Arizona - Mining On Navajo Reservation Lands.
MINING ON NAVAHO RESERVATION LANDS ?
(WPA – Arizona) McDonald, John. (Mining Engineer); William Alberts (Project Supervisor) and J.P. Dunaway (Supervisor. An intriguing photo album & typescript report documenting mines operating illegally, and owned by companies in Arizona, and California, without the property claims, or leases, in order to pay the State, or Federal Government as W.P.A. Project, #890 from July 1, 1937 to Sept., 10, 1938]. Phoenix, AZ: Works Progress Administration, Arizona State Land Dept., 1938. Oblong folio. 15.5 x 11.5 in. [38 pp (unpaginated).], on thick black paper stock. With 11 mounted typescript explanatory leaves, all stamped w/ Mining Engineer’s embossed stamp, 38 silver gelatin photographs, nearly all sized 2.75 x 4.5 in., other is panoramic composite photo sized 2.75 x 9 in., all w/ typescript numbering keyed to explanatory mounted text, tape on larger panoramic. Contemporary black pebbled board post-binder, embossed front cover, embossed lettering, punch-sewn at gutter margin w/ black silk braid. Expected minor wear, overall in vg cond.
This suppressed photo album WPA report reveals a number of mining companies operating without leases, or approval near the San Simon River close to the Arizona-New Mexico border, and other mineral lands moving West along the Gila-Salt River Principal Meridian. McDonald bitterly notes in his introductory letter that he was expected to cover 406 ranges of six square miles of territory with no assistant for three months, and was “furnished no tools or equipment from the Land Department, except, one Ford Pickup, and maintenance for same, a few lead pencils, and some scratch paper,” but had to provide his own camera. “The work was dis- continued about the middle of September, 1938 after certain irregularities had come up in regard to the leasing of certain mining claims in the Chloride District to favored parties.” He photographed mines such claimed by the United Vanadium Corp. in Banner Mining District, Gila County; Filtroil Co. Manganese mining operations in Sanders, Apache County; the Ideal Mine, Blackwell Mine, Niel Mine, Payroll Mine, Minnesota-Connor Mine, Badger Mine, East Tennessee Mine, and many others operating on Arizona State and Arizona School owned lands without leases, lease permits, or payments to the State Government. He details how many mines are under further construction, featuring improvements representing thousands of dollars to buildings, milling plants, and mining shafts, with operating on some of the largest deposits of low grade Manganese in the U.S., with potential value of millions of dollars. Furthermore he notes in one explanatory typescript page all reports, maps, ad photos “can be found in the Attorney General’s office unless they have been destroyed.” McDonald (1874-1948) was a longtime Arizona, and Mexico mining engineer whose ranch was located near Phoenix, AZ. From the records in the “Living New Deal,” and other WPA be found in the Attorney General’s office unless they have been destroyed.” McDonald (1874-1948) was a longtime Arizona, and Mexico mining engineer whose ranch was located near Phoenix, AZ. From the records in the “Living New Deal,” and other WPA project registrations, and government reports published from 1937-1940, we were unable to find any mention of this specific Project No. 890, and published references to Alberts & Dunaway are at best minimal. Many of these mining operations appear to have been
operating at the time on Navajo Reservation lands.
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