Martinez Mine and the Coke Ovens
The Martinez Mine and the Coke Ovens are northeast of Florence Arizona in the central part of the state. Since I grew up east of Florence in the Hayden/Winkelman area, my friends and I were going into the area in the 1970's. The Coke Ovens were accessible but access to the Martinez Mine was blocked off. In recent years, the area has become extremely attractive to off-road travelers of all types. We rarely go back into the area. My photos of the Martinez Mine were taken right after it was opened by the BLM.
The Martinez Mine was operational from 1880 to 1971. It produced a variety of metals including lead, silver, copper, gold, and zinc. It also apparently produced barium and fluorine ores.
Click on photos to enlarge:
A few miles to the east of the Martinez Mine over an interesting 4wd road are the Coke Ovens. These Coke Ovens,built before 1900, were actually Charcoal Ovens that were used to produce charcoal, not coke from the mesquite trees growing nearby on the banks of the Gila River. Charcoal was used in the reduction of the ores of several metals most notably silver.
There are five ovens. They are located on private property. Access to the ovens comes and goes. One of the ovens has been cemented to become more weathertight. The owner was considering turning the group into a bed and breakfast! If it is a particularly dry year and the water level in Gila River drops dramatically, access to the ovens can be had very quickly.