Small Town Guide Congress Az former Gold Mine

Congress, AZ is a city of just under 2000 residents. It is mostly a white community composed of agriculture workers. Most residents only have a high school education and they have a lower income than the rest of Arizona. The city is in the Yavapai County. It is a total of about 37 miles. Though small, it does have its own post office. Congress is a gold-mining ghost town which makes an excellent retirement community. Congress Junction was its former name.

The elevation of the town is over 3,000 so this is a snow area in the wintertime. This town can receive about two inches of snow during the winter or fall. This is an area that experiences flooding frequently. Congress has winter temperatures ranging from between 45 and 50F. Summertime average temperatures are around 80F. It is not uncommon to have many days reach 100F.

This town is largely Roman Catholic as far as faith considered. It also has a strong ‘other’ following not Mormon or Southern Baptist. Other includes charismatic, Christian, Lutheran and Assemblies of God.

Convenience stores, grocery stores, superstores and restaurants provide numerous opportunities for shoppers.     

Congress has a small county park, Tenderfoot Hill Park. It is a picnic area with barbecue grills and a playground for children and two softball fields and a basketball court. It is a scenic area and a place to get out in nature. It also has restrooms and drinking fountains.

The gold mine at Congress is the main site to see. At its heyday, Congress was two town Mill Town and Lower town. Mill town had the mines. It contained the company offices and hospital. The Lower town contained most of the residences and businesses. It was to the south of the mines. The mine remained and produced millions of dollars in gold between 1884 and 1899. The cemetery is the only thing that remains in Lower town. Dennis May received the credit for discovering the gold mine at Congress on March 25, 1884. Lack of water made the town undesirable, and it declined until the railroad station became established. Today, residents use the original buildings that remain in the area.

The other point of interest is the Santa Fe, Phoenix, and Prescott Railroad. With the completion of the railroad, came to beginning of the post office at Congress Junction. The railroad station gave this community life. It brought nearly 400 men to the area. The post office closed in August 1938 and re-opened in November at Congress Junction.