The heart of the community, the graceful plaza, was built in 1917 under the direction of John Greenway’s wife Isabella. The Spanish Colonial Revival style town square features a center park surrounded by retail shops, a post office and restaurants accented with two mission-style churches. The Catholic Church was built in 1924 and the Federated Church in 1926. The plaza with its beautiful center park is truly Ajo’s town center—a place for festivals and celebrations, morning walks, and meeting friends for coffee. The plaza was purchased by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance in 2008 and is in the midst of a multi-year process of restoration and revitalization. Additional information is available here.
Easily visible from the town plaza, Ajo’s Curley School is an architectural masterpiece of Spanish Colonial Revival style that harmonizes seamlessly with the rest of the historic downtown. The main building on the seven acre campus was built in 1919 with additional buildings added in 1926 and 1937. The Curley School has been renovated by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance into 30 affordable live/work rentals for artists and artisans with classrooms, workshops, and an indoor-outdoor stage peppered throughout the campus. As the final stage of renovation, an international retreat center and commercial kitchen are in the works. Additional information is available here.
NEW CORNELIA OPEN PIT MINING LOOKOUT
A panoramic view across nearly two miles of open pit mine is available from the Mine Lookout on Indian Village Road. Notice the difference in the colors of the soil. A video and display of the mining operations can be seen at the visitor center, open from October through May. Additional information is available here.
The Ajo Train Depot anchors the town plaza and was designed as the point of arrival from which to view historic downtown Ajo. Built in 1915, the Ajo Depot served the Tucson, Cornelia, Gila Bend railway. It now houses the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and Gift Shop.
Skirting around A Mountain and the New Cornelia mine this 7 mile drive passes through a gorgeous stretch of pristine desert. Cutting through washes, passing primitive campsites and intersecting a web of endless BLM roads, this is the perfect gateway to some fantastic hiking, biking. Download Printable Map
AJO HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM
Located in the old St. Catherine’s Indian Mission (at the end of Indian Village Road), the museum houses many artifacts and mementos from Ajo’s past. The displays include a complete blacksmith shop, a dentist’s office and an early print shop. More information is available here.
AJO COMMUNITY GOLF COURSE
The Ajo County Club is an oasis of green, surrounded by desert. With the Ajo Mountains to the south, Childs Mountain to the west, and arroyo cutting through the middle of the course, plus an abundance of wildlife including roadrunners, coyotes and deer, this course boasts a “classic” Arizona setting for golf. More information is available here.
Located on Indian Village Road across from the Lookout Point, this beautiful mission-style home was built by John Greenway for his wife Isabella. Greenway died soon after its completion.
CROSS ON ‘A’ MOUNTAIN
Isabella Greenway took a floral cross that the employees of the New Cornelia Mining Co. had made for her husband’s funeral and had it encased in concrete and carried to the top of the highest mountain in Ajo. She could view it from her home and the employees could view it from their homes. The cross is visible for miles.