Goodsprings Nevada

Goodsprings, Nevada is locate about seven miles west of the I-15 near Jean, Nevada.  Mining activity in the area started in 1868 when a group of prospectors formed the New England district and since renamed the Yellow Pine.  Early efforts where soon abandoned due to the lack of silver in the ore.  The prospectors soon moved on, and Joe Good remained and the local springs were named for him.  In 1886, several prospectors from Utah came into the area and founded a permanent site which still exists today.

Goodsprings, Nevada - 1924
Goodsprings, Nevada – 1924

In 1892, the Keystone gold mine was discovered and established during an increase in activity due to the completion of the Nevada Southern Railways from Goffs, CA to Manvel.    The Keystone mine remained active until 1906 and produced some $600,000 in gold before closing.

An old water tower located inside Goodspings, Nevada
An old water tower located inside Goodspings, Nevada

1901 saw the consolidation of several mines into the Yellow Pine Mining Co.  Only the highest grade ore made it cost effective to deliver to the railroad in Manvel, some 45 miles away from the site.  In 1905, the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad was completed to Jean, Nevada which shortened the distance to deliver down to 7 miles.  Mining activity continued to flourish with improved mining technique, higher mineral costs and lowered delivery costs all of which lean to a peak in production between 1915 and 1918.  During this time the site boasted 800 souls, several stores, a post office, hotel, hospital and a weekly paper.  As with many towns, mining production and profitability waned and the population fell.

The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy
The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy

Goodsprings Mines

  • Alice Mine
  • Argentina Mine
  • Belle Mine
  • Columbia Mine
  • Cosmopolitan Mine
  • Fredrickson Mine
  • Green Copper Mine
  • Hermosa Mine
  • Hoosier Mine
  • Iron gold Mine
  • Lookout Mine
  • Keystone Mine
  • Lavina Mine
  • Middlesex Mine
  • Surprise Mine
  • Table Top Mine
  • Yellow Pine
The mill site located just outside of Goodsprings, Nevada
The mill site located just outside of Goodsprings, Nevada

Goodsprings Nevada Trailmap

Rhyolite Nevada

Rhyolite is a ghost town location just outside of the Eastern edge of Death Valley National monument in Nye country, Nevada.  Founded in 1904 by Frank “Shorty” Harris when he discovered quartz with load of “Free Gold”, Rhyolite started as a gold mining camp in the surrounding Bullfrog mining district. As with many discovery’s during this time period, news quickly circulated and the Bullfrog mining district was formed.

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Assays of $3000 per ton were reported by the mining press of the day, and the fall and winter saw many people converge on the area despite the weather conditions. Tonopah and Goldfield saw hundreds head south in the spring of 1905, and the migration caused “a string of dust a hundred miles long”.

It is an encouraging sign that the Ryolite Jail still stands. Also noteworthy, a brothel crib still stands as well.
It is an encouraging sign that the Ryolite Jail still stands. Also noteworthy, a brothel crib still stands as well.

The townsite of Rhyolite was found in a draw close to the most important mines in February, 1905. To start, the town was a mining camp with tents and canvas walled building. Fuel shortages caused the populous to burn sage brush and greasewood as fuel for their stoves to cook and keep warm. Food and fuel were teamed into the area on daily stages and water was bought over from Beatty for $5 per barrel.

A trains cabose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada
A trains cabose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada

However, as was common with gold rush towns, Rhyolite quickly developed all of the modern amenities of day, including newspapers, schools, hospitals and electrical power. Six thousand people called the town home in 1907. Luxuries unimaginable just two years before include, hotel rooms with private baths, and opera house, dozens of saloons, four banks, a butcher shop were brought to the town by three different trains.

The mines of Rhyolite, Nevada operated from 1905 - 1911
The mines of Rhyolite, Nevada operated from 1905 – 1911

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and a financial panic of 1907 dried up capital investment which doomed the town along with many others in the region. Rhyolite ceased to be and closed in 1911.  

Today, several building shells still exist, along with the infamous Bottle House, and outdoor museum.  The town is accessible via paved roads, which ruins the “ghosttown” effect and detracts a bit from the location.  In spite of this, it is easily accessible and worth a stop when you are in the area.

“The Last Supper” and other art pieces hold court just outside of Rhyolite

Rhyolite is a wonderful place to visit when you are running Titus Canyon and Leadfield trail.

Rhyolite, Nevada 1909
Rhyolite, Nevada 1909

Rhyolite Map

Resources

Delamar Nevada

Delamar Nevada in the 1890's. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the remaining wooden buildings were transported back to Pioche.
Delamar Nevada in the 1890’s. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the remaining wooden buildings were transported back to Pioche.

Nicknamed “The Widowmaker”, Delamar, Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining town in Monkeywrench Wash, Lincoln County, Nevada. Prospectors and Farmers from Pahranagat, John Fergusen and Joseph Sharp officially discovered gold in 1889 around Monkeywrench Wash. This event lead to the founding of the Fergusen Mining District and a camp of that name was established. Initial assays ranged from $75 to $1000 per ton of gold ore. This was more than enough to attract the attention of investors.

Meanwhile, the camp grew and Furgusen, or “Golden City” was a small tent town located near the Monkeywrench mine. The tent city of Helene was founded near the Magnolia Mine, and published a news paper, the The Fergusen Lode. A Post Office was opened in 1892.

Dutch-American businessman Joseph Raphael De Lamar
Dutch-American businessman Joseph Raphael De Lamar

De Lamar arrives

Dutch-American businessman Joseph Raphael De Lamar, an investor our of Montana, purchase the principal claims in 1983 for $150,000. He renamed the Fergusen district to Delamar, an obvious rework of this name. De Lamar founded three towns, one each in Idaho, Nevada and California, all of which bare his name. De Lamars investment centralized the people of the area and soon the smaller tent cities closed. The Furgusen Load was remaned to “The Delamar Load” in June 1894 and a post office was founded at the new town site later the same year.

Delamar mill and tailings in foreground. Hog Pen, the opening to the Delamar mine, is in the background high up on the mountain -  Unknown photographer - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p299, Ashley Cook Collection
Delamar mill and tailings in foreground. Hog Pen, the opening to the Delamar mine, is in the background high up on the mountain – Unknown photographer – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p299, Ashley Cook Collection

The new town grew fast and by 1895 hosted more than 1500 residents. The citizens enjoyed an opera house, hospital, several churches, schools and a variety of saloons. Many of the towns structures are built from nearby rock. A new mill was processing up to 260 tons of gold ore each day by the end of 1896.

The Delamar Lode newspaper office, 1890s. Delamar, Nevada. The young assistant, to the left, is known as a printer's devil.
The Delamar Lode newspaper office, 1890s. Delamar, Nevada. The young assistant, to the left, is known as a printer’s devil.

The town and mines of Delamar were the premiere mines of Nevada from 1895 to 1900. The town developed a second cyanide plant to aide in gold production in 1987. This plant was capable of processing 400 tons per day of gold rich ore.

A 900 feet deep well failed to produce failed a source of water for the down. As a result, two pipes were run 12 miles to Meadow Valley Wash and brought the water up 1500 in elevation to supply the town with water. Supplies were packed into Delamar from Milford, Utah, a distance of over 150 miles.

The WidowMaker

The town was nicknamed the Widow Maker. Poor Ventalation within the dry process mills produce a silica dust. This airborne dust drifted in the air within the mines and mills. The mine works would breathe this dust in and develop a fatal illness, silicosis. “Delamar Dust” and the town became known as “The Maker of Widows”. Despite this public warning, there was no shortage of miners, whom made just $3 / day.

There were an estimated 400 widows in Delamar, which for a population of 3000, in 1897, was quite high.

In the spring of 1900, fire destroyed about half of the town. Two years later, De Lamar divested his holding in his mines after they produced $8.5 million. The town still ranked high in the state gold production race. Despite this fact, the last major mine was closed in 1909 and the town collapsed.

Delamar Map

Resources

Carrara Nevada

Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV
Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV

Carrara Ghost town is a small ghost town and marble mine located about ten miles south of Beatty in Nye County, Nevada on the east side of US 95.

In 1904 first attempts to quarry the high quality marble at the Carrara site. These initial efforts failed with the inability to produce larger slabs from the highly fractured and unstable marble.  More suitable deposits of marble are found in 1911. The American Carrara Marble Company laid out the Carrara town. The town was named for Carrara, Italy, which produced world class marble. 

A Metropolis in waiting

The marble is hauled by a standard cable railway down three miles from the quarry to town. This designed utilized town cars on a single track. At the midway point, siding in the tracked allowed the two trains to pass each other in opposing directions. The car at the top of the track loaded with marble would supply all the pull the empty car at the bottom of the track up the mountain on a free return.

Rail lines were already available in the Vegas and Tonopah Railroad. Water is pumped from Gold Center, NV using a nine mile long pipe line. The supply was generous enough to allow the town to boast a town fountain, which would shoot water six feet into the air. The fountain was built by the Marble Company to promote the appearance of longevity for the fledgling town.

The rail road line to town is completed in 1914. Soon thereafter, large marble blocks, which could weight up to 15 tons, are shipped to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, the large marble blocks are cut to size, finished and polished.

Eventually, the company with founded the town lost profits. The towns people saw hardship and soon moved away. With the exception of a few hangers on, the town is gone in 1924.

Carrara Nevada in Nye County
Carrara Nevada in Nye County

The town boasted a newspaper appropriately named the Carrara Obelisk ( 5/8/1913 – 09/1916 ), a post office, hotel, store, saloon and restaurant to serve the 150 people who called the place home. The site contained  about 40 buildings. The post office was open from May 5, 1913 to September 15, 2914.

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Resources

Leadfield California

Leadfield California is a ghost town located in Inyo County and Death Valley National Park and found on the Titus Canyon Trail. The town boom in 1925 and 1926, however, Leadfield is a town that was started on fraud and deceit.

Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California
Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California

According to Legend and an article in Desert Magazine, and shameless promoter C. C. Julian wandered into Titus Canyon and started blasting tunnels. He then discovered lead ore which he purchased and brought down from Tonopah, Nevada. Julian then produced maps and other promotional materials and found investors from the East coast. The town of Leadfield was born and died on the imagination of this one man.

On first sight of Leadfield, my son yelled "Dad, get the tool box.  We need to fix this town!"
On first sight of Leadfield, my son yelled “Dad, get the tool box. We need to fix this town!”

The truth of the tale is not quite as interesting or spectacular. According the the National Park Service, Leadfield ore was first worked in 1905. During the Bullfrog boom, which took place outside of Beatty, prospectors worked the land looking for the next big hit. In the fall of 1905, nine mine sights were identified and claimed by W. H. Seaman and Curtis Durnford. The ore from these sites was assayed in Rhyolite at $40 per ton. The men bought out a local consortium and the Death Valley Consolidated Mining Company was incorporated which released promotional material and sold shares for 2.5 cents each.

The mine and its ore did produce, however the Death Valley Consolidated Mining Company soon discovered that the expense of hauling the ore to Rhyolite and then the frieght costs to ship the material to smelters further off caused the ore to be not profitable. After six months of operation the Death Valley Colisidated Mining Company disappeared.

Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California
Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California

Despite early failures, in March of 1924 three prospectors wandered into the canyon and staked several claims. Ben Chambers, L. Christensen and Frank Metts worked their claims of lead ore for over one year before selling the claims to John Salsberry. Mr. Salsberry saw enough promise to form the Western Lead Mines Company and started to raise capital via stock sales at $0.10 per share. By the end of 1925, the Western Lead Mines Company was working 50 claims in the valley and soon began in invest in infastructure in the form of a compressor plant. A long steep road was constructed for LeadField to the Beatty Highway.

In early 1926, the Western Lead Mines Company build a boarding house and piped in water from a nearby spring. The town of Leadfield was named officially January 30th, 1926. Stock from the Western Lead Mines Company went on sale in January and within a 24 hour period, 40,000 share of stock were sold at $1.57 per share.

In February 1926 it became known to the public that C. C. Julian purchase shares and was now President of Western Lead Mines Company. Almost immediately the California State Corporation Commission began an investigation into the stock sale because a permit was not granted for the stock sale. The promoter went to work, along with several other mine operations, raise interest and money for the town. City plans were filed with Inyo County, however the spectre of investigation loomed.

Despite the arrival of a post office, investment into the location, and hundreds of feet of tunnel, C. C. Julian was ordered to cease sale of stock by the California State Corporation Commission. Around the same time, the primary tunnel of the Western Lead Mines Company penetrated to the ledge which experts predicted the highest quality ore. This ore was assayed at 2% and far too low for profit considered freight costs.

Leadfield and the surrounding mines where gone months later. Mr. Julian was blamed despite the facts that he did not start the venture, there was ore at the location, and he invested money and time towards the venture. Mr. Julian is responsible for the road through Titus Canyon, which many is a favorite route of visitors every year.

Leadfield Sign, Death Valley, California
Leadfield Sign, Death Valley, California

For a detailed history, the NPS offers a great article.

Leadfield Map

Resources