The Silver Bell Historical Society

Ghosts of Yesteryear


The soft breeze sighs under desert skies,

and we seek the meager shade.

We’ve come a long way to spend this day,

together one more time.

We walk along and hum a song

from times remembered long ago:

Of happy days when we went to play

and never dreamed how life would change.

Back then we were bold, didn’t think of old:

That was for our elders.

We had desert to explore and never wanted more,

content in where we were.

But time has a way of creeping up each day

and taking us all by surprise.

Each had a goal - to fill our soul -

and we all moved away.

But we never believed we’d ever

long for that life again.

Life then was sweet, and we couldn’t repeat

the peace we enjoyed back then.

As much as we try, life seems to reply:

We’ll never find that place again.

Now we’ve grown old and not quite so bold,

but we haven’t lost that love.

We search once more on that desert floor

for memories of days gone by

and a way to preserve the life we served

for our children and their heirs.

And we’ll hold in our hearts our early starts

that helped us become what we are.

Because of a town where love did abound:

We’ve grown to be quite adept.

Now eyes grow dim - our days growing slim.

We find ourselves once again

reflecting on life without any strife

and back where our town began.

So, Silver Bell, I salute you now!

Live forever in our hearts and minds!

Let us never forget what, in our lives you set,

Our Silver Bell ... our home!

by Nancy Henson

Poet Laureate 

of the Silver Bell Historical Society

Nov. 26, 2019


Our Mission

 The Silver Bell Historical Society offers unique resources to researchers, scholars, and the public. History records two communities: Silverbell, which existed in the early 20th century, and Silver Bell, which existed during the last half of the 20th century. Both towns 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.


You Can Help Preserve Our History.

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.


How You Can Help

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.

We'll be at Meet the Monument!


Meet the Monument 2020 will be held this year on Saturday, March 21. This is the Friends of Ironwood Forest’s big annual event held on the monument at the base of iconic Ragged Top. It’s a celebration along with our partners, the Bureau of Land Management, of the ecosystem and community that benefits from National Monument status. This year is its 20th anniversary. 

Meet the Monument offers a variety of experiences like walkabouts by local experts discussing flora, fauna, and geology; three main speaker presentations under our shady canopy, and a variety of informal exhibits to inform on a broad range of subjects pertaining to the Ironwood Forest.

Adopt A Road Clean-Up

We are proud to have "ownership" of Avra Valley Road from the Gas Plant Road to the Turn-off to the County Road (Silverbell Road). Our next Clean-Up day is Saturday, April 11, from 9 - 11 a.m.

We hope you'll join us. This is a lot of fun! Afterwards, we meet at the Golf Course for a picnic!

Our Next Board Meeting

The Board of Directors will meet on Saturday, May 9, from 11 am - 2 pm, at BBVA Compass Bank; 5255 E Williams Circle in Tucson. You are welcome to attend. RSVP with us!

Society Members and Officers

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!


Whether you lived in Silver Bell or not, and whether you attend our functions or not, you may wish to help us keep Silver Bell alive. We appreciate your generous contributions!

You can make donations in our Online Store.

ASARCO: Forever our Friends!

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.

We partner with Friends of Ironwood Forest

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.

Contact Us

We appreciate your comments.

Contact Information

Silver Bell Historical Society

PO Box 13572

Tucson, AZ 85732

David Cleaver, president

Karen Holton, vice president

James Hunter, treasurer

Diane Stephens, secretary


Our phone contact person is Carol Hunter: (520) 403-7555

The town site of Silver Bell is located at

25000 West Avra Valley Road, Marana, Arizona 85653, United States