An Archaeological Investigation of the Historic Black Settlement at Mobile, Arizona

Author(s): Mark T. Swanson

Year: 1992


This report details an archaeological investigation of the historic black settlement at Mobile, Arizona, conducted by Statistical Research in November of 1991. Mobile is a small community of around 60 residents, located in Maricopa County about 30 miles southwest of Phoenix, between the towns of Maricopa and Gila Bend. This investigation was conceived by Pat H. Stein of the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and Bruce Jones of Statistical Research. The work was performed by Mark Swanson after Bruce Jones terminated his employment with Statistical Research. This work has been funded with the assistance of a match grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and as administered in Arizona by the Arizona State Parks Board through the State Historic Preservation Officer. This work does not necessarily express the opinions of the National Park Service (Participant Agreement 1991).

The community of Mobile has been the focus of a number of recent controversies, many of which posed threats to the community. As early as 1981, Mobile was suggested as the site of an oil refinery and a hazardous waste facility (Walker 1981). In 1988, it was selected as Arizona’s proposed site for the Superconducting Super Collider (Shields 1988). By 1990, the community was embroiled in the controversy surrounding the ENSCO hazardous waste plant (Nintzel and Pacenti 1990). Although the ENSCO plant was never built, a waste management facility known as the Butterfield Station Regional Facility has been built and is currently operating along the northern fringe of the community.

These potential threats to the community have indirectly helped to motivate this study, the general purpose of which was to research the black homesteading community established in the Mobile valley in the 1920s and 1930s. Specifically, the goal of his work was tripartite: archival research, field survey, and evaluation of the results for their potential to the National Register of Historic Places. These goals are explored in greater detail in the Statement of Objectives.

Cite this Record

An Archaeological Investigation of the Historic Black Settlement at Mobile, Arizona. Mark T. Swanson. Technical Series ,34. Tucson, AZ: Statistical Research, Inc. 1992 ( tDAR id: 427840) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8427840

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.289; min lat: 33.392 ; max long: -112.238; max lat: 33.421 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

Contributor(s): Mark Swanson

Sponsor(s): Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Prepared By(s): Statistical Research, Inc.

Submitted To(s): Arizona State Parks

Record Identifiers

Survey and Planning Grant-in-Aid (s): S/P 9104-50

Technical Series No. (s): 34

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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager