2013 Nevada-Mojave Trip



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Jefferson, NV

Silver was discovered in this area, high in the Toquima Range, in 1866. Production began in 1871. The town was divided into two sections about 3/4 of a mile apart: Lower Jefferson and Upper Jefferson. The ore ran out by 1881 and the town was abandoned.

The town came back to life in 1908 and lasted another nine years. Later attempts to revive the mines were not successful, and the area was completely abandoned by the 1930s.

Top: Mill ruins at Lower Jefferson.

Right: Section of an ancient adobe or brick wall in the mill ruins.

I had wanted to visit Jefferson for the past three years, but circumstance prevented it until now. I’m glad I finally made it -- it’s an amazing site! The lower town has ruins of two mills, numerous stone cabins and a couple larger stone buildings.

Left: The mill’s trench chimney. Rather than building an expensive brick or steel smokestack, they dug a trench up to the top of the hill behind the mill. The trench was lined with stone. It was then covered with large stone slabs, and topped with soil.

The smoke and fumes would then be vented out at the top of the hill, high above the village below.

Many of the stone slabs that once covered this trench chimney are now missing or broken.

Below: The remains of a stone store in the lower town.

Right: This 12” long leopard lizard blends perfectly with the grainy soil near the mill ruins.

Below: Interior of a stone building in the upper town. Note the remains of plaster on the inner walls.

The upper town contains the ruins of many buildings. Some are stone, some are adobe, some are low-grade concrete.

A massive ore bin stands on the hill, looking over the mill site and town.

Above: Here I am standing next to the mill’s boiler.

Chevy Truck and Drilling Rig

This battered old Chevy truck and antique drilling rig was abandoned near Roosevelt Well, NV and sat there in the desert for decades. Recently it was moved to Gold Point, NV and put on display there.

I stopped and shot a series of photos of this rig on my way through Gold Point.

Green’s Camp, NV

Out in the desert near Gold Point is this lonely little miner’s camp, consisting of a ramshackle house and a small garage or workshop.

Among the debris inside the house, I found a few scraps of a 90-year-old newspaper! One of the scraps has an ad for a “photoplay” called “Drums of Jeopardy”. It features Elaine Hammerstein and Wallace Beery. According to IMDB, this movie came out in 1923.

Stateline, NV

When gold was first discovered here in the 1860s, the site was called Gold Mountain. Mining didn’t really take off until 1881, when a ten-stamp mill was built by the Stateline Mining Company. Water was piped in from Tule Canyon.

Things soon started to wind down, and the post office was removed in 1891. There was a small resurgence of activity here in 1905.

Currently the site has many, many stone ruins scattered over a wide area. The west end has slightly more recent structures, including a cabin which is furnished and in useable condition. Please don’t trash it!

Left: Headframe that stands on the hill near the mill ruins.

Below: Interior of the cabin.

Left: I saw this badger running along the trail as I left the Stateline area. I followed him on foot and found him peering out of his burrow.

Right: Sunset on the desert.

War Eagle Mine, CA

I spent the night here at the War Eagle Mine, with its colossal wooden ore bin.

This lead mine operated from 1912 until 1957 and was part of the Tecopa Mines.

The War Eagle Mine’s tunnels extend all the way through the mountain, connecting to an adit on the east side. The huge ore bin sits on the western flanks of the mountain. There is some evidence that it once had a funicular incline to lower the ore down to bottom of the slope, just as the nearby Noonday and Gunsight mines did.

The last time I was here was in 2003. At that time the blacksmith’s shop was still standing. Sadly, there is little trace of it now.

Columbia Mine, CA

This is another of the Tecopa lead mines. There used to be some large fuel tanks, an old hoist, and other mining equipment here. Those are all gone now, apparently removed quite recently.

Besides these foundations, there is also a mine shaft, some adits, a small ore bin and a powder magazine.

Noonday Mine, CA - West End

This is another of the Tecopa lead mines. The Noonday, Columbia and War Eagle mines were all served by the Tecopa Railroad.

The “front” of the Noonday mines is on the western side of the mountain. There is an inclined shaft as well as several adits and stopes.

Ore from the mines was dumped into a large bin on the mountainside. From there it was loaded into special ore carts and lowered down a funicular incline to the railroad tracks, where it was then loaded into railroad cars. Ruins of the ore bin and funicular incline remain.

Windy Point Mine, CA

My last stop on the trip was a brief visit to this small mine in the Mojave desert.

That concludes my 2013 Nevada-Mojave trip. Thanks for following along, I hope you enjoyed it!

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Note to modelers:

Many of the structures I’ve photographed would make great additions to your model railroad. It is my hope that these photos can be a useful reference resource. If you need larger, higher resolution images, just let me know. Also, in some cases I have additional detail photos that have not been posted online.

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