The Archaeology of Two Historic Homestead and Railroad-Related Sites on the Southern Pacific Main Line Near Mobile, Maricopa County, Arizona

Author(s): Lyle M. Stone; Scott L. Fedick

Year: 1990


In mid-to-late 1987, Archaeological Research Services, Inc. completed cultural resource test phase and data recovery investigations at two historic sites located adjacent to the Maricopa-Gila Bend Highway (State Route 238) in the vicinity of Mobile, Maricopa County, Arizona. These investigations of Site AZ T :15:11 (ASM), a complex of historic trash deposits and structural features, and Site AZ T :15:12 (ASM), a complex of historic trash deposits, were performed at the request of Dibble and Associates on behalf of the Arizona Department of Transportation for Project S-987-301 . Site AZ T :15:11 (ASM) is located on private and Southern Pacific Transportation Company lands within the SE1/4, NW1/4, and the NE1/4 of Section 29, T4S, R1E (USGS Mobile, Ariz.; 7.5 ’/1973). Site AZ T :15:12 (ASM) is located on both State of Arizona, U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management), and Southern Pacific Transportation lands within the SE1/4, NE1/4, NW1/4; SW1/4, NW1/4, NE1/4; NE1/4, SE1/4, NW1/4, and the NW1/4, SW1/4, NE1/4 of Section 35, T4S, R1W (USGS Mobile, Ariz.; 7.5'/1973).

The objectives of test phase investigations were to formally evaluate the National Register of Historic Places eligibility of each site. Data recovery investigations at Site AZ T :15:12 (ASM) were designed to document those National Register quality data values which were subject to impacts associated with the proposed construction of the Hazardous Waste Facility Roadway (State Route 238). The subject sites had been identified, recorded, and reported by Archaeological Research Services, Inc. in 1986 based on a survey of the proposed roadway alignment.

Test phase investigations at AZ T :15 :11 (ASM) indicated that this site consisted of several spatial and temporal components, including structural features and deposits associated with the Southern Pacific Railroad siding/section facility of Mobile during the period ca 1900-1920. The site also contained features and trash elements attributed to the 1920s-1930s homestead of Edison R. Lung and family. The remains of a school structure associated with the nearby community of Mobile were also documented. While Site AZ T :15:11 (ASM) would probably qualify for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, it was determined that site elements subject to project impacts had been extensively disturbed to the extent that their quality as significant scientific resources had been compromised. Accordingly, cultural resources clearance for the proposed highway construction undertaking in the vicinity of the site has been recommended.

Data recovery investigations of National Register eligible AZ T :15:12 (ASM) indicated that this site consisted of a series of historic trash components dating primarily to the early-to-mid 1890s which are related historically to the maintenance of the Southern Pacific main line which passes through the southern portion of the site. It has been suggested that these artifact deposits were derived from the short term occupation of a structure or structures that housed railroad workers and their families during this period. Some of these workers were probably Chinese as evidenced by the presence of Chinese ceramics and other remains. It has also been suggested that at least some of the recorded Chinese artifacts were associated with the original construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad through the area in the Spring of 1879.

Cite this Record

The Archaeology of Two Historic Homestead and Railroad-Related Sites on the Southern Pacific Main Line Near Mobile, Maricopa County, Arizona. Lyle M. Stone, Scott L. Fedick. 1990 ( tDAR id: 427189) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8427189

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1879 to 1940 (Temporal range of site components)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.316; min lat: 33.042 ; max long: -112.266; max lat: 33.058 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

Repository(s): Salt River Project, Tempe, AZ

Prepared By(s): Archaeological Research Services Inc.

Submitted To(s): Dibble and Associates

Record Identifiers

Salt River Project Library Call No.(s): ARS 90-37

File Information

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1990_StoneFedick_TheArchaeologyHomestead_OCR.pdf 130.32mb Feb 8, 2017 Mar 9, 2017 10:37:44 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager