Silver Bell Cemetery

This post was from our Fall 2020 newsletter article on the Silver Bell Historical Society.

The earliest community in this area was Pelton, which boasted a population of 276 people in 1882 and lasted until about 1901. The town supported the Young America and Old Boot mines. Today, remains of the smelter site can be seen as well as a dozen or more graves at its cemetery site.

The Old Boot mine had its beginning about 1865 and was purchased and revitalized by wealthy investors from Tucson. In 1902, most of the mines in the area were acquired by the Imperial Copper Company, which created the first community of Silver Bell. As many as 1,000 people lived there. The town boasted mercantile stores, saloons, laundries, bakeries, a post office, a hospital, and a school. Silver Bell lasted until the early 1930s when the mines shut down.

A railroad was built between Red Rock on the Southern Pacific Railroad and Silver Bell. A large smelter and electric power house served the mines at the community of Sasco in Pinal County. The railroad passed through Sasco (a town of 600 people) on its way to Silver Bell. The ruins of Sasco still stand today. The old railroad bed can be found in many areas and railroad spikes can be found along its bed today.

There were 131 recorded burials at the Silver Bell Cemetery, which is protected by the Bureau of Land Management (and the Ironwood Forest National Monument). Residents of Silver Bell as well as ranchers from the area were buried there.

The Silver Bell Historical Society was formed in the summer of 2018 with a vision of preserving the history of the communities that existed within the Silver Bell Mountains of Pima County, Arizona. Every member of the board of directors lived in the town of Silver Bell, which existed from 1951 until 1984. They are dedicated to maintaining a community spirit among those who lived in Silver Bell, as well as their descendants.

The Society’s website is

Their mailing address is PO Box 13572, Tucson, AZ 85732.

Another article about the Silver Bell Cemetery