2015 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part Three:  From Grantsville to Pioneer Ranches!

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

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

Grantsville, NV

Gold was discovered here in 1863, but things didn’t really take off until 1877. The first mill was built and began operating in 1878. The town soon grew to almost 1000 people. There was a hotel, a drugstore, a laundry, a market, a bakery and general merchandise. By 1881 the town had over forty businesses, including a bank.

But the rich strike dwindled and the town began to diminish. By 1884 there were only 400 people left, and two years later the population was down to 50. The post office closed in 1887.

Some off-and-on activity took place between 1907 and 1947. I think the mill whose ruins presently stand at the site, was likely built during that later period, using parts of the earlier mill’s foundation.

My first time here was back in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Since then I’ve past through a few times but haven’t taken any recent photos until now.

Above: Interior of the mill ruins. The southeast corner, on the right in this photo, has collapsed since the last time I was here. Still, it’s in better condition than I had expected.

Above: There is a brick and stone cistern next to the wooden bin where ore was dumped to begin processing in the mill.

Right: A wooden cabin below the mill.

Below: A large yellow flower, one of many seen in the vicinity of the mill.

The townsite is just up the canyon from the mill. There are three buildings still standing, and numerous ruins.

Above: This brick building was originally a schoolhouse. Later when there were no longer enough children left, it was converted to a boarding house. I think that may be when the wooden addition was built.

Left: Interior of the wooden addition on the brick building.

Below: An adobe building, with the schoolhouse in the background.

Right: Detail of the rear door of the adobe building.

Below: An old safe, possibly from the bank.

Below: A stone building with a roof made of logs and sod. Most of the sod is gone now, leaving only a thin layer of soil and rocks.

Nevada Cinnabar Mine, NV

Cinnabar, form of mercury ore, was found here in 1907. The main years of production were from 1914 to 1918 using a furnace capable of processing 50 tons of ore a day. Some additional work was done on a smaller scale during WWII.

Currently there are six cabins at the site, in various stages of decay; a house that was probably used by the mine superintendent; a tall brick chimney and other ruins of the mill.

Above: A cabin interior.

Right: A cabin door.

Above: The superintendent’s house, with the mill and furnace ruins in the background.

Below: I found layers of old newspapers beneath the torn and peeled wallpaper of the house. The newspapers were dated 1931.

Left: The brick chimney.

Below:  Ruins of the mill and furnace.

Above: A fire brick embossed with the maker’s name.

Ione, NV

I visited this remote mining town just last year, but there’s still more to see. I’ve added a few more buildings to the album.

Right and Below:  Wildflowers seen in Ione, NV.

Reese River Ranches, NV

As I passed through the southern end of the Reese River Valley, I came across many derelict old ranch buildings. Some of them were very old and most were quite picturesque.

Above: A small barn at the “White Ranch”.

Above: Swallows nesting on a light fixture inside the ranch house.

Right: Deer behind the ranch house.

Below: A windmill stands next to an old brick building at the O’Toole Ranch.

Above: A bridge made from two railroad flatcars, on the road leading to an active ranch.

Above: The ruins of an ancient adobe ranch house. On the right is the brick base that once held a water tank.

Above: There are several interesting buildings of brick, stone, and adobe at the Hess Ranch.

Below: A two-story, 16-room brick ranch house at the Hess Ranch.

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

Nevada Trip 2015 Part Four

Coming up:  Diamond Tunnel, Eureka, Keystone Canyon, and “Ground Zero” at Project Faultless!

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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