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The Mineral Belt Railroad LbNA #62051

Owner:Viejo Contact
Plant date:Jun 1, 2012
Found by: Not yet found!
Last found: N/A
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:Jun 1, 2012
Letterbox is in an ammo can near the Rim Road (FR 300). May be closed during the winter. FR 300 is very rough and dusty in places but a passenger car can navigate it, although I wouldn’t take mine. An SUV or truck would do fine.

Coordinates are: N 34° 27.016, W 111° 14.768. Good Luck!

Nearby is GC360 (Rim RR Depot) and the Tunnel Trail going to an abandoned tunnel dug in 1880s. There was no track layed on the rim so the cache is just in the vicinity of the planned rail line.

The following is excerpted from a Payson Roundup newspaper article.

In 1883, the news broke throughout Union Park (Payson’s name at the time) that eastern financiers, including magnates of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, were sponsoring a railroad line that would come from Flagstaff down through the Tonto Basin.

The announced plan was to link the transcontinental railroad at Flagstaff with the mines of Globe. The name of the line was to be “The Mineral Belt Railroad.” It would open up the lumber market in the north, the minerals of Tonto country and Globe, the coal at San Carlos, and the import/export possibilities of a seaport.

Then in 1884, a panic hit Wall Street and the involvement of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was withdrawn and on Oct. 15, 1887, Col. Eddy’s funding had run out and backers were withdrawing their support. He could not meet the payroll, and in December, Riordan, who owned the sawmill in Flagstaff and his partners bought the railroad at a tax auction for $40,440.

It was incorporated as the Central Arizona Railway Company and would be used to haul timber to the lumber mill at Flagstaff but when another financial crash hit Wall Street in 1893, all hopes were dashed. Payson and the Tonto Basin would never become rail centers.

After this, Payson, Pleasant Valley and the Tonto Basin quit looking toward Flagstaff for economic salvation and turned their attention toward Globe. That change of purview helped politicians in 1889 carve out of Yavapai County what would become Northern Gila County.