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Mascot & Western rail car (1915), Wilcox AZ, USA | by lumierefl
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Mascot & Western rail car (1915), Wilcox AZ, USA

Willcox, AZ, (1877, pop. 3,796) • Pinterest

 

• combo freight and passenger car (clerestory combine), became a home after demise of M&W, later used as tack room • the Mascot & Western route was 15 mile run between Willcox and Dos Cabezas AZ, home of the Mascot Copper Co., Mascot Mine & new Mascot townsite development located between Dos Cabezas and the mine • ore from the mine was transported by an aerial tramway to the Dos Cabezas Depot [photo] for shipment to Willcox

 

• the company logo was a swastika [photo], then a good luck symbol in western culture • owner/promoter Thomas Newton "T.N." McCauley (aka M. Page), reputed hedonist and swindler later known as "Rogue of the Mascot Mine," regaled investors and guests in a building called Hospitality House, now a B&B, Dos Cabezas Retreat Bed & Breakfast

 

• the 45' long car had a "lavatory (waste spewing out along the track was later blamed for a typhoid epidemic), wainscoting, curtains & plush seats" • provided daily passenger service between Dos Cabezas & Willcox, leaving Dos Cabezas at 10:30 am, arriving in Willcox at 11:45 am • return trip left Willcox at 2:20 pm

 

• another M&W vehicle — beloved to the point of being a symbol of Willcox — was a motor rail car known as the "Black Cat" aka "Doodlebug" • made from Mascot Mine's Pierce Arrow motor truck number 435, which hauled 763 tons of ore to Willcox 1913-1914 • refitted w/flanged wheels for the tracks • the bed was sheltered by a canvas tarp • a 15-gal. water tank was installed over the cab for cooling off • hauled daily mail and a few passengers • when pulling a two wheeled trailer loaded with metal drums, the clatter could be heard a mile away

 

• converted cars & trucks appeared on other railroads as well [photo] • according to historian Phyllis de la Garza, a similar vehicle, based on a touring car, has been mistakenly identified as the one operated by the M&W [photo] —Phyllis de la Garza, El Paso & Southwestern Flyer

 

• the "Rogue" McCauley had history of scandals, arrests, disappearances, lawsuits, e.g.: "The $3,000,000 International Mercantile agency of New York, whose former president, Thomas N. McCauley, is a fugitive, was sold at public auction for $26,000." —Bureau County (IL) Tribune, 14 Oct., 1904 • The Making of a Ghost Town, P. J. Grath

 

• turned 1st shovel of dirt for the new railroad, 27 Jan, 1915 • last spike, made of copper from mine, driven 15 June, 1915 • about 4,000 guests — including some arriving in this car — showed up for inauguration of railroad, dedication of Mascot townsite and a "monstrous barbecue" [photos ] [newspaper ads] • McCauley imported 28 New York secretaries for office work • provided them with dorms, a dining room with their own cook, and social activities such as dances —Songs My Mother Sang to Me

 

"Now one of the problems at this property is a scarcity of water. Only about 20 gallons per minute are available, but the New York stenographers knew nothing about water scarcity. The girls all took a bath and went to the dance. Had a swell time too, they say. But the mine had to shut down until the tanks were replenished. It is understood that there is an opening for an efficiency engineer who can figure out a plan to provide baths for the stenographers and supply enough water to keep the mine going at the same time. The problem is most serious on Saturday night." —Engineering Mining Journal Press via Arizona historical Society, Tucson, Arizona

 

• most of the women are said to have married miners or cowboys they met at a dance • the Mascot Mine, which never produced enough ore to recover $MMs invested by stockholders, closed in 1930 • the town of Mascot failed to develop • Dos Cabezas suffered a gradual decline, lost its post office in 1963 and is now a ghost town

 

Dos Cabezas was Mining Hotbed<Mascot Celebrates Completion of its Railroad from Willcox —El Paso Herald, 15 June, 1915 • Mascot Celebration a Notable Success —El Paso Herald, 25 June, 1915

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Taken on June 25, 2010