2017 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part four: A steam locomotive, the taylor mine, ely valley mine, and more!

You can click on any of the photos or links in the article to see more photos or videos of each site...

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

Nevada Northern Railway Museum - Ely, NV

The Nevada Northern Railway was built in 1905-06 to connect the growing town of Ely with the Southern Pacific mainline to the north at Cobre, NV. Additional trackage was built in 1907-08 to serve the copper mines to the west at Ruth, NV and east to the smelter at McGill, NV.

In 1983 the entire facility and rolling stock were donated to the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation, which operates it as the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. It is one of the most complete and original vintage railroad facilities in existence. The museum has multiple locomotives, both steam and diesel, and runs excursions throughout the year.

I had hoped to get some aerial video of the train making its passenger run, but arrived too late. Luckily I was able to get some video of steam locomotive #40, a Baldwin-built 4-6-0, passing through the yard on its way to the engine house.

Click here to see video of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum - Ely, NV.

1929 Ford Model AA - Railway Express Agency Truck

This well-preserved REA truck was prominently display at the Nevada Northern Railway depot in Ely, NV. The Railway Express Agency was created in 1917 to provide small package delivery via the railroads. I shot extensive photos of this vintage vehicle.

Taylor Mine, NV

The town of Taylor, NV lasted from about 1883 to 1893. At its peak it had a population of 1500 people. A modern open-pit mine has obliterated the town site, and currently the only vintage structures are this headframe, hoist house and shack.

Click here to see video of Taylor Mine, NV.

From the Taylor Mine, I headed south towards Pioche, NV. Along the way I stopped to fly the drone of a large marshy area in Lake Valley. The video is very short, because high winds were making it difficult to continue flying.

Click here to see video of Lake Valley Marsh, NV.

Ely Valley Mine, NV

Despite the name, this mine is nowhere near the town of Ely. All I’ve been able to find out about its history is that ore was first discovered here in 1907, and production began in 1926. There are two separate mine shafts, each with its own headframe. The older shaft has a wooden headframe and ore bin. Presumably this was the original from 1926. The second shaft has a larger, steel headframe and was likely built at some later date. There are numerous buildings as well.

The first time I was here, back in the mid-90s, there were some large, cylindrical ore bins near the steel headframe. These bins were connected by conveyors. As of 2017, those bins and conveyors are all gone. I’m not entirely sure but I think at least one building is also gone.

The entire complex is fenced and posted, with signs stating that game cameras are in use to catch trespassers. So the only access is by drone.

Click here to see video of Ely Valley Mine, NV.

Pioche Mines, NV

At the west end of Pioche, NV there are several mine ruins on the hill above the town. These include a steel headframe, a large hoist house, machine shops, ore bin, and other structures.

Above: A gopher snake that was warming itself on the road. I managed to get him off the road before he could get run over, but he wasn’t happy about it.

Belmont, NV - East End

Belmont, NV is a well-known ghost town that began in the mid-1860s. By 1867 it had a population of about 2000 people, and became the county seat. In 1905 the county seat was moved to Tonopah. On this trip, I concentrated on the east end of Belmont, which overlooks Monitor Valley. There are numerous mines and ruins here.

The most prominent of these ruins is the giant brick chimney, visible for miles, that was once part of the Combination Mill. That mill was built in 1868. A short distance to the south are the ruins of the Monitor Belmont company’s flotation mill, aka the Highbridge Mill. This mill was built in 1915 using bricks from the defunct Combination Mill.

(Note: Although it is identified on maps as the Highbridge Mill, according to some sources the correct name is the Cameron Mill.)

Farther up the hill are remains of an early mill, possibly the first Highbridge Mill. Nearby in a shallow canyon are the ruins of at least ten stone cabins. There are numerous other mine shafts and minor ruins throughout this area.

Click here to see video of Belmont, NV - East End.

Go to the next page to read more about my 2017 Nevada/Mojave trip:

Nevada Trip 2017 Part Five

Coming up:  The Bar Double 9 Ranch, Clayton Valley lithium mine, Mill Site Well, Crater Sulfur Mine and more!

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

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.

Return to Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!

Return to Photography and Graphics page