"Santa Rita del Cobre" is the story of the formative years (1801-1838) of a remarkable mine in southwestern New Mexico that has produced copper for more than 200 years. Records of the Spanish Colonial and early Mexican period have yielded intriguing accounts of the people involved in the early development of the mines, the difficulties they encountered along the way, and the importance of this small settlement to the history of the frontier. Although the Santa Rita mines produced a fortune to the few men willing or able to invest money in their development, it was always a difficult and hazardous undertaking. Apaches, who inhabited much of southern New Mexico and Arizona at that time, created many problems for the miners. They had a strong influence over the success or failure of the Santa Rita mining operation. At times the hostility and depredations of these Indians overshadowed the remarkable success of the mines. Santa Rita was the center for military operations against the Apaches, and was referred to as the watchtower and guardian of the western frontier. Helen lundwall is a retired librarian. She edited and annotated "Pioneering in Territorial New Mexico: The Memoirs of H. B. Ailman," and is the author of several articles on local history. TERRENCE HUMBLE was born and raised in Santa Rita, New Mexico. He worked at the Santa Rita mine for 32 years, and is an authority on the history of the mine. His articles have been published in the "Mining History Association Journal" and the "Quarterly of the National Association for Outlaw and Lawman History."