Known in Yavapai as Wikanyacha "rough, black range of rocks", and
to European explorers as the Silver Mountain Range, the Bradshaw
Mountains are a mountain range in the Sonoran Desert of central
Arizona, later named for brothers Isaac and William Bradshaw.
The first known settlements in the
Bradshaws were a group of Yavapai Indians, called the Kwevkapaya who
built forts and mined copper from around AD 1100 to 1600. Apaches
occupied the area around 1800 as a means of keeping White settlers
out. But by 1863, a party led by William Bradshaw was in the
area, followed by the Walker party. In 1864, a group of five white
settlers was attacked by Apaches at what is now called Battle Flat.
One of the settlers went for help, but upon his return found the
Apaches had left.
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The Walker party found gold, and within a few years, the Bradshaws
were filling up with settlers mining for gold, silver, and copper. In
the early part of the 20th century, most of the towns that had sprung
up were little more than ghost towns.
Located approximately 5 miles south
of Prescott, Arizona, between the Agua Fria River on the east, and the
Hassayampa River on the west, the range is 40 miles long, and almost
25 miles wide.
- Mount Union, named during the Civil War,
is the highest, at 7,979 feet.
- Mount Davis second highest at
7,897 feet, named for Jefferson Davis.
- Spruce Mountain 7,696
feet, misnamed for Douglas firs mistaken for Spruces.
- Mount Tritle
7,793 feet, named for Frederick Augustus Tritle Governor of Arizona
- Towers Mountain 7,628 feet
Mountain 7,443 feet
- Mount Wasson
The Bradshaw Mountains consist
primarily of precambrian granite, gneiss and schist.
The biotic community of the Bradshaws
ranges from interior chaparral and montane conifer forest, to plains
and desert grassland, and Sonoran desert scrub. Many species of trees
are found in the Bradshaws, including Piρon, Alligator Juniper,
Ponderosa pine, Blue Spruce, Quaking Aspen, White fir, and Douglas
fir. As well, much wildlife is present, including javelinas, Mule
deer, wild turkey and Short-horned Lizards.
Several creeks have
been dammed to form reservoirs, including Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake,
Lake Marapai, Hassayampa Lake, Horsethief Lake, and Cedar Tank.
Gold was first discovered in the
Bradshaws in the 1863, over $2,000,000 worth being taken from just the
Crowned King Mine. Copper and silver were also mined in the
early part of the 20th century.
Ghost towns and other settlements
over 40 ghost towns in the Bradshaw Mountains, including
Bumble Bee, Goodwin,
Much of the Bradshaw Mountains
are on Prescott National Forest land. Other parks include Horsethief
Basin Recreational Area, Lynx Lake Recreational Area, and the Castle
Bradshaw Mountain Railroad
The railroad was
incorporated on February 6, 1901. It commenced grading from the
Prescott & Eastern connection at Mayer on September 10, 1901.
The Bradshaw Mountain
Railroad was built to serve the mines of the southern Bradshaw
Mountains. Unfortunately, these mines were never very
productive, and the BMRR was a financial failure. The line from
Middleton to Crown King was abandoned in 1926, and both the Crown King
and Poland branches were abandoned in 1939. Much of the road to
Crown King uses the old railbed.