Although silver was discovered here by Mexicans in 1864, it took another fifteen years before German born prospectors arrived to strike it rich and create Candelaria. The town is said to take its name from a nearby mine which was named for Candlemas day, but the motherlode of silver ($15 million) was dug from the Northern Belle Mine. By 1880, the town had two hotels, a half dozen stores and plenty of saloons. Since Candelaria was in the desert and the nearest water was available nine miles away, a gallon of water cost $1.00...more than whiskey! The stampmill was a waterless contraption producing clouds of dust which caused "miner's consumption" (probably silicosis) in many of the workers. In 1882 a pipe was laid to bring water from Trail Canyon to the parched town, at the greatly reduced price of $.05 a gallon. Less than a mile south of Candelaria lay the remains of Metallic City, basically a stone wall. It was also known as Sin City, probably to contrast with Candelaria's saintly origins. It was also known as Pickhandle Gulch as residents used this always handy weapon to settle their disputes. Today, walls of buildings survive, but nearby mining operations have made many unstable. The building pictured below was at one time a bank, telegraph office, general store, and jail. Its roof has collapsed dropping beams and metal roofing into the building's interior. An empty safe with a missing door lies abandoned and rusting. It was owned by Ben Edwards.
The link below is by a descendant of Edwards. For her more personal ties to Candelaria, see her web page.
More Photos of Candelaria