Vulture Mine Ghost Town School

Vulture Mine Ghost Town School and playground is a reminder of times past.

The Vulture Mine began in 1863 when Henry Wickenburg, a prospector from California’s gold rush, discovered a quartz outcropping containing gold. To support the men and their families, the small mining town of Vulture City developed. The city once had several thousand citizens with such amenities as a brothel, mess hall, post office, and school.

In 1942 during World War II most gold mines were shut down as the government regarded them as ‘non-essential’ as they did not produce “essential metals,” necessary for building ships, tanks, airplanes, and bullets. Since Vulture Mine was not in this category, it was closed and abandoned.


We visited Vulture Mine Ghost Town in the spring of 2010 and captured the photograph below.

Vulture Mine School Seesaw
Vulture Mine – Wickenburg Arizona 3


Fast forward to 2019. Vulture Mine Ghost Town has now been split into a modern working mine and Vulture City. The new owners of Vulture City are restoring the town with many different exciting projects.

Vulture Mine School was built at the far northeast part of town, so it is now on the other side of the current mining claim. So the school now finds itself alone on BLM land. Since the mining company has constructed large dirt berms around the property, blocking the old road for privacy, finding the school has become more of a challenge.

Vulture Mine School

On our latest visit, the Vulture Mine school is still standing but time is taking a toll on the building and the desert has overtaken the seesaw. However, the slide and the swings are still there.

Vulture Mine School Playground

As you can see in the photograph above the swings are in good shape, and the ground under them is clear of any plants. So are the ghosts of the children that attended this school still going out to play?

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