Here is our story of Ajo. Pronounced Ah-Hoe, it is currently a town of about 3500 people. Copper was discovered in the mountains here in the mid 1800s with the first copper mining of any size beginning in 1855 and the mine just closing in 1984 and the smelter closing in 1985. That is 130 years of mining history. In its busiest, the mine alone employed more than 3000 people. For mining, it was considered better than most mines to work as there was a great hospital in town, good schools, good housing. The old hospital still stands and is up for sale but there are two big problems with it. All the electricity needs to be upgraded, but even worse, there is tons of asbestos that would need to be removed.
We really liked Ajo. We initially stopped there because it was going to be our last night in the States before crossing into Mexico, but the reason we liked it was that it was just a nice normal little town. Most of the places we have been staying in up to then were just huge RV stuffed towns with little personality. It has some great architecture and a pretty town square. The one ‘good’ restaurant in town was really good and there was a great grocery store, an ACE Hardware in the grocery store, and some small little shops.
We have friends from home (Frank & Trish) who had a relative that lived here and when he passed away a couple years ago he willed his house to their daughter. Trish gave us the address so we drove by it. It is in need of much repair but has great bones and character. The new owner appears to have started some renovations. Trish had kinda warned us that there really wasn’t much to Ajo, but we respectfully disagree. Would I live there? No. But would I go back again? Absolutely! We plan on it next year when we go back to Mexico.