Sutro Nevada

Located at 4,478 feet, Sutro Nevada is a ghost town located in Lyon County Nevada built to support construction of the Sutro Tunnel.

The town of Sutro Nevada, taken in 1874
The town of Sutro Nevada, taken in 1874

The story of Nevada can not be told without the Comstock Load. The Comstock Load was a massive silver mine located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, near Virginia City, Nevada. The strike is made public in 1859 and lead to the largest rush into Nevada since the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Miners following the silver ore tunneled deeper and deeper into the mountain. Natural springs frequently flooded the tunnels and many miners escaped with their lives after tapping into a large underground reservoir of water. The deeper the miners tunnelled, the more expensive to remove the scalding hot water from their tunnels.

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830–1898) was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, California, serving in that office from 1894 until 1896 - Photographer Mathew Benjamin Brady
Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830–1898) was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, California, serving in that office from 1894 until 1896 – Photographer Mathew Benjamin Brady

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro proposed a solution to the water problem. His proposal was to build a drainage tunnel from the deepest part of the Comstock Lode.

The Sutro Tunnel

In 1865, Sutro’s tunnel gained traction and had gained approval from the federal and state governments. The Sutro Tunnel Company is formed and started selling stock certificates to raise funds. Construction began in 1869 and connected to the Savage Mine on July 8th, 1878. On June 30th, 1879, the tunnel is connect of all of the mines and the first water is released. The tunnel was 3.88 miles in length and runs from Dayton to Virginia City.

Town Summary

NameSutro Nevada
LocationLyon County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.28, -119.584167
GNIS856145
Elevation4,478 ft (1,365 m)
Population600 – 800
Post OfficeMarch 1872 – October 1920
NewspaperSutro Independent Sept 25, 1875 – Nov 22, 1880

Sutro Map

References

Tenabo Nevada

Located at 5,354 above sea level, Tenabo Nevada is a gold mining camp and ghost town located in Lander County, Nevada

 Wagon train hauling silver ore from the Little Gem mine in Tenabo to the railhead at Beowawe, 25 miles south - 1910 - Stanley W Paher, "Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell-North Books, William Kornmayer collection, p 91
Wagon train hauling silver ore from the Little Gem mine in Tenabo to the railhead at Beowawe, 25 miles south – 1910 – Stanley W Paher, “Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell-North Books, William Kornmayer collection, p 91

In 1907, silver is discovered in the Bullion mining district. The discovery lead to the formation of Tenabo on the eastern slope of the Shoshone Range. The townsite is platted out and located just east of the mining district. Several wooden structures are built and with months a population of about 1,000 people called the town home.

The citizens of Tenabo ran and were serviced by several businesses including a hotel, restaurant, assay office, grocery store, school, post office. Saloons and “Sporting Houses” kept the men inline and happy. Goods and services along with people are delivered with tri-weekly stage service from Beowawe. Automobiles and a steam traction service also provided access to the town.

For three years, several active mines kept the mill running in Mill Gultch. After 1911, the high cost of goods and water hauling hampered continued mining operations. The post office is closed on July 31st, 1912.

About 1916, A. E. Raleigh finds placer gold in Mill Gulch and soon a camp is named for him. Placer mining continue in the surrounding ravines for the next twenty years. In the 1930’s a floating dredge continue placer mining operations and recovered significant amounts of gold until the 1940’s

In 1972, the mines near Tenabo are purchased by the Mid-West Oil Corporation. Mid-West Oil in turn sold the mining rights to the Tenabo Gold Placers Limited Partnership. Today the mines are still actively worked by the Flowery Gold Mines Company of Nevada.

Tenabo Town Summary

NameTenabo Nevada
LocationLander County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitutude40.314444, -116.676667
Elevation5,354
GNIS844209
Post OfficeDecember 7, 1906 – July 31, 1912
Population1,000

Tenabo Map

Directions

Tenabo Nevada is located about twenty five miles south east of Battle Mountain, Nevada just off I-80 at the Beowawe exit.

References

Leadfield California – A Death Valley Ghost Town

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.

Photograph of an exterior view of the Leadfield Hotel in Death Valley's Titus Canyon, [s.d.]. The hotel is a simple wooden structure with a slanted roof and a rectangular façade. The upper left corner of the façade is missing, revealing the interior of the building. Three large rectangular windows and two doors alternate across the front of the building. There are three people standing on a caved-in porch in front of the hotel. A large rocky mountain rises up behind the hotel. The hotel was part of C. C. Julian's Leadfield boomtown, the hey day of which was in 1925. Photo Credit “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library.
Photograph of an exterior view of the Leadfield Hotel in Death Valley’s Titus Canyon, [s.d.]. The hotel is a simple wooden structure with a slanted roof and a rectangular façade. The upper left corner of the façade is missing, revealing the interior of the building. Three large rectangular windows and two doors alternate across the front of the building. There are three people standing on a caved-in porch in front of the hotel. A large rocky mountain rises up behind the hotel. The hotel was part of C. C. Julian’s Leadfield boomtown, the hey day of which was in 1925. Photo Credit “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library.

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.

C. C. Julian
C. C. Julian

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.

Julian at the Western Lead Mine located in Leadfield, California - Photo Los Angeles Times
Julian at the Western Lead Mine located in Leadfield, California – Photo Los Angeles Times

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.

"The Last Days of C. C. Julian," Los Angeles Times, 29 Sept. 1935
“The Last Days of C. C. Julian,” Los Angeles Times, 29 Sept. 1935

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. Once his Leadfield venture faltered, he moved onto to Oklahoma and was caught up in yet another scam. Julian later fled the country for Shanghai in March of 1933 m where he committed suicide in 1923 after several more failed schemes. Julian was buried in a beggers coffin and his funeral was attended by nine people.

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 Town Summary

NameLeadfield
LocationInyo County, Death Valley, California
Latitude, Longitude36.8466107,-117.0592307
GNIS1658952
Elevation4000 feet
Newspaper Leadfield Chronicle ( 192?-19?? )

Further Reading

Leadfield Map

Resources

Galena Nevada – Lander County Ghost Town

Galena Nevada was a silver mining from 1869 to 1907 and currently a ghost town located just just a west of highway 305 south of Battle Mountain, in Lander County, Nevada. The discovery of Silver at the head of Galena Canyon first lead miners in the area in 1863. Following the silver discovery three years later, in 1866, a mining camp forms to prospect the land.

Galena Nevada in the 1960's - Paher
Galena Nevada in the 1960’s – Paher

In 1869, the townsite of Galena is plotted and originally located in Humboldt County. Daily stage service from nearby Battle Mountain delivered peoples and supplies to the small town. The town grew in size and citizens by the month. The town boasts a park plaza, water system, public hall, schools, and a post office is started in 1732.

Within the boundary of Humboldt County, the towns fortunes could have been secured, however it lost the battle for county seat to Winnemucca. A court house is planned within the town to seat this honor.

After 1875, the town of several hundred people began to succumb to reality as production slowed. In 1874, plans for the court house are abandoned when the Galena Range is ceded to Lander County. By 1886, the French Mining Company took over the mines and later halted development. After the post office closed, there was mining activity in Galena starting around World War I and sporadically into the 1960’s

Town Summary

NameGalena Nevada
LocationLander County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude40.564, -117.13
GNIS854456
Elevation1877 meters / 6158 feet
PopulationSeveral Hundred
Post OfficeJune 2, 1871 – March 1873 [Humboldt Co.]
March 1873 – May 27, 1887 [Lander Co.]
As “Blanco” – October 11, 1888 – November 15, 1907

Galena Trail Map

References

Hiko Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Hiko Nevada starts to see initial activity in 1853. Silver mines in the area are largely responsible for the people settling the area.

Mill of Hiko Silver Mining Co. in 1871 - Timothy H. O'Sullivan - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Mill of Hiko Silver Mining Co. in 1871 – Timothy H. O’Sullivan – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

The town is founded by A William Raymond when he purchased several of the twenty six mines in the area of Pahranagat Valley. Raymond built the first mill, and laid out a townsite and named it “Hiko”. The name Hiko an Indian phrase which means “white man’s town.”

By the end of 1866, the area around it had attracted a few hundred residents. Hiko was the county seat of Lincoln County from 1867 to 1871 and is home a few hundred residents living in nearby ranches. By 1871 the mining activity west of Hiko started to falter. After the mining activity subsided, a time lawlessness came to the throughout the valley. At this time, the valley is known for its cattle rustlers, horse thieves and gun-fights.

In 1871 Hiko was replaced as the county seat of Lincoln County by Pioche which continues to serve this function..

As early as 1865, a camp was established here, and during the spring of 1866, W. H. Raymond and others laid out the townsite.  The name Hiko is apparently based on a Shoshone term for “white man” or ‘white man’s town.  Raymond purchased a five-stamp mill and had it shipped via the Colorado River to Callville and then hauled by oxen the 140 miles to this site.  In November 1866, milling began on Pahranagat ores and soon after, Hiko became the first county seat of Lincoln County.  In March 1867, Raymond spent nearly $900,000 developing the region before the enterprise failed.  The mill was moved to Bullionville in 1870.  Hiko consequently declined in population and importance, which accelerated following the removal of the county government to Pioche in February 1871.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER NO.  206, STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE, NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Town Summary

NameHiko
LocationLincoln County, Nevada
GNIS845862
Latitude, Longitude37.5969036, -115.2241887
Elevation3,869 feet (,179m)
Nevada Historical Marker206

Hiko Town Map

References