The Mineral Park MineKingman Mine, in the Cerbat Mountains 14 miles northwest of Kingman, was first mined by Indians centuries before white man came to the area. It is one of the three sites of prehistoric mining localities in the state of Arizona. Mineral Park was the most extensively worked area by the Indians of the three. S.A. “Chuck” Colbaugh found a cache of stone hammers uncovered in ancient trenches and tunnels, when he had the turquoise mining concession in May of 1962. Ithaca Peak and Turquoise Mine (formally called Aztec Mountain or Aztec Peak) are the most famous of the peaks in the area containing turquoise.
Brought into the area, Hohokam hammers, dating back to 600 a.d., and the Navajo hammers were used for mining, polishing and finishing the turquoise. Also, found were occurrences of charcoal and skin water containers suggesting that the rock was first heated with fire, then cooled suddenly with water. This would cause fracturing. Using the hammers and picks, the Indians would cut the turquoise from the rock. The hammers are on display at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts and the Arizona State Museum in Phoenix.
In the late 1880’s to the early 1900’s, Mineral Park was mined by the Aztec Turquoise Co., the Los Angeles Gem Co., Arizona Turquoise Co., Southwest Turquoise Co. and Mineral Park Turquoise Co.
Chuck Colbaugh won the honor to represent Arizona in a competition held by the Smithsonian Institution for their gemstone exhibition that includes a gemstone that represents each of the 50 states. His cut cab is from Kingman Turquoise. He and his wife, Edith, donated to the Mohave Museum of History and Art in Kingman in the early 1970s thirty turquoise carvings from Kingman Turquoise. The carvings were done in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and Kofa, Japan.
Kingman Turquoise is now mined by S.A. Colbaugh’s grandson, Marty Colbaugh.