I’ve known about this mine for a long time but had avoided it because it was so close to town. I figured everything had already been carted off and the mine reclaimed. Over the course of the last year or so, I had multiple sources bring it up. It still was a low priority, but I started thinking more about it. Finally, we were driving by the area on a trip to Nevada. We stopped to pay a visit.
The mine was originally worked for gold and silver back in the 1860s and 1870s with a small amount of production. It sat idle for many years, then was worked again in the 1930s and 40s. It remained idle again until about twenty years ago when a mining company developed a few thousand feet of drifts and workings. The gold and silver ore body is a nearly horizontal quartz intrusion into the surrounding limestone.
Of the mine workings, we focused on two main adits (tunnels), the lower haulage adit (also known as the Conveyor Drift) and the upper main adit on top of the massive mine dump.
We explored the lower conveyor adit first. A conveyor belt once ran the length of the tunnel, bringing ore out of the mine. The adit was muddy and flooded with water in a few places. It was just enough to sink in and almost get your boots stuck. Chains that once supported the conveyor hang down from the ceiling. At the end of the tunnel, we found a steel ore chute with water pouring out of it. This is draining the mine above. There was no upward access from here, though.
Next, we went up to the main adit high above the conveyor adit. A giant portal leads into multiple large room-and-pillar underground chambers. It didn’t take long, however, to discover that all passageways had either collapsed, filled in, or just came to a dead end. There wasn’t much to see in here other than the large rooms.
Back outside, we checked out the office building. A landslide has crushed a section of the steel structure. We took a look inside. Unfortunately, everything that wasn’t nailed down has disappeared, and almost everything else has been vandalized. Too bad. I had hopes that the mine and camp would be in better condition, but it reminds me of why I neglected to go to it for so long in the first place.