Ajo has been my home for the past 26 years. Ajo is located in south western Arizona about 30 miles north of the Mexican border (40 by road). It was the first copper mine in the Arizona territory back in 1854. Later in 1917 it became the first open-pit copper mine. It remained in production until 1985 when the copper prices were too low to support continued operation.
At the peak it had a population of around 8000 people, currently has about 4000. Ajo's population and economy has been recovering steadily since the mine shutdown. You can find more about Ajo on the internet at the Ajo Chamber of Commerce website or the Ajo Copper News website. Just put them into your search engine.
Sentinel is to the northwest of Ajo. It is located on a major highway (Interstate 8) between Gila Bend and Yuma, Arizona. Once upon a time in the 1800's Sentinel was a stagecoach stop and then a water stop for the steam engine locomotives. It is a very small community in a farming area today. Population less than 100 would be my guess.
The Ajo Copper News began publication in 1916 and continues to publish a weekly paper to this day. I am the secretary of the Ajo Historical Society. We have issues of this paper going back to 1930. The Copper News has records from 1935 to date without any gaps. Earlier issues are on microfilm.
If you have some particular question that you would like me to search in our Society's archives at the Museum I would be glad to do a look up.
good luck in your search
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