2015 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part five:  Eden Creek, Clifford, and a steam tractor!

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As usual, you can click on any of the photos or links in the article to see more photos of each site...

Eden Creek Mill, NV -- Upper Canyon

This mill was built in 1938 to serve the nearby South Gold mine. The mine was worked intermittently until WWII. The mill shows evidence of changes to the configuration and equipment over the years. Currently there is a ball mill here (above), which apparently was installed much later, after the original belt-driven equipment had been removed.

Above: The mill is on a steep slope and surrounded by thick brush, making it difficult to access the middle level.

Left: The mid-level contains an International Harvester engine which was once used to power a jaw crusher.

Below: The bottom level of the mill is the largest and has wooden stairs leading to various platforms. The ball mill is on this level, and so is this Hobart Brothers generator.

Eden Creek Mill, NV -- Lower Canyon

At the lower end of the canyon there are ruins of a much older mill camp. These ruins include part of a small stamp mill (above), some stone foundations, and a pair of stone cabins that are falling apart.

Right: A massive outcrop of white rock protrudes from the ridge of the mountains overlooking Reveille Valley.

Below: I past by the ruins of the Reveille Mill and paused to snap this photo. I have many more photos of this site from a previous trip.

Above: These stone bluffs tower over Reveille Valley.

Clifford, NV

In 1905 the Clifford brothers discovered silver here, sparking a boom that peaked in 1908 when the town had about a hundred houses, tents, saloons, a dance hall, stores, a hotel, and boarding houses, with a population of about 500 people. The richest ore soon ran out, and the silver panic of 1908 only made things worse. By July 1909 the town was dying and the post office closed.

There was a brief revival in the late 1920s but by 1929 the town was abandoned. A fire in 1946 destroyed the last two buildings at the townsite.

Above: This building was made of colorful sandstone. Next to it is a wooden dugout that is collapsing.

Below: The rusted remains of a 1920s era pickup truck. The cab of the truck was still intact just a few years ago, but now only the firewall and windshield frame still stand, with the doors attached and swinging with the breeze.

Tonopah, NV

I stopped in Tonopah for fuel and ice, and although I’ve been here many, many times, I still had no trouble finding a couple more vintage buildings to photograph.

South Klondike Hills, NV

These hills several miles south of Tonopah are dotted with old mines and prospects, but very little in the way of structures or artifacts.

The most prominent feature is this battered water tank, near the base of the hills and visible from the highway. I suspect it was originally part of a water tower serving one of the railroads that used to traverse western Nevada, possibly the Tonopah & Goldfield RR. My guess is that it was moved here for use at a mine, after the railroads went belly up.

Above: The building that was here appears to have burned down. It was surrounded by a long and rather elaborate retaining wall of stone and concrete, with concrete stairs and iron handrails. A bit much even for the mine foreman’s house, so I wonder it this was the site of a hotel?

Below: The retaining wall curves quite a distance around the slope. At its base are a series of planters, apparently for flowers!

Steam Tractor - Goldfield, NV

A store owner in Goldfield, NV has been collecting antique equipment and displaying it in front of his store. This year I saw couple new additions to the collection. One was this huge steam tractor, also known as a traction engine.

Steam tractors were used extensively on farms prior to the introduction of tractors powered by internal combustion. A few were steam tractors tested for pulling wagons of ore through the desert, but they failed miserably, mainly due to the rough, rocky ground.

I don’t know where this one came from, nor the make, model or year it was built.

Gardner-Denver Compressor - Goldfield, NV

This large, portable Gardner-Denver compressor was the other new addition to the collection.

Above: A trio of wild burros wanders through a yard in Beatty, NV.

Left: A rare example of a miner’s cottage that has been reasonably well maintained, in Beatty, NV.

A tire! A tire! My kingdom for a tire!

I made another fuel stop in Beatty, NV and then continued south. About fifteen miles down the road, my fourteen-year-old spare tire lost its tread, and took the plastic fender extension with it.

I made it back to Beatty by driving slowly on the shoulder of the road, and was thrilled to find a 24-hour tire shop. Called the number on their sign, and the guy says, “Sorry, I’m out of town today.”   Doh!

So I called Auto Club, and they found a 24-hour tire service in Vegas. I suggested they call the shop first, before towing me all the way there. Oops, that number is no longer in service.

I asked the gal to try Baker, CA. It’s a highway town, catering to travelers on I-15, so it seemed like a good bet to find 24-hour service there. Plus, it’s the direction I was headed. She did find a tire service for me in Baker, and said I was all set up to go there. I just needed to be towed 137 miles. Luckily we get 100 miles free towing, so I’d only have to pay for the extra 37 miles.

After a long wait for the tow truck to arrive, and a long drive from Beatty to Baker, we finally arrived at the tire shop in Baker shortly before midnight, only to find that they had not been contacted by Auto Club and didn’t have tires in my size. So the tow truck driver used his iPhone to find another 24-hour shop, and they confirmed that they did have the right tires. The tow truck driver then volunteered to take me the extra 12 miles to this shop.

Finally, six hours after the tire came apart, I was back on the road. It was almost 1:30 a.m. I needed a place to camp, and soon. The nearest place I could find didn’t seem very promising, but “beggars can’t be choosers”.

It turned out to be far better than I’d expected.

Go to the next page to read more about my 2015 Nevada/Mojave trip:

Nevada Trip 2015 Part Six

Coming up:  A Mojave desert mining camp.

Skip to:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four   Part Five   Part Six

Note to modelers:

Many of the structures I’ve photographed would make great subjects for dioramas, or for 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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