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It is located 5 miles east of Mayer on the Agua Fria River.  A permit from the State Land Department is required to visit since parts are on State Trust Land.  The original town sat on the banks of the Agua Fria River that flows year round. Its US post office began December 15, 1882 and was terminated September 15, 1927. The town is named in honor of Isaac T. Stoddard. The town had a school, a boardinghouse, a general store, auto garages, and saloons except during prohibition. Many of the homes were a combination of tent and board. Its maximum population was 300.

Nearby copper mines supported the town; the most noted mines were the Stoddard, the Binghampton, and the Copper Queen. Most are northwest of the river and the town. Several are very impressive. Shafts go down to 1000 feet.

History reflects two mills were built, unusual for such a small area. Most impressive was the copper smelter.  A few foundations remain as well as the old warehouse and other house chimneys in the area. After studying many of the old buildings’ photographs, most appeared not to have had foundations, but instead were built quickly on cement blocks. When you walk the area, one suddenly comes across a pile of nails where a house or a business once stood. As with most ghost towns throughout the West once they turned "ghosts", ranchers and nearby townsfolk salvaged all the lumber. This was especially true during the depression. There is, also, an old meat house built into the hillside and a couple of water pumping stations hidden along the river banks.

Mines are literally everywhere around Stoddard. There are several locations that I recommend visiting.  First, the impressive slag piles. They fill an entire canyon with pure white sand as if hauled in from White Sands National Park. Slag was a by-product from the nearby smelter, made up of metal oxides and silicon dioxides. It’s not wise to breathe this stuff so travel slowly when crossing. Second, the smelter area is worth a visit as well as the two mill sites. There is, also, an old wooden shoot that still stands. See map for locations.  After World War I ended in 1918, the need for cooper declined. Finally in 1927, the town post office closed. Stoddard became a ghost town, but had a brief comeback during the years of 1945 to 1950.

During the last 5 years much of the Stoddard area has been mined for landscape rock. I recommend visiting Stoddard in the fall or winter months. During summer monsoons and spring runoff the Agua Fria River can suddenly flood, and one has to cross it to get to Stoddard.  

For more information on Stoddard click here.

Google Map

Smelter Location



Smelter Foundations


Mill Equipment



Mill Site



Old Meat House




Hillside Ore Trough



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