NAME: Nugget
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Winter, summer, spring
COMMENTS: See Below.
REMAINS: There are existing ruins at Nugget if you know where to look.  The road is rough, rocky, and if wet can be very difficult to travel because of the softness of the red clay.  If it is dry and if the road in the canyon has not been washed out by flooding, any high clearance vehicle can reach the old mill site.  If you hope to drive past that point four wheel drive will be required.

Nugget is located on Nugget Wash which flows between Nugget Mesa and Nugget Mountain,on the south side of Nugget Mesa.  Nugget was the mill town for the many silver mines in the area, including those in Richmond Basin, Mexican Canyon, and Nugget Wash.  It is accessed by taking the Apache Trail north from Globe-Miami for about five miles, where you take Hicks Road for about three miles to the Bixby Ranch, continue past the ranch on Hicks Road for about 1/4 mile then turn right on Nugget Mesa Road (primitive).  Continue up Nugget Mesa (which is really a long alluvial ridge with a flat sloping top) and the road will eventually drop off to the right into Nugget Wash, at this point you are almost to the old Mill Site, and the road can become difficult depending on how much run-off has occurred.  Shortly after the road does a minor hair-pin in and out of a little feeder canyon you will see the concrete and rock ruins of the old silver stamp mill.  The road turns into a true jeep trail with very rare maintenance from this point, I could only make it as far as the Nuggetwash Spring in a four-wheel drive truck.  If you continue up the wash (probably by foot) you will eventually come the the Nugget Mine about a mile above the mill site, on the north slope of Nugget Mountain.

In addition to the sizable mill foundations, about fifty feet north of the mill is a well defined Salado Indian pueblo with walls up to about three feet high.  Scattered up the wash are several mines and prospects, a few foundations or tent-house flats, and various other relics of the former citizens.  Near the spring someone has recently pioneered a road across the wash and up the side of Nugget Mountain, but it was far too sticky and soft for me to drive on it.  It is most likely to provide access to a claim that someone is doing assessment work on.

Nugget was primarily used to mill the rich silver ore from Richmond Basin, and probably never had more than a few hundred people living there.  There was a post office, which is said by Will C. Barnes to have been the one that served the larger Richmond Basin community, and there were a few bars, a small store, and most likely a place to provide commercial female companionship.

I knew a machinist, named Chastain, who worked at Inspiration Copper in 1964 who worked silver and hand made a concho belt out of silver nuggets which he found inside an old dried out saddle bag in the vicinity of nugget wash.  They were native silver so pure that he was able to hammer out the conchos with no refining of the nuggets.  This is consistent with historical accounts of the ore in Richmond Basin, of which over $100,000 worth of sliver nuggets were collect by hand just lying on the ground.

Virgil Alexander

Nugget's post office was established January 7, 1881 and discontinued March 10, 1884. The mine responsible for this town was discovered by a man who didn't realize its value and traded it for a mule. Soon after that, a town sprang up and ore was being shipped to San Francisco. There was a saloon, general stores, and more. Today, nothing is left of Nugget.