The Arabia District was located by George Lovelock in 1859, but its richest mine - the Montezuma - wasn't extensively worked until the 1860s. Milling was done at Oreana, starting with a five-stamp mill in 1865, with a smelter added in 1867. Silver lead ore was the commodity, and the smelter was the first west of the Missouri River which shipped lead commercially. By 1868, the Montezuma produced 1500 tons of ore, with a reserve of another 1200 tons. Reportedly, the ore was so rich that each ton of silver also produced a half ton of lead.

In the 1870s, work slowed and finally came to a close after the Oreana smelter was destroyed by fire. By 1875, the Montezuma had produced $455,000 in silver and 3150 tons of lead. Arabia was abandoned, and wouldn't see any production until after the turn of the century. From 1916 until 1918, slag piles from the old smelter were shipped to Midvale, Utah to recover remaining silver, lead, and antimony ore, and from 1919 until 1930 lessees worked the area. Not much was produced, and by 1936 Arabia was again deserted.

I Visited Arabia

See Also