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Ajo is a small, basically abandoned, copper mine town in southern Arizona near the Mexico border. This is where my dad grew up; at a time when the town itself was a thriving desert community revolving around the New Cornelia copper mine, which was owned by Phelps Dodge.

When the mines closed in 1985, many people, including many of my family members had to relocate for work. Now the town consists mostly of retirees. It’s quaint, desolate, and beautiful.

New Cornelia copper mine. The “Guest House” which was once a temporary home for Phelps Dodge executives has now been turned into a bed and breakfast, run by a very nice man named Mike who has owned it for over 21 years, the Ajo Cemetery, and the main road that runs through the city.

written by erin_kyle

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