Between Patagonia and the Mexican border several boomtowns flourished in the late 1800s. A 23-mile drive south on Harshaw Road and Duquesne Road traverses the Harshaw Mining District and the Patagonia Mining District in which remains of these short-lived towns are located. Now a ghost town, Harshaw was one of nine mining camps in the area that saw waves of prospectors come and go in the 19th century.
The boomtown began in 1877 when David Harshaw began mining on his property. By 1880, the town had a post office, a newspaper named The Arizona Bullion, 2000 residents, boarding houses, saloons, corrals, and stores. A devastating fire and a drop in the price of silver in 1882 started the demise of the town and it struggled on until 1903, when the post office was discontinued. The well-maintained Harshaw cemetery on the right of FR49 is an interesting place to visit. Many of the graves include stories about the person or families buried there. Many old graves are unmarked, but elaborate flower arrangements and mementos decorate the many identified graves on the hillside, dating back as far as 1885.
That very year, Harshaw was also struck by a massive thunderstorm that caused fires and nearly wiped Harshaw of the map. Around 80% of Harshaw was abandoned by the end of 1882. In 1887, for the price of $600, James Finley purchased the abandoned mine. This was a sort of resurrection for the almost abandoned town. Finley continued operation of Harshaw Mine until his death in 1903. This is when the population began to decline once more.
Abandoned once again, in 1937, the Arizona Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) reopened the nearby Flux and Trench Mines, which brought a few residents back to the area. Asarco continued mining in the area until 1956. Today, there are just a few remnants left of this old community, including the James Finley home, a tin-roofed adobe residence that is still occupied, a crumbling home, and the cemetery. Just south of the site is the remains of the Harshaw/Trench Camp Church and mining remnants.