Latitude / Longitude:
31°38′9″N 110°10′21″W / 31.63583°N 110.17250°W / 31.63583
3,989 ft (1,216 m)
Mountain (NO DST) (UTC-7)
Charleston is a ghost town in Cochise County in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It was occupied from the late-1870s through the late-1880s, and was located in what was then known as the Arizona Territory. Located on the west bank of the San Pedro River, Charleston’s economy was based on milling silver ore mined from nearby Tombstone in the community of Millville, located directly across the river.
When the silver mines in Tombstone flooded in 1886, the mills were forced to shut down, and Charleston and Millville went into steep decline. The large Sonoran earthquake that struck on May 3, 1887, accompanied by more than thirty minutes of aftershocks, left all of the town’s adobe structures in ruins, and sealed the town’s fate.
The town was quickly abandoned as none of the structures remained habitable. The Charleston Post Office shut down on October 24, 1888, and by 1889, both Charleston and Millville were already ghost towns.
After it was abandoned, Charleston was briefly inhabited in the 1890s by a small population of Mexican immigrants who furthered the town’s dismantling by using what was left of the wooden structures for kindling.