The author, Norma Jean Richards Yount, lived the "Golden Years" 1937-1942 in a small gold mining camp of Goldroad, Arizona and will never forget the experiences she shared with family and friends. Goldroad Arizona on Historic Route 66, is the story of her family and other families who lived in this small gold mining camp of Goldroad during the Great Depression. Here they found a safe harbor in a terrible storm. Included are stories about Oatman, Kingman, Katherine, and the Cyclopic Mill. Also included are her summer vacations with her Uncle Joe,who was a cattle inspector on Hoover Dam, and who also ran cattle on the Cyclopic Ranch.
The author’s purpose in sharing her memories is her desire to show that imperfect people, who live in an imperfect world, who honor their
commitments in their everyday lives by doing the ordinary mundane things required of them, will produce posterity who will also honor their commitments in their imperfect world.
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The Great Depression of 1929 brought many unfamiliar problems and unusual situations into the lives of the families and individuals who were caught up in its terrifying grasp. The day-to-day worry of how to put a roof over their heads and put food in their mouths was always foremost in their minds. My family, the Bill Richards family, was one of the many families from the closed Fierro/ Hanover New Mexico mines who found Goldroad Arizona as a safe harbor in a terrible storm.
These families who found their way to Goldroad when it reopened in March 1937 were grateful for the opportunity, for the first time in five or more years, to once again feel secure in their ability to provide for their families. Day-to-day living in Goldroad offered many varied experiences.
One such happening was the great Okie migration that made its way along the now famous Historic Route 66 that passed through Goldroad. Desperate families in old worn-out cars and trucks with all their earthly goods tied on top, made their way to California, the promised land, which was just a few short miles from Goldroad across the Colorado River. The Grapes of Wrath movie passed before their eyes almost on a daily basis.
Another was the surprise attack December 7, 1941 by Japan on Pearl Harbor which threw our country into World War II and quickly put an end to life in Goldroad and sealed the fate of Goldroad as an operating gold mine for the next fifty years. The closure in early 1942 sent the supervisors and most of the miners and other workers in Goldroad to the company's new lead-zinc mine they had been forced to develop in Vanadium, a mining district located near Silver City, New Mexico.
The nightly troop convoys the summer of 1942, before her family left Goldroad in November 1942, was one more reminder that the country was at war. The laughter and talk of these young soldiers, on their way to to who knows where or what, bounced off the high, rock cliffs as their noisy troop carriers wound their way on steep grades and winding curves through a silent, dying gold mining camp.
Norma Jean Richards Yount