Cerbat Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Founded in 1870 Cerbat Arizona is a gold mine ghost town and former county seat for Mohave County, Arizona. The surrounding area started to attract prospectors in the 1860s. The journey was tough just to them to get into the area due to the remove location. Prospectors would travel up the Colorado River by steamship and disembark in Hardyville which is overrun by Bullhead City. Once offloaded, they would need to find their way north about 40 miles across the hot dry desert.

Cerbat Arizona in 1870
Cerbat Arizona in 1870

Cerbat was formed near three mining operations in the area, which included the Esmeralda mine, the Vanderbilt and the Gold Gem. The town Cerbat was named from the Indian word for “Big Horn Mountain Sheep” and formed in a canyon about 38 miles from Hardyville, Arizona.

The fledgling desert community was named the county seat of Mohave County Arizona in 1871. A post office soon followed on December 23, 1872. The town hosted some businesses common to mining down and included a doctor, lawyer, mill, smelter, schoolhouse, stores, saloons smelter and post office. The first permanent court house in Mohave County is built in Cerbat. The courthouse gained notoriety for being the first location to execute a convicted murder Michael DeHay who was found guilty for murdering his wife.

In 1872, $6,000 is invested to connect the town to larger population centers to the east including Fort Rock, Camp Hualapai and Prescott. In 1873 the nearby town of Mineral Park as named county seat. Despite this setback to its honor, In 1884, the California and Arizona State Company made weekly trips between Mineral Park, Cerbat, Chloride and Prescott.

Mining into the twentieth century. The post office was closed June 15, 1912

Town Summary

LocationMohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude35.303413,-114.1380277
Elevation3,872 Feet
Post OfficeDecember 23, 1872 – June 15, 1912
Alternate NamesCampbell (June 25, 1890 to October 24 1902 )

Cerbat Trail Map


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