Exploring Arizona

Explore the Reymert (DeNoon), Arizona Ghost Town

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reymert denoon arizona kiln smelter ovens ghost town
DeNoon Kilns

We recently ventured out in the desert east of Phoenix to explore the Reymert, AZ Ghost Town. This is the only smelter complex that used to service the Reymert Mine. The direction signs all say Reymert, but it turns out this ghost town is actually the remains of a town called DeNoon. The mining town of Reymert was located about 2 miles east, has been completely destroyed, and there is now a privately owned mining operation on the former townsite.

reymert denoon kilns ovens arizona ghost town
DeNoon Kilns

James DeNoon Reymert founded the town of Reymert in 1887, and the post office was established in 1890 but discontinued in 1891. He also founded the adjacent town of DeNoon, which was the milling and smelting town. The processing kilns are the ruins you can still see today. This small town, of up to 150 people, was short-lived. Although silver was mined in the Reymert area up to the 1950s, both towns were abandoned shortly after the post office shut down. In the 1970s, a Phoenix-based company bulldozed the Reymert townsite.

Stone Wall opposite the Kilns

Ok, enough history…let’s get exploring! Upon arrival, one’s first instinct is to head straight for the huge kilns that are still standing. instead, I headed up the hill across the wash to investigate a rock wall that we had seen on a previous trip.

The rock wall stretches 30 or 40 feet, and appears to support a flat dirt foundation on top. Other than that, there is no evidence of mining or processing up there. Maybe a vantage point to oversee operations? It definitely provides a great view of the smelter kilns!

Reymert DeNoon Arizona stone wall ruins

I can’t imagine how brutal life was out here in the late 1800s. Hot, unforgiving desert, building huge stone structures. The craftsmanship is amazing, especially considering it has lasted for over a hundred years!

stone wall ruins

I walked around the front of the wall and followed it as it traversed the hillside. Some serious work went into the construction!

old rusty relics
Rusty Relic
old pottery sherds
Old Pottery
old pottery sherds
Pottery Sherds

Scattered below the wall were bits of rusty metal, old cans, and even a few pottery pieces. The pottery we found here had a more modern glaze than the Native American pottery found in the area, but was definitely old!

Reymert DeNoon Arizona stone wall ruins spring pipes wash
Natural Spring, pipes in the wash

I made my way back down the hill to the wash to meet the others, where they found the foundation of an old windmill and evidence of a natural spring. Pipes lay in the wash, presumably bringing water down hill to hydrate the cattle in the area.

Reymert / DeNoon Kilns ghost town
Reymert / DeNoon Kilns

Coming back out of the wash, the kilns cam into view. What an awesome sight to see in the middle of the desert!

Reymert / DeNoon Kilns ghost town

There are may old iron bolts sticking out of the wash, and around the complex, so be careful.

Reymert / DeNoon Kilns
DeNoon / Reymert Kilns
Reymert / DeNoon Kilns ghost town

The Kilns still had burned and melted silica stuck to the bricks. The construction is stone, concrete, and brick.

Reymert / DeNoon Kilns ghost town
Quite a view!
Stone Structure Just North of Kilns
Stone Structure Just North of Kilns

We explored the kilns, then headed out in search of the rest of the town ruins in the area. Within a few hundred feet, we spotted the first stone structure.

Stone Structure Just North of Kilns Reymert DeNoon Arizona ghost town
Two-room structure

This appeared to be a two-room building, and with it’s close proximity to the processing plant it might be the main office or possibly the remains of the post office. Who knows.

Stone Structure Just North of Kilns Reymert DeNoon Arizona ghost town
Hard to see from the road!
Stone Structure Just North of Kilns Reymert DeNoon Arizona ghost town
Still standing after a century or more!
Stone Structure Just North of Kilns Reymert DeNoon Arizona ghost town
Stone structure on the north side of the road.
Narrow door!
Stone Structure Just North of Kilns Reymert DeNoon Arizona ghost town

We then made out way to the main road, and explored both sides, finding a dozen or so stone structures. Some were in better shape than others, but a lot of work went into all of them. This is a humbling reminder of what it was like to live in this area in the late 1800s. Stone walls, dirt floors, cactus, snakes, scorpions, and HEAT! All in hopes of making a living in the mining industry.

old bottle pottery sherd arizona salado red ghost town ancient
Old thick glass. bottle, Pottery sherd
old bottle pottery sherd arizona salado red ghost town ancient
Amazing artifacts!

Further up the hill, on the opposite side of the road, we found more evidence of human occupation. Old thick glass bottle pieces, pottery sherds, and even stone tools were found. If you choose to bushwack up to these areas, please be respectful and replace these artifacts where you found them.

stone axe grinding tool ancient indian artifact native american
Ancient stone tool!

One of the most amazing finds of the day was a stone tool, possibly a grinding stone or ancient axe head was found near a stone wall. Every other stone in the area is square and naturally shaped. This one was definitely worked and shaped with a purpose.

ancient salado red pottery sherd
Pottery sherd

We also found many small pottery pieces, that looked like Salado Red pottery, commonly found in this area. One of the people with us on this trip has a friend who is an archeologist, and they confirmed that’s what it might be, but they’d need a lot more to really tell for sure.

ancient indian native american arrowhead tools
Arrowhead? Small blade?
ancient indian native american arrowhead tools
Cutting tools / arrowheads

We even found some sharpened stone, possible arrowheads, or knife pieces. These were definitely carefully worked by human hands. What an exciting day!

Stone wall near Reymert / DeNoon ancient mining ghost town
Stone wall near Reymert / DeNoon

There is so much to see if you take your time and look around these amazing historic areas. This seemingly unlivable desert has been a home to ancient people for centuries before miners came. Evidence of years of human occupation is all over, in the form of structures, rusty junk, pottery and tools.

cow bull bovine moo beef t-bone ribeye hamburger barbecue grazing

Please be respectful when you visit the places. Leave artifacts where you find them. Leave structures intact. Pack out your trash, and make it a habit to take any other modern trash you see out with you too! Let’s make sure these amazing spots are still there for generations to come! Watch out for the cows!

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