Evening Star Mine, Mojave National Preserve

Evening Star Mine

Evening Star Mine – 2015

The Evening Star Mine first came to our attention in the winter of 2014, while researching the mining history of the Mountain Pass located in California near the border with Nevada.  On a whim, while driving home we did a little exploring in the Mountain Pass area just inside of the California border outside of Primm, Nevada.  We frequently drive past this area, marveling at the Wild Burro population, but just did not stop to investigate.  Our brief stop opened the flood gates as we “discovered” gold fish in a water trough.  After some investigation the mining districts of the Ivanpah mountains were exposed, at the Evening Star Mine is principal among them.

Operating between 1939 and 1944, the Evening Star Mine was the only producer of tin ore in the eastern Mojave Desert.    Located in the Mescal Mining District, the site maintains an impressive sixty foot head frame which is built upon three towers of different heights and supply ore to an ore bin.  The mine is unique in that the crusher is located at the top of the head frame.

The Evening Star Mine began life in 1935 as a copper claim.  J. Riley Bembry prospected and then within a year, sold the claim to Trigg L. Button and Clarence Hammett of Santa Ana, Califonia.  The two men began digging the Number 1 shaft.  In 1940, the claim was again sold, this time of Vaughn Maynard of Santa Ana who then sold it to the Tin Corporation of America in 1941. The Tin Corporation of America continued sinking the shaft, and shipped 25 tons in June 1942 to Texas City, Texas.

Carl Wendrick Jr. secured the lease in 1943 with a government loan and soon the site hosted eight men who built a larger head frame.  Over 400 tons of ore were processed and several tons of tin concentrates were sold to the government stockpile in Jean, Nevada.

The structure is essentially sound, and in good condition, however steps are being taken to stabilize the head frame.  The mine shaft itself is closed to access by BLM using a cable net.