2009 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part Two: The Adventure continues!

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Everett Mines, NV

That night I camped at the Everett Mines, a large, abandoned mining camp in the Snake Range of eastern Nevada. Silver was discovered in the area in 1869 but extracting it from the ore was difficult. Later it was found that the ore contained tungsten. Tungsten mining ramped up during World War I, dropped off after the war, and boomed again during World War II. The ore was processed a few miles away at a mill in Minerva, NV.

In addition to the complex ore bins and chutes (above) there are many buildings at the site. Some are worker’s quarters, showers and changing rooms. There’s also a house that was probably home to the mine’s supervisor. In that house I found a tiny bat hanging from an old light fixture (right).

Keystone Driller Company - Well Drilling Rig

The most fascinating artifact at the Everett Mines is a steam-powered well drilling rig that dates back to the 1880’s. It was abandoned in place, apparently after breaking down while drilling a well. The boiler and steam engine are missing but all other parts seem to be intact.

I shot a lot of photos of this rig and even took measurements of a few components. Someday I’d like to build a model of this cool-looking machine.

To my surprise, when I arrived in Ely, NV later that day, I saw another rig just like this displayed at a museum. That rig was in better condition and still had its boiler and engine.

Minerva, NV

After leaving the Everett Mines, I stopped a few miles away at Minerva. It was here that the tungsten ore from the Everett Mines, and other local mines, was milled.

There are a few small houses and cabins in various stages of decay, plus foundations of a large mill. A pair of rusty steel hopper stand over the mill’s location. Nearby is the ruins of a machine shop and powerhouse, and a large diesel engine.

St. Lawrence Mine, NV

My next stop was the St. Lawrence Mine, located in the Snake Range several miles north of the Everett Mines.

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the history of this mine. But it has a mix of very old ruins and much more recent structures. Some of the buildings have corrugated aluminum siding, instead of the corrugated steel more typical of older structures.

A steady stream of water flows from a flooded mine tunnel and cascades down the mountain. There is evidence of additional mining activity somewhere above the main site; however I didn’t have to time to check it out on this trip.

Below left: A squirrel stands in the doorway of an abandoned house. 

Below right: Insects and other creatures are attracted to the water flowing from the flooded mine.

John Deere Crawler Tractor

From the St. Lawrence Mine, I headed northwest to Ely, NV. There I saw this little John Deere crawler-type tractor displayed at a museum. It would make a great model!

Nevada Northern Railway #93

Of course, the main attraction in Ely is the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, with its operating steam locomotives. During the time I was there they had engine #93 fired up and running, without a train.

I chased #93, a 2-8-0 built in 1909, from the tunnel just outside Ely, to the wye at Ruth, and then back to the station in Ely. I would set up my camcorder to record video and use my digicam to snap still photos as the train passed by. Then I’d hop in the car, drive to another point ahead of the train, and do it all again. I did this several times and got some great video and stills.

Go to Page 3 to read more about my 2009 Nevada trip:

Nevada Trip 2009 Part Three

From the steam era to the atomic age... more adventures through history!

Go Back To Part One


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