Chloride, AZ


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Chloride is a onetime silver mining camp in Mohave County, Arizona, and is considered the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state. Chloride has a ZIP Code of 86431; in 2000, the population of the 86431 ZCTA was 352.
Prospectors first located mineral resources in the area in the 1840s, including silver, gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise. Chloride was founded about 1863, but mining was not widespread until the 1870s after a treaty was signed with the Hualapai Indians. The railway from Kingman, called the Arizona and Utah Railway, was inaugurated on August 16, 1899 - the last silver spike was driven by Miss May Krider. The town eventually grew to a peak of around 5,000 inhabitants, and at one time Chloride was the county seat. By 1917 the population had fallen to 2,000, and by 1944 it was nearly a ghost town.
In the 1960s the community was briefly a counterculture magnet, with Roy Purcell, once a hippie artist, leaving behind the Chloride Murals outside of town. The Chloride Murals were restored from their 1960's condition in 2006 by the same artist, now widely known for his western etchings and other art which he refined while working as a curator for the Southern Nevada Museum in Henderson, Nevada and which were sold worldwide from nearby Las Vegas, Nevada casinos and shops.