Border To Border

Marked by a big “C” inscribed in the hillside above it, the near-ghost town of Chloride (pop. 352), which is 53 miles south of Hoover Dam and 15 miles north of Kingman, then 4 miles east of the highway on a well-marked paved road, is the oldest and among the most evocative former mining camps in Arizona. Following the discovery of silver here in the 1860s, mining activities continued through the 1940s; the town is now preserved by its dedicated residents.

A couple of stores and a restaurant still cling to life, and occasional festivals and flea markets draw sizable crowds of visitors. Mostly what there is to see are the odd bits of “folk art” so often found in the American desert: strange front-yard sculptures made of rusting metal and odd bits of junk, plus comical tributes to the mythology of the Wild West, like a fake “Boot Hill” cemetery with laconic epitaphs and hand-painted signs playing up the apocryphal legacy of the local “Hangin’ Judge” Jim Beam.