American West. The town is also a beautiful place to visit, with stunning scenery and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

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Southwest Six

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