Indian Mine, Monarch Canyon

Over in eastern Death Valley, just north of the Keane Wonder Mine, is the Indian Mine in Monarch Canyon. It is a small mine that was worked for gold with only minor workings and was never profitable. What makes it a worthwhile visit is the mill and its remaining single Nissen stamp mill.

The Indian Mine was initially discovered by Johnny Hughes, a Shoshone Indian, in 1903 while hunting for bighorn sheep. Hughes showed his discovery to a man named A. K. Ishmael, who located the gold ledge as the Indian Mine in December 1904. Burdon Gaylord, a backer of Death Valley Scotty, bonded the claim for $20,000 the following year. Gaylord developed a 60-foot adit but failed to recover his losses. The mine reverted back to Ishmael, who did minimal work on the mine for the next four years until he found a partner named Richard E. Clapp.

Together, Ishmael, Clapp, and a crew of men developed the mine and piped in water from nearby Monarch Spring. They built a Nissen two-stamp mill in the summer of 1910 and cast their first gold bar in September. Unfortunately, the ore was not profitable enough to cover costs, and they closed down a couple of months later in October.

Also, see the Oakland Mine and the Sound Democrat Mill for other Nissen stamps.