The Silver Bell Historical Society offers unique resources to researchers, scholars, and the public. History records four communities: Pelton (1881 - 1900), the Atlas Camp -- also named BS&K (1880 - 1964), the first Silver Bell (1902 - 1935), and the second Silver Bell (1952 - 1984). All of these towns of the Silver Bell Mountains have been deserted, although many who lived here share fond memories of a unique and fraternal place -- in the middle of nowhere in Pima County, Arizona. Located near Marana and Tucson. The photo above is the plaque which adorns our Monument, located at the entrance to the Silver Bell Mine at the very end of Avra Valley Road.
A society can be defined as
the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community, and as an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity. You are invited to share in the development of the Silver Bell Historical Society. The photo above shows the Monument to the Silver Bell communities, dedicated on March 10, 2019.
We invite you to use the "Contact Us" form below to share your story of Silver Bell. Some of you lived in Silver Bell and have first-hand knowledge. Others of you have parents or grandparents who have shared their stories with you. We want to include those stories within this website. You may also help with generous contributions to defray the costs involved with operating the Silver Bell Historical Society, an Arizona non-profit corporation.
Josh was born in Tucson, Arizona, and has lived in Avra Valley all his life. He is the grandson of Lawrence and Jeanette Hendrickson, both former Silver Bell residents from 1977-1981. Lawrence went to work at the ASARCO mine where he was on various crews and later became the head groundskeeper for the town.
Although Josh never knew his grandfather, and his grandmother is no longer here, his father, Tim, who was also a Silver Bell resident, keeps his grandparents’ memories alive by constantly sharing stories about living there.
Josh recently graduated from Marana High School. He will be attending and playing football for Hastings College in Nebraska where he plans to earn a Wildlife Biology degree. After college, he would like to return to his home in Marana, Arizona and become an Arizona Game & Fish officer. He says it would be great to be assigned to the Silver Bell Mountain area.
Josh is grateful for the $1,000 scholarship awarded to him and becoming a member of the Silver Bell Historical Society.
Preston, who lives in St. David, Arizona, will be his starting his second year at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, Arizona. He is planning to transfer to the University of Arizona campus at Sierra Vista after this school year to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in business administration.
Preston’s Silver Bell heritage includes his grandmother, Ella Anway. Her father was Norman Chadburn who is his great grandfather. His grandmother grew up in Silver Bell and eventually married David Anway.
Preston received a $1,000 scholarship from the Silver Bell Historical Society and is now a member of SBHS.
Maya is a graduate of Marana High School and lives in Tucson. She will be attending Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus and will study art. She would like one day to become a college art professor.
Maya enjoys a legacy of many generations of Silver Bell residents, including Delaine Tinsley (great grandmother), Dennis Tinsley (great grandfather), Patricia Tinsley (grandmother), Denise Tinsley (great aunt), Lee Tinsley (great-great uncle), Gordon Walker (great-great grandfather), and Robert Walker (great-great-great grandfather).
She is now a member of the Silver Bell Historical Society, which awarded her a $1,000 scholarship.
Three of our 2021 scholarships were made possible by donations given in memory and honor of men and women who lived in Silver Bell.
You may also make scholarship donations in memory of loved ones (Silver Bell residents) in the next school year.
Cecil Eckrote, who grew up in Silver Bell, and his wife Kathy, were married for 36 years. Kathy passed away in 2021. Cecil made this donation in honor of Kathy.
Bob and Betty Hunter were longtime residents of Silver Bell. They raised their five sons (Bobby, Jimmy, Timmy, Tommy, and Scotty) who excelled in athletics and academics. Their son, Jim and his wife Janette made this donation in honor of Bob and Betty.
Herb and Dorothy Cleaver lived and worked at Silver Bell for almost the entire history of the modern Silver Bell. Their son, David, and daughter Diane, made this donation to fund half a scholarship in honor of their parents.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals:
The Silver Bell Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit, which means your donation today is tax-deductible.
The Silver Bell Historical Society is a non-profit organization; however, it can only function with people and funding. Check out our members and how you, too, can become a Society Member!
ASARCO has had its footprint in the Silver Bell Mountains since the early 1900s and was the very reason our community of Silver Bell existed from 1954 - 1984. We are happy to continue a working relationship with our ASARCO friends at Silver Bell.
Established to protect the biology, geology, archaeology, history, and recreation opportunities found in the Monument, Friends work with the Bureau of Land Management and key partners to increase community awareness and provide critical advocacy and volunteer labor for projects on the Monument.
Silver Bell Historical Society
PO Box 13572
Tucson, AZ 85732
Jim Hunter, president
Larry Young, vice president
David Cleaver, treasurer
Grace Burleigh, secretary
Our phone contact person is Carol Hunter: (520) 403-7555
25000 West Avra Valley Road, Marana, Arizona 85653, United States