- Ajo, Arizona
official_name = Ajo, Arizona
settlement_type = CDP
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Pima County and the state of
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Pima
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 72.7
area_total_sq_mi = 28.1
area_land_km2 = 72.7
area_land_sq_mi = 28.1
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
elevation_ft = 1759
elevation_m = 536
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 3705
population_density_km2 = 51.0
population_density_sq_mi = 131.9
timezone = MST (no
daylight saving time)
utc_offset = -7
latd = 32 |latm = 22 |lats = 53 |latNS = N
longd = 112 |longm = 52 |longs = 10 |longEW = W
postal_code = 85321
area_code = 520
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 04-00870
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0000538
settlement_type = CDP
Ajo is a
census-designated place(CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 3,705 at the 2000 census. Ajo is located on State Route 85 just 43 miles from the Mexican border. It is the closest community to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
"Ajo" (pronounced "ah-ho") is the Spanish word for
garlic. The Spanish may have named the place using the familiar word in place of the similar-sounding O'odham word for paint ("oʼoho"). The Tohono O'odhampeople obtained red paint pigmentsfrom the area.
Spaniardsand Americans have all extracted mineral wealth from Ajo's abundant oredeposits. In the early nineteenth century, there was a Spanish mine nicknamed "Old Bat Hole". It was later abandoned due to Indian raids. The first Angloin Ajo, Tom Childs, on the way to the silver mines near Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, arrived in 1847 and found the deserted mine complete with a 60-foot shaft, mesquiteladders, and rawhidebuckets. High-grade native coppermade Ajo the first copper mine in Arizona. Soon the Arizona Mining & Trading company, formed by Peter M. Brady, a friend of Childs, worked the rich surface ores, shipping loads around Cape Hornfor smelting in Swansea, Wales, in the mid 1880s. The mine closed when a ship sank off the coast of Patagonia. Long supply lines and the lack of water discouraged large mining companies
With the advent of new recovery methods for low-grade ore, Ajo boomed. In 1911, Col.
John Campbell Greenway, a Rough Riderand star Yaleathlete, bought the New Cornelia minefrom John Boddie. He became general manager of the Calumet and the Arizona mining company and expanded it on a grand scale. In 1921, Phelps Dodge, the nation's largest copper company, bought New Cornelia and the mine became the New Cornelia Branch of Phelps Dodge, managed by Michael Curley. For several decades more than 1,000 men worked for Phelps Dodge in the open pit mine. The mine closed in 1985, following a bitter strike and a depressed copper market. Ajo is now home to many retired people, Border Patrolagents, and young families.
Plants of the
Sonoran Desertthrive at Ajo, including saguaros and ocotillos. The Ajo lily or Desert lily, an onion-like plant, also grows in the area.
Ajo and the surrounding area is the only place in the United States where the mineral
papagoitecan be found.
"In the year 1884, the camp at Ajo was practically abandoned. Not a soul was in camp when Tom Childs Sr., and his son arrived. With them was
Washington Michael Jacobsof Tucson, Arizona...Childs and Jacobs located the mining claim which constituted most of the old Ajo group of mines. They made a permanent camp and worked the mines..." - The Ancient Mines of Ajo by Dan Rose
Ajo is located at coor dms|32|22|53|N|112|52|10|W|city (32.381348, -112.869407)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 28.1 square miles (72.7 km²), all of it land.
mineral ajoitewas first found at the New Cornelia Mine, Ajo. [W.H. Blackburn and W.H. Dennen, (1997), "Encyclopedia of Mineral Names", Ottawa, Mineralogical Association of Canada]
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 3,705 people, 1,659 households, and 1,088 families residing in the CDP. The population densitywas 132.0 people per square mile (51.0/km²). There were 2,485 housing units at an average density of 88.5/sq mi (34.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.70% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 6.88% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.15% from other races, and 4.64% from two or more races. 37.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,659 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 17.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 32.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $25,618, and the median income for a family was $29,310. Males had a median income of $28,000 versus $18,571 for females. The
per capita incomefor the CDP was $14,548. About 16.5% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.5% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
Ajo Unified School District is the only school district in Ajo, Arizona. There is currently an
elementary school, junior high school, and high school, all of which are located in the same area. The high school currently has a football team, basketballteam (both boys and girls) , baseballteam (boys), softballteam (girls), golfteam, and track & field. They are known as the Ajo Red Raiders.
New Cornelia mine
* [http://www.ajochamber.com Ajo Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.ajoschools.org Ajo Unified School District]
* [http://www.cunews.info Ajo's hometown newspaper, the Ajo Copper News]
* [http://www.smalltownpapers.com/listAJO.htm Ajo Copper News Archives]
* [http://cabezaprieta.org Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association]
* [http://www.untraveledroad.com/USA/Arizona/Pima/Ajo.htm untraveledroad Ajo in 584 images]
Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Ajo
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
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