Abandoned mine near Quartzsite
|Motto: "The Rock Capital of the World"|
Location in La Paz County and the state of Arizona
|Coordinates: 33°39′54″N 114°13′15″W / 33.66500°N 114.22083°WCoordinates: 33°39′54″N 114°13′15″W / 33.66500°N 114.22083°W|
|• Mayor||Ed Foster|
|• Total||36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2)|
|• Land||36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||879 ft (268 m)|
|• Estimate (2014)||3,613|
|• Density||93.6/sq mi (36.1/km2)|
|Time zone||MST (no DST) (UTC-7)|
|ZIP codes||85346, 85359|
|Website||Town of Quartzsite|
Geography and climate
Quartzsite is located at 33°39′54″N 114°13′15″W / 33.66500°N 114.22083°W (33.665116, −114.220913).
According to the United States Census Bureau Quartzsite is all land and has a total area of 36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2).
Quartzsite lies on the western portion of the La Posa Plain along Tyson Wash. The Dome Rock Mountains overlook the town on the west with Granite Mountain on the southwest edge of the town and Oldman Mountain on the northwest. The Plomosa Mountains lie across the La Posa Plain to the east.
The town has a hot desert climate (Köppen BWh) with mild to warm winters from November to March and hot to extreme summers for the remainder of the year. In the middle of summer, Quartzsite is one of the hottest places in the United States and has recorded temperatures as high as 122 °F or 50.0 °C on 28 July 1995.
There is very little precipitation with only 3.51 inches (89.2 mm) falling during an average year, while in May and June more than 80 percent of years do not have measurable rainfall. Since records began in 1928 the wettest month has been September 1939 with 6.16 inches (156.5 mm) which was part of the wettest year with 11.05 inches (280.7 mm) and featuring on September 5 the wettest day with 3.00 inches (76.2 mm). This moisture was due to the remnants of a rare Gulf of California hurricane. The driest calendar year was 1928 with 0.92 inches (23.4 mm). However, between July 2001 and August 2002 as little as 0.45 inches (11.4 mm) fell over fourteen months.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,354 people, 1,850 households, and 1,176 families residing in the town. The population density was 92.4 people per square mile (35.7/km²). There were 3,186 housing units at an average density of 87.8 per square mile (33.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.48% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 1.16% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.59% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 5.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,850 households out of which 5.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 2.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.81 and the average family size was 2.18.
In the town the population was spread out with 5.7% under the age of 18, 1.8% from 18 to 24, 7.7% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 54.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 66 years. For every 100 females there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $23,053, and the median income for a family was $26,382. Males had a median income of $20,313 versus $16,080 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,889. About 7.8% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
Quartzsite is a popular recreational vehicle camping area for winter visitors with tourism being the major contributor to Quartzsite's economy. Nine major gem and mineral shows, and 15 general swap meet shows are very popular tourist attractions, attracting about 1.5 million people annually, mostly during January and February.
The mine in the Quartzsite was owned and operated by Jack Stetler but was shut down in 1957, upon a move to Brazil for iron ore.
Violations of open meeting laws
In June 2011, a video surfaced of Jennifer Jones being removed from a town hall meeting. The video went viral, and a special council meeting was held on July 10, behind closed doors. On December 9, 2011, the Arizona Attorney General, Tom Horne, released a report in which he said that the Quartzsite Town Council had violated Arizona's open meeting laws. Horne said that the removal of Jones during the June 2011 meeting, as well as the exclusion of the public from July meetings, violated state law.
Over two years later, in October 2013, the town dismissed Jeff Gilbert, the object of Ms. Jones' speech at the 2011 meeting, as Police Chief. Mayor Ed Foster, who can be heard in the video telling police officers not to prevent Ms. Jones from speaking, said that the town council wanted to move in a different direction, and felt that Gilbert was not the right person to take them in that direction: "We felt this was in the best interests of Quartzsite."
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer, plate 54, DeLorme, 2001, ISBN 0-89933-325-7
- Quartzsite (026865) General Climate Summary – Precipitation
- "Climatography of the United States No. 20 – 1971-2000: Quartzsite, AZ (COOP ID: 026865)" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2004. Retrieved on August 30, 2014.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Community Archived December 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- U.S. Camel Corps remembered in Quartzsite, Arizona, Out West Newspaper #18
- "Public Transportation". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
- Arrest of Jennifer Jade Jones June 28 Quartzsite Arizona Council Meeting Viral – YouTube
- "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. December 15, 2011.
- AZINEWS.COM » BREAKING NEWS: Horne Finds Open Meeting Law Violations In Quartzsite Archived August 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Quartzsite.|
- Town website
- Quartzsite Times
- Desert Messenger
- Quartzsite information at Desert USA
- BLM camping information