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Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 011708

 

 

LAPHAM, ARIZONA

 

Only structure remaining in downtown Lapham, Arizona 01/16/08

Photo Courtesy: Bonnie Helten

 

Lapham, AZ has been on my To-Do List for the past 4 years. 15 years ago I used to ride my XR250L up through here and stop at Crown King to refuel then down to Black Canyon City and then back home. Very likely I used to go through these old ghost towns at 30 miles an hour without giving cemeteries a second thought.

 

In the beginning town sites by the name of Marion and McCormick which were named after an editor and ex-governor were first platted. No growth came to either town site as the most structure’s that was ever built numbered one in each community.

 

A member of the famous Joseph Walker party, one Charles Taylor recorded several claims. By May 21, 1875 had his own ranch and had taken up residence on Minnehaha Creek in the Minnehaha Flat area. It is believed the name Minnehaha was derived from a mine by the same name.

 

The Minnehaha Flats area got its start with the mining boom at the Tiger Mining District in 1981.This approximately two mile length of roadway was referred to as the Minnehaha Flat’s. Comprising the ghost towns of Shelley to the North, Minnehaha Flat, Lapham then Minnehaha to the South. Numerous mines dot the landscape with the most visible today is the Button Mine.

 

Route from ghost town of Wagoner to Lapham

 

WARNING: SMALL, 4 wheel drive vehicle road in 2008 – each storm will change the road conditions. CJ-5 size vehicles are fine anything large may sacrifice body parts.

 

There is a well here which would suggest it was an important town in its day. The one remaining structure is approximately 10’ X 20’, at first it looks to be a residence but on closer examination it would have more likely been a mercantile with a Post Office or restaurant with the rows of two shelving on the outside walls.

 

Living quarters or kitchen, we speculate were in the rear of the structure. There may or may not have been a second floor but would have been for very short people or sleeping space, no higher than 3’.

 

There are remains of mining equipment strewn and abandoned on and near the property. We found no adits, or shafts with any depth and no open pit mining – maybe everything was placer mining at this town.

 

One road climbs the hill behind the old structure. Walking up this incline we discovered a potential adit but looked to be abandoned shortly after they started digging. However there was from to 10 to 15 adult male graves on the plateau at the summit. Curious there was a fiberglass 4’X8’ container that we have no idea what it was used for but unanimous speculation it may have been a stock feeding trough, but this is open for debate as well.

 

L-R: Mary Ann Wunderlin, Neal Du Shane marking grave, Kevin Hart

Photo Courtesy: Bonnie Helten

 

Kevin yelled up the hill “I found the Cemetery”, the three of us walked back down and on both sides of this incline road we found graves. Few female graves but the majority was adult male graves. Probably miners or travelers graves, as Lapham was on the main road from Senator Highway to Wagoner, Kirtland Junctions.

 

Only identifiable grave at Lapham Cemetery

Could this be Mr. Lapham the Teamster?

Photo courtesy: Kevin Hart

 

After reaching the area where Kevin Hart had found the grave, our research indeed found this to be the main Lapham Cemetery with potentially 30 graves in and about the general area. Contrary to modern layout of a cemetery having graves in a row, these graves were in no order and seemed to be buried at will.

 

Be cautious as there is a deep well along side the road that is very dangerous.

 

 

 

Please leave Historic Lapham as you found it, take only pictures and memories.

 

Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 011708

 

WebMaster: Neal Du Shane

 

n.j.duhane@comcast.net

 

Copyright ©2003-2007 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 (APCRP).

 

HOME | BOOSTER | CEMETERIES | EDUCATION | GHOST TOWNS | HEADSTONE 

MINOTTO | PICTURES | ROADS | JACK SWILLING | TEN DAY TRAMPS