Kentucky Camp yielded much gold in the 1870's. When the gold finally play out, Kentucky Camp was abandoned in 1886.
It gained new life in 1904 when James Stetson thought he could use the snowmelt from the nearby Santa Rita Mountains to extract the gold from places deposits. The project was called McAneny's Santa Rita Mining and Water Company. Stetson jumped out of a window at the Santa Rita Hotel in Tucson the day before a stockholders meeting, George McAneny died and the project ended. Kentucky Camp was abandoned again.
The Forest Service bought the camp in 1989 in a land swap. In 1991 volunteers began stabilzing the remaining adobe buildings and today the wonderful restoration work continues thanks to FRIENDS OF KENTUCKY CAMP.
Most feel that the buildings, 5 of which are remaining, survived because the camp was bought and used as a ranch for most of the 20th century. A true success story.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places