Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


Above: The Orizaba Mine.

Below: The hoist at the mine.

Gold and silver ore was discovered here in 1909. The Orizaba Mine was the largest and most important mine in the area but it was soon joined by many others. By 1911 prospectors had staked claims covering 120 acres.

The Orizaba Mine is fairly intact, and quite fascinating. The wooden headframe towers over the shaft. Inside the hoist house is a hoist powered by what appears to be the engine from a small tractor. The original steam-powered hoist is gone but the two large boilers are still in place next to the hoist house. One of the huge, riveted steel smokestacks is lying on the ground a few feet away.

The hoist house also doubled as the blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith’s stump, which supported the anvil, is still in place. The forge is intact too, and has a unique smoke hood made from one end of a steel drum.

There are a few other buildings in the area. In the canyon north of the Orizaba Mine there is a corrugated metal cabin, and a stone cabin, near the ruins of a wood cabin. To the west of the mine is a wood cabin standing near another mine shaft. Beside it is a pile of rubble from a ruined building, as well as a small root cellar.

Water was a problem here. By 1918 water was seeping into the mines at a rate of 100,000 gallons per day, far more than the pumps of that period could handle. The lower levels flooded, and with mining restricted to the upper levels, commercial mining ended in the 1940s. Some small-scale mining took place off and on after that.

I visited this site in 2020 and have an excellent video about it:

Posted February 2021.

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Orizaba, NV