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Published:February 12th, 2006 18:40 EST
Clifton, Ariz a town of the past?

Clifton, Ariz a town of the past?

By Inactive Writer

At first glance, Clifton seems merely another small town in Arizona. Walking through the old business district, Chase Creek, is an unique experience, despite the loneliness of a street that once was occupied by banks, saloons, stores and boarding houses. The sad view of the broken windows, faded paint and destroyed ceilings is what is left. Strangely, what remains is still appreciated by many. A town ready to collapse and forgotten by bigger cities in the surrounding area impress part of the wild West`s history.

Over time, the mining activity has grown stronger near Clifton. Driving further north outside of the town, you can visit the Phelps Dodge mining company. The view of the large hole created by the mining activity is frightening. Though even the hole carries a history, the history of the activity that separated and brought together diverse people and towns. Individual efforts to decentralize the economic dependency in the mining activity have failed due to lack of support, lack of resources and inevitable industrialization. Due to the highly expanding open pit copper mine nearby, towns such as Old Morenci no longer exist; however, Clifton remains alive.

Sparsely populated, Clifton still has proud and passionate residents. In the south entrance of Chase Creek, the small antique shop owner takes her time to greet the few tourists that stop by exclaiming her love for the forgotten town. Further north, the meeting with the gun shop owner is also pleasant and inviting. Residents share stories of a lively past. A rich western past that may disappear in the midst of Clifton`s decline.

Note: The author of this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP