No Place for Old Men:
The F-150 made the slight turn off Ghost Town Road leaving the comfort of gravel for the soft dirt. Just off to the left a few hundred yards you can see the outline of the Congress Cemetery not to be confused with the Old Historic Congress Pioneer Cemetery which is found about a half mile around the bend; tucked tight to the hillside.
“Be prepared as there are several children’s graves. They’re the toughest.” rang the words from the woman who ran the little antique store down the road on Hwy 89.
She was right, one where a toy cowboy pistol had been placed on the small one foot by two foot plot, the plastic handle now bone-white from the Arizona sun.
Almost noon the wind was soft and cool giving a visitor time to dream of life back in 1884 Congress after the first gold discovery. The cemetery followed in 1887, a reminder of a tough way of life and early death.
It is said the mine produced just over eight million in gold into the mid-1930’s. For the most part overshadowed by the gold strikes in California it was said that the mine was visited by Grover Cleveland, the US President of the time because of it’s consistent offering of wealth.
Another tiny wood marker beat by the weather; just tall splinters held vertical by dirt and rock. The wind is warmer and the dust is kicking up as I close the metal gate. I’m only reminded of the old saying that “God protects fools and children.”…I’m guessing surly miners too.