Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project


Version 123012

Hardcopy book available:

$25.00 plus $10.00 S & H

Contact: n.j.dushane@comcast.net




Photograph by: Neal Du Shane, Pilot: Gary Grant

Compiled and edited by: Neal Du Shane 04/29/06 Revised 04/08/08

Internet Edition - Volume Two


Version 040808


Copyright © 2008 by Neal Du Shane



No part of this book or Website page may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission of the publisher.



Published by: Neal Du Shane, Fort Collins, CO 80525


Second Edition

Published in the United States of America


Humbug, Arizona - c. 1934 - Picture. 3




Sign posted at main gate leading to Humbug, AZ. 11

Town Layout 12

Humbug Topographical Map. 13

Humbug Claims 14


Humbug Cemetery. 16



Picture of: Guy Scott, Henry Cordes, Newt White. 20

Newt Whites room at Cordes, AZ. 21

Humbug “Open House”. 23




Humbug, Arizona - c. 1934 - Picture


By: Dave Burns, November, 2001




Small pottery shards and matate fragments indicate previous habitation by Native Americans, but most evidence is gone.


- 1882 -


Charles Champie and family arrived and began mining gold on the Llano Claim. He excavated a shaft and tunnel, built two stone houses, mill site, well, and smelting furnace. The Llano workings produced about 2,000 ounces of gold.

He then developed a tunnel on the Sidewinder Claim about a mile east, recovering about 1,000 ounces of gold.


On the Mountain Chief Claim (later renamed El Pero Bonito) south of the Sidewinder, a pocket produced 5,000 ounces of gold.

At this point, Champie & Co. left Humbug and moved about two miles south to Columbia, where he continued gold mining and milling in Swilling Gulch and along Humbug Creek. Here he owned a steam powered mill. The boiler still resides next to Humbug Creek. He also mined at Copperopolis and the Golden Aster before starting a ranch on French Creek. The Champie Ranch and small community of Champie are still in operation today, though the Champie family lost the ranch during the depression.

 Charles Champie House Photo by: Neal Du Shane

- 1920 -


Pat Fogarty was living and mining at Humbug when Frank Hyde, a wealthy easterner, was looking to invest in gold mining. They struck a partnership, with Hyde supplying the operation with a substantial infusion of capital. He built half a dozen new buildings, including a large house for himself and his family, miner's quarters, mess hall, assay office, and a cottage for Pat Fogarty, who was getting old.

Hyde's mining operation produced about $50,000 in gold, silver, copper, and lead. This included a 1,000 oz gold pocket from the Little Annie Claim. Production was not sufficient to cover expenses, however, and mining was discontinued in 1934.


- 1940 -


Newt White came to work for Frank Hyde about 1940 after having worked many years for the Champie Ranch and other jobs including miner, mill operator, cowboy, wrangler, mechanic, etc. He stayed on at Humbug as caretaker after Hyde moved to Tucson in the 1950's. Newt died in 1997 and is buried in the Humbug Cemetery.


- 1970 -


Frank Hyde's daughter, Carolyn, formed a small corporation called Humbug Gold, Inc. with equal stockholders herself, Newt White, and Dr. Robert Hurt, a Phoenix dentist, for the purpose of gold exploration.

Courtesy Arizona Bureau of Mines


Humbug Mines – Acknowledgement are due M.J. Elsing, C.L. Orem and F. de L. Hyde of Humbug Gold Mines, Inc., for important information.

Situation and history: The holdings of Humbug Gold Mines Inc., in the southwestern Bradshaw Mountains or Humbug district, consist of approximately 100 claims and include the Fogarty Queen, Little Annie, Heinie, Lind, and Columbia groups. Humbug camp, at an elevation of 2,600 feet on Humbug Creek, is accessible by 9 ½ mile of road which branches eastward from the Castle Hot Springs Highway at a point 22 ¼ miles from Morristown.

Larry Gill - 2006 at the old Arastra in Columbia, AZ – Photo: Neal Du Shane

In this area, gold mining was carried on with the aid of arastra’s as early as 1880. From 1900 to 1905, C.E. Champie operated a 4-stamp mill at Columbia, on Humbug Creek. Some ore was shipped but, during the early days when Yuma was the nearest shipping point, operations were greatly hampered by the inaccessibility of the district. After 1905, only small-scale intermittent work was attempted until 1932 when the present operators started active development. According to Mr. Elsing, test shipments of 207 tons of ore, mined from surface cuts and tunnels on numerous veins, averaged approximately 1 ½ ounces of gold and 3 ½ ounces of silver per ton, together with 3 ½ percent of lead. A 50-ton flotation and table concentrating mill was completed and put into operation early in 1934. In February of that year, about eighty men were employed on the property. Water for all purposes was pumped from a shallow well near the bed of Humbug Creek, which normally is a perennial stream.

Topography and geology: This ground, which lies within the drainage area of Humbug Creek and its branches, Rockwell and Carpenter creeks, has been eroded into sharp ridges and alternating southward-trending canyons about 800 feet deep. The prevailing accordant summits of the main ridges appear to represent dissected remnants of the early Tertiary, pre-lava pediment that extends south of Silver Mountain.

Within this area, the principal rocks consist of large bodies of mica schist, surrounded by granite and intruded by numerous dies of pegmatite and rhyolitic to granitic porphyry. The schist, granite, and pegmatite are regarded as Pre-Cambrian in age, and the porphyry as Mesozoic or Tertiary.

The schistosity and the dikes prevailingly strike northeastward. Considerable pre-mineral and post-mineral faulting, principally of northeastward strike, is evident. Post-mineral faults of great magnitude follow some of the main gulches.

Veins: The veins of the Humbug area occur within fault fissures, mainly of northeastward strike and steep northwestward dip. Their filling consists of massive to coarsely crystalline, grayish-white quartz, together with irregular masses, vainlets, and disseminations of fine to course-grained pyrite and galena, in places, arsenopyrite is abundant. A notable about of sphalerite is reported in one vein.

Most of the gold is contained within the iron minerals. The galena is reported to carry a little gold and locally as mush as 40 ounces of silver per ton. Some free gold occurs as irregular vainlets and particles within fractures and cavities in the quartz. In the completely oxidized zone, which is generally of shallow irregular depth all of the gold is free.

These veins range in width from less than an inch up to 3 feet or more and persist of remarkably long distances along the dike. One of them is traceable on the surface for more than 9,000 feet. The ore shoots, which have been found to range from a few feet to a few hundred feet in length, are reported to contain from 0.25 to 9 or more ounces of gold per ton.


The Southern Bradshaw Mountain prospecting in the early 1860’s caused miners to survey this area in search of new strikes. Humbug Creek got its name based on the promise for good strikes, only to bust. Due to the fact prospecting on the Creek turned out to be disappointing the “humbug” moniker was used to identify the creek. During the 1870’s, solid placer deposits were found at Humbug and nearby Columbia. In 1884 Humbug had a mill and associated building relating to mine and mill. A post office opened in 1894 at Columbia and served Humbug and Columbia.

                             Photograph Courtesy: Dave Burns

Humbug is one of the most unspoiled and isolated examples of a historic Arizona mining camp. Its future is uncertain however, as one of the three partners, Ruth Gaisford of Tucson, AZ hopes is to refurbish the historic town and open it to visitors. The two other part owners want to explore the feasibility of mining the long non-operational mine and keep the property fenced off to the public. The world has a shortage of well preserved Ghost Towns like Humbug, regardless of the quest for Gold.

At that time, the owner of Humbug Gold Mines was Frances “Frank” de Lacey Hyde, a New York Stock Broker who moved to Tucson in 1932.

Due to the area’s remote location, transportation and scarcity of water issues; mining operations were minimal until 1932. In 1932 the Humbug Gold Mines Inc., bought the claims. Almost instantly Humbug area became home for about 100 hardy individuals. The company had its own mill but shipped its concentrate for smelting to Miami, AZ and El Paso, TX.

Kiln at Humbug – 2005 Photo by:

Neal Du Shane

From Hyde’s point of view, Humbug was not only a gold (and later tungsten) endeavor. Humbug was Hyde’s definitive sanctuary. Pictured above, he built a home at Humbug and eventually brought his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Carolyn. Carolyn was known as “Tuffet,” and was brought for extended stays at the mine and Tuffet became an accomplished horsewoman. In the above picture Tuffet is seen holding a Polo stick. An article in The Christian Science Monitor in April of 1944, when Tuffet was nearing her fourteenth birthday, tells of Hyde and his daughter taking nighttime rides to search for tungsten in scheelite with “mineral lamps” that utilized ultraviolet rays. On one trip it began to rain heavily, Hyde and Tuffet sought refuge in an old mine tunnel where a miner was making his home. The miner bragged of the mine tunnel’s comforts, which included carbide lamp, radio and other living essentials of the era. The miner exclaimed he hadn’t seen one scorpion or rattlesnake in the tunnel. Hyde turned on his blue light, scanned the tunnel, and four scorpions lit up the dark. It’s uncertain the miner got another good night’s sleep in his formerly secure abode, after Frank and Tuffet’s visit?

During World War II, Mining at Humbug ceased. Tuffet Hyde, in 1947, was a student at the University of Arizona, brought fellow classmate Ruth Gaisford to Humbug for a visit. This was the first of many trips Tuffet and Ruth took, to the magnificence and serenity of the Southern Bradshaw’s. In 1956 Frank Hyde, by then divorced, visited Humbug his last time. Frank Hyde died in Tucson in 1973 at the age of 75. Tuffet  left her one-third interest in Humbug when she died in 1989, to her lifelong friend Ruth Gaisford. For Ruth, as it was for Frank and Tuffet Hyde, the town is not a mine, but a priceless retreat that must be conserved.

        Humbug Entrance 2005, Photo: Neal Du Shane

In 2006, Humbug has six buildings remaining, the Hyde’s’ main house in desperate need of repair, a three-apartment guesthouse and foreman’s residence, an assay office, the kitchen-dining building, and a stable with a corral. Humbug displays an excellent example of dry stacking stone which is rarely found. Some uses are functional, like the corral’ others are decorative, like the elaborate patio and garden walls in front of the Hyde home. The ruins of several other residences dot both sides of the creek one of which is pioneer Charlie Champies’ home, near the kiln. 

                Mill Foundation, Photo: Neal Du Shane


Humbug, along with Columbia a distance of 2.24 miles down stream, following the creek, came into existence during the early 1870's as placer gold was found in Humbug Creek. A mill was constructed and the town operated until the turn of the century. A caretaker resided at the mine for years and then production started again. The town thrived and the mine was extensively worked until the early 1930's. Warner Watkins, who had worked at Humbug in its later years, told of what life was like when he had to drive to Wickenburg, a round trip distance of 69 miles every night, to get milk for the town, or how the miners would walk to Crown King (about 20 miles uphill) every weekend to go to the saloon.

The Big House – c. 1930’s


Rod Mill – Frank Hyde’s – Humbug, AZ

Frank Hyde’s Rod Mill – Humbug, AZ c. 1930’s

Photo: Courtesy Dave Burns



PLEASE DO NOT TRESSPASS. Humbug is on private property and all roads dead end at Humbug, if you are past the locked gate without permission you are trespassing. After gaining permission to proceed through the locked gate, panoramic Humbug comes into view, as you round a bend to your left on the four-wheel drive road and look down in the Humbug Creek Valley. There are still buildings standing and are spaced out along the northern canyon above Humbug Creek. Remnants of former pioneer homes, including Humbug Pioneer miner Charlie Champie, the Humbug Kiln, line the southern banks of Humbug Creek.

Philip Varney in Arizona’s Best Ghost Towns” writes “When I visited the site in May of 1979, it had been very recently abandoned, for in one building were playing cards on the kitchen table and assorted remnant of foodstuffs in the cupboard. But the droppings on the floor indicated that coyotes and rodents were the only current residents. The building left me with the eerie impression that the last tenants grew weary of cards and so decided to pack up; it all seemed so spur-of-the moment. I kept expecting someone to step out of a bedroom to ask what I was doing in his home, but the evidence that Humbug had been abandoned was indisputable.”

The main home of Frank Hyde in 2006 is in desperate need of repair and will not survive unless attention is given as soon as possible. The roof is leaking allowing the double adobe walls to decay. The miners apartment building however, is still be quite comfortable and in good repair. Dave Burns the present caretaker resided in this structure. Humbug is too attractive and desirable a place to remain uninhabited. Dave’s goal it to open Humbug up for tourist visits. Although the 5 miles of four wheel drive road to reach Humbug will limit visitations by the novas.


Sign posted at main gate leading to Humbug, AZ




THIS IS NOT THE ROAD TO CROWN KING !! Go back south five miles until you cross Cow Creek.

Then proceed north.


THIS IS NOT THE ROAD TO NEW RIVER !! Go back south one mile and then proceed east. Follow the sign indicating BLM, access.




THIS ROAD DOES NOT GO THROUGH. It goes to the top of the next ridge and dead ends.


THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY. SOMEONE LIVES HERE. If you are interested in the history of the Humbug Mining District, and would like to see and hear about Humbug, call 480-899-7317 and arrange a time to visit. We are happy to show the ghost town and tell about the history.



In Arizona, trespassing on a mining property is a FELONY.


This property has open mines and other hazards. Damaging gate or signs constitutes public endangerment, which is a FELONY.


Persons caught committing a felony can be ARRESTED AND DETAINED BY FORCE until a deputy can be summoned.


Town Layout


Humbug Topographical Map

Courtesy of: Dave Burns


Humbug Claims


By: Neal Du Shane


In 2005, the secret to having one of the most enjoyable trips to a Ghost Town in Arizona is calling ahead and getting permission to meet Dave Burns at the Ghost Town property of Humbug. He is extremely knowledgeable, cordial, packing and will take you on one of the most historic tours of the property that I’ve ever experienced.  

                         Photos by: Neal Du Shane


Photograph by: Neal Du Shane

Today the easiest way to access Humbug is to venture up the Columbia road, which is a high clearance four-wheel drive road, from Cow Creek Road at Indian Springs. You will travel approximately 5 miles, through one gate, until you reach a “T” in the road. It’s believed there are from two to three burials at this S.W. corner of this intersection, due to a Stage Coach robbery.


Turn to the left and follow this road to Humbug. Along the way you will pass the site of “Old Columbia” and the two burials from a reported robbery for the two miner’s gold, at this location.


Continue west, and you will come to a corral with a sign posted “Dead End” on one of the fence posts. Continue approximately another half mile staying on the main road. There is a locked gate, so make sure Dave has made arrangements for you to gain access to the property.


As you travel past the unlocked gate, and come around the corner, notice across the valley all the mining roads, well, buildings, this then is the general area of Humbug, Arizona. Continue traveling down this road toward Humbug Creek. The unique entrance to Humbug is one of a kind. I’ve visited hundreds of Ghost Towns in my travels to the back country of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, and Montana Arizona and have never witnessed anything like this entrance. As you cross Humbug Creek you see a driveway with a rock fence on both sides approximately 5 foot high, 2 foot wide, for some 500 to 600 feet. Which bends to the right leading you into the main street of Humbug, this is a one of a kind experience, extremely impressive entrance and one of a kind? A tribute to the individuals that completed the dry stacking of the rock, which is almost a lost art today.


I can assure you Dave Burns is a gracious host and will answer all you questions, leaving little information unanswered.


Humbug Cemetery








Yavapai County, Arizona








From north end of Lake Pleasant blacktop, L on Castle Hot Springs Rd., R on Cow Creek Rd to Columbia Rd, R to "T" intersection, L to locked gate at Humbug
















Burials =


























Pile of Stone - No records currently available







Pile of Stone - No records currently available







12 year old Hispanic girl - not buried with the other 5. Short distance S.E. Grave is marked with a saguaro cactus and stones covering grave







Dowsing revealed burial - male







Dowsing revealed burial - male





Feb. 23, 1908

Aug. 24, 1997

Born in Oregon, Son of Edward G. & Adella E. White - Caretaker of Humbug - worked at the Champie Ranch for years























Humbug is on PRIVATE PROPERTY - Do not Trespass - Call 1-480-899-7317 and arrange for someone to meet you for your tour of Humbug.








Contributors: Dave Burns, Neal Du Shane, Gene Simonds








Submitted by:

12/01/05 Neal Du Shane






12/10/05 Neal Du Shane











Material may be freely used by non-commercial entities, as long as this

message remains on all copied material, AND permission is obtained from

the contributor of the file.











These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit

or presentation by other organizations. Persons or organizations

desiring to use this material for non-commercial purposes, MUST obtain

the written consent of the contributor, OR the legal representative of

the submitter, and contact the listed archivist with proof of this consent.








This file was contributed for free use.

    Contributor/Archives by: Neal Du Shane - All rights reserved




By: Dave Burns

USGS map Columbia quadrangle shows the canyons I have referenced.

It appears that "Humbug
 placers" must refer to Swilling Gulch and Humbug Creek near where Swilling drains in.  Swilling is the gulch coming from the east into Humbug about half a mile or so north of Columbia.  Rockwall and Carpenter come from the north, parallel to Humbug, and drain into Swilling. This would put Humbug about a mile north of the placers, and Columbia about a half mile south.

There is no sign of mill site or ruins at Sand Creek
.  It rarely has water anyway.

From 1882 thru 1934 there was sporadic mining in Humbug, Rockwall
, Carpenter, and Swilling Gulches, and on Gold Hill.  There were well over a hundred mines and claims, a few of which I know a little bit about.  The Beacon Light has a very interesting history.  The owner had a good mine in Swilling.  He owned the store, saloon, whorehouse, and boarding house.  Not much money left the area except in his pocket. After he was done mining, he moved to Phoenix and started the Valley National Bank.

Other mines in the district:  Sidewinder
 produced about 2,000 oz gold for Charlie Champie, Mountain Chief produced about 5,000 oz gold for CC, Little Annie about 1,000 oz gold for Frank Hyde, Uncle Sam unknown amount silver.

Lizzie Lee
, Acquisition, Betty Lou, Top Notch, Gold Spring, Little Joseph, and Crescent were all producers, but I don't have figures.  There were many more that were only prospects.


As with many mining camps of the era, a brand or logo was adopted at Humbug. They chose a “Pick and Pan” as their insignia. The picture at the left shows this insignia and is pressed into the concrete at the ladies horse-mounting step, in the courtyard at Humbug.


Photo: Neal Du Shane

Photograph Courtesy: Neal Du Shane


Courtesy: “Ranch Trails and Short Tales” by: Claire Champie Cordes

Edward Newton Whites grandfather was a scout on a wagon train from Missouri across the Oregon Trail, finally landing in Lowell Range, Oregon. They had many close calls with the Indians; for many days they were afraid to build a fire. At night the wagons would form a circle and the animals and people stayed in the center for protection.


When they arrived in Lowell, Grandfather White married the girl he had admired all along the trail, Sally Hobbs, and Irish-German girl. From this union, eighteen children where born, the last was Newt’s father (Edward G. White). He turned out to be a restless, adventurous man who worked as little as possible. After he married Newt’s mother (Adella E. White), Newt and a sister (Annie May White, buried at Copperopolis, AZ Cemetery) were born.


The grandfather had built up a large estate; when he died, each child received a generous stake. Newt’s father soon spent his part, divorced his wife, and took his children to Tallahassee, Florida.

Newt was made to work from the time he was six years old to help support his new mother and family. When Newt was about fourteen his father decided to leave Florida so they took off on foot with their bedrolls. They picked up and old cloth car top along the way and used it for a tent to protect them from the rain. They caught rides on freight cars part of the way; then while walking along the highway, a big bus stopped and picked them up. He let them off the bus as he approached Tucson, but picked them up on the way out the next morning. After letting them off in Phoenix, they had started across the desert on foot when a rancher in a truck picked them up and took them to Rock Springs (AZ). From there they walked on to Tip Top, then on to the Champie Ranch. At the dude ranch, Ann Douglas, the owner, needed a boy to do chores and help around the ranch so she gave Newt a job. His father went on his way. Newt worked there for years until the guest ranch sold. After that, he stayed in the area and went to work for another Champie as a cowboy.

One day he was riding along out west of where the other cowboys were camped when he jumped a cow and her calf as he rode around the south side of Spring Mountain. There was a heavy growth of cholla cactus all over that country. When he roped at the calf, his horse jumped over a cactus, catching a ball cholla between his tail and leg, causing him to go wild. Off Newt went with the coils of the rope wrapped around his arm and hands and the other end tied secure to the saddle horn. The faster the horse ran, the more cholla’s stuck to Newt on their way down the mountain. The horse finally fell releasing the rope long enough for Newt to free himself. By this time he was covered with cholla from head to toe, as well as many bruises and a broken leg. He crawled to the top of a ridge to call for help. His boss finally heard the call of distress and came to this rescue. They picked thorns out of Newt for hours. Then they layed (1) him across a horse to get him to the ranch headquarters. They then layed him on a cot in the back of a pickup and took him to the hospital in Phoenix.



He remained at St. Joseph’s for weeks. Because he had a pinched artery in one leg (left), it had to be removed just below the knee because of gangrene. After many weeks recovering, he became interested in mining and worked with my mother and dad in their mining projects.

Finally making contact with a mineral surveying crew he was hired to work with the mining engineers and worked with land and mineral surveying for many years until he retired at sixty-five. He settled down on an old mining claim with two silent partners where he remains today. At age seventy-eight, he is dreaming of selling his interest for at least 10 million dollars. We hope it come true!

Photo by: Neal Du Shane

Note: Edward Newton White died August 24, 1997, his remains were cremated and the urn containing his ashes is buried at the Humbug Cemetery. Many local residents attended the burial at Humbug.

Notably in attendance were: Dave Burns, Henry Cordes and members of the Champie family.   

Dave Burns relates that Newt originally had a wooden leg after the amputation. Still working at the Champie Guest Ranch, one of Newt’s jobs was to drive the wagon into town (Morristown) and pick up and deliver the guests and supplies as needed. Newt hollowed out the wooden leg, or it was hollow in the first place and Newt carried the payroll and deposits in it for the ranch and guests. Newt was never held up!

Cathy Cloin of Cordes, Arizona informed us that Newt worked in and about Cordes for many years also and was a good friend of her grandfather Henry Cordes. She showed us Newt’s room while he was staying at Cordes. One of Newt’s old prosthesis is now at the Cordes Store in downtown Cordes. We checked . . . there was no money inside it.

From information provided by Cathy, she has numerous mining claims that Newt was either a partner in or owned outright. In one of the letters it made reference that Newt White was the Mayor of Cordes. 

Photorgraph Courtesy: Cathy Cordes

Picture of: Guy Scott, Henry Cordes, Newt White


Photo Courtesy: Neal Du Shane

Newt Whites room at Cordes, AZ


Don Harp Memories of Newt



I now live in Tucson but when I lived in Phoenix my ex wife and I went four wheeling every weekend during the winter months. One of our favorite places to go was Humbug. We got to be friends of Newt and he extended an open invitation to us to come anytime. We loved to go and listen to his stories, best one was his shooting the sprocket chain off a motorcycle when the rider would not leave Humbug. He would sit in his old chair on the front porch of the miners apartments I think and fill his coffee can with wasps.


He loved to see us come for a visit, we brought him soft drinks and food and most importantly, company. He was always smiling and when he saw our white Nissan and he was right there to wave and welcome us. He nudged me in the sides every time and asked if I was taking care of my beautiful lady, my ex was a beautiful blonde and he loved to see her show up more than me I think!! We went up one day and the road was blocked off and we wondered what was going on, it was Christmas and we had a gift for Newt. For years we had gone and was always welcome so we went on in to see Newt, give him the gift and visit for a while. We left the gift but did not leave the food as it was hot and it would spoil. His favorite was cold watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries. We miss seeing Newt and loved to just walk around Humbug. I have an old hand saw Newt gave me, said he had used over twenty years ago, now it would be 30 years ago. It was very old and the handle was weathered and cracked badly, repaired by Newt with bailing wire wrapped around it to hold it together. I still have that saw, I wrote his name on it. I was thinking about trying to contact Cathy Cordes of Cordes and ask her if she wanted it to place on display with his leg.


Of all the stories we heard, he never told us about being drug through the Cholla Cactus!! That was funny to read but must have been awful for Newt. Maybe it was too painful to talk about!!! 


Take care and thanks for posting this, I stumbled onto it quite by accident and glad I did. I heard Newt was taken to a care home but no idea where or we would have gone to see him. Now we know thanks to you.



Wooden directional sign to Humbug Gold Mine’s








Humbug 2006

By: Neal Du Shane



Humbug continues to maintain its status in Arizona’s rich mining history. Much of its historic past is still being maintained. Other aspects of Humbugs history is being returned to the earth. As mentioned earlier the goal of Dave Burns is to maintain this Ghost Town, providing private public tours by appointment only. Once a year, Dave holds an Open House, making Humbug open to the public.






One noticeable decline is “The Big House”, once standing as the landmark in its proud heritage at Humbug. Its adobe walls are now showing signs of decay and disrepair. The roof is leaking with each rain, allowing water to penetrate the once proud walls. Before this structure reaches beyond repair it would be worth the effort if volunteers could reconstruct this structure to a state allowing no further decay. Preserving its once proud heritage as the shining light of Humbug. If you are interested in volunteering your skills and labor, contact Dave Burns the current caretaker of Humbug.






The statuesque front yard was the pride of Humbug and the Hyde’s now stands unattended and forlorn, being returned to its natural state. One can only stand in awe on the Big House front porch and listen where silence has lease. Imagining the hustle, bustle and mining clatter that filled this thriving community in days of yore.



Photo’s above courtesy: Neal Du Shane


Humbug “Open House”

By: Neal Du Shane


March 4 – 5, 2006 marked the first Humbug Potluck and Open House. Dave Burns was instrumental in organizing this get together with the goal of a fun filled weekend. His efforts were right on the mark. At one time the count was approximately 50 people attending. It is speculated that it has been a few decades since this many people walked the streets of Humbug at one time.


Many that attended Saturday stayed over Saturday night and were delighted with a tour to the El Paro Bonito Mine with its 500’ adit on Sunday morning. Dave reports much of the equipment is just as it was left the day they stopped mining this mine.


The Open House was a great opportunity for newcomers and old timers to rub elbows and share interesting facts regarding this area.


Dave gave tours of Humbug and shared his knowledge of this Historic Arizona Ghost Town. Great food, good times and fun facts were the highlight of this exceptional event. Many thanks to Dave and Theresa for their kindness and hospitality they extended to everyone attending. 


Dave Burns giving tour to guests at “Humbug Open House” – March 4, 2006 (Photo: Reba Grandrud)


Humbug, AZ 2006, Photo: Neal Du Shane


Adobe Wall – Humbug, AZ 2006, Photo: Neal Du Shane


(1) To keep with authentic historical spelling and punctuation as written by the original author.


DAVE BURNS the present Caretaker of Humbug,

can be reached by calling: 1-480-899-7317



A special thank you, to all that contributed making this possible:


Dave Burns, Darrell & Barbara Steffen, Philip Varnie, Arizona Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Gary Grant, Clair Champie Cordes, Larry & Betty Gill, Gene Simonds, Cathy Cloin, Joyce Du Shane, Pioneer’s Cemetery Association (PCA) of Arizona, Betty and Rusty Hastings, Ira Kelley.


Transcribed, Compiled and Edited by: Neal Du Shane




Copyright ©2003-2013 Neal Du Shane
 All rights reserved. Information contained within this website may be used
 for personal family history purposes, but not for financial profit of any kind.
 All contents of this website are willed to the Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project (