Klondyke is a near-ghost town in western Graham County near the eastern entrance to Aravaipa Canyon. Perhaps a dozen people live in the vicinity now. In the second decade of the 21st century, the only roads out there are still unpaved.
In 1905, there were 500 people living here, most involved in either mining for gold or ranching, or both. They had a school, a church, a post office, a saloon, and a general store. The post office closed in 1955. The general store held on until 2005.
The Klondyke cemetery is just southeast of town. There you will find the graves of the Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Power and his family. Few know the sad story of these Arizona pioneers.
Searching for land to raise his cattle, Jeff Power brought his family to west Graham County from Texas in 1909. Power’s family included his wife, Martha Jane, a daughter, Ola May, and three sons, Charley, the oldest, and John and Tom Jr.
The ranch was still struggling when, in 1915, Martha Jane was killed in a buggy accident.
A year later, Power took his children to live near a mine he was working in Rattlesnake Canyon several miles into the Galiuro Mountains from the present town of Klondyke. Here, in 1917, 23-year-old Ola May was bitten by a rattler and died. At least that was what her family told authorities. The county coroner wrote that Ola May died from “causes unknown”. Read More