Ghost Towns and Mines


poinsettia Mine, NV

The Poinsettia Mine is a real gem! This small mercury mining camp is tucked away in a bowl-shaped canyon. The only information I’ve found so far states that the mine was started in 1929 and was worked until at least 1944. A Boy Scout troop from Hawthorne, NV has adopted the mining camp and maintained the cabins. However it looks like they don’t get out there very often.

The primary mineshaft has a headframe which is beginning to lean quite a bit and may soon fall if someone doesn’t find a way to support it. Until a few years ago there was a shack near the headframe, but someone burned it down, leaving only a concrete foundation filled with ash and debris. There are also a couple of older shafts, a retort and a other items.

The camp has three cabins which are in great condition. The interiors are clean and not infested with rodents. Sturdy wooden platforms have been built for use as beds, so you’re not sleeping directly on the floor. There is no glass in the windows, and only one cabin has a front door, but in this hot, dry climate that’s not a bad thing.

Having a place to sleep up off the ground is almost imperative at this site. I have never seen so many scorpions and camel spiders in one place before! At night, the ground here is just crawling with creepy critters!

Because there is so much to see at this site, I’ve decided to provide a separate page for each area of interest. Below you’ll see a few photos of each feature. Clicking on any of these will take you to that structure’s page, where you will be able to see many more photos showing all details of the structure and its surroundings.

Posted August 2013.

Return to Ghost Towns list

Left: A 2” long scorpion glowing blue in ultraviolet light. A handheld UV light is a great way to spot scorpions near your camp!

Below: This huge scorpion, over 4” long from head to tail, crawled right across my tarp just as I was about to roll out my sleeping bag! That was the last straw that convinced me to moved into one of the cabins.

Poinsettia Mine:  The Headframe and Ruins

(Click the title or any photo to see more pics of this structure and its surroundings.)

The primary mineshaft has a square, wooden headframe. Nearby is an adit, and a pair of older shafts.

Nearby is the remains of an ore bin, a retort, an outhouse, and other various bits of debris.

Poinsettia Mine:  Cabin One

The first cabin is the largest, and the only one with a kitchen. Apparently it was the cookhouse and dining room for the miners. The Boy Scouts have used it as a meeting room.

Poinsettia Mine:  Cabin Two

The second cabin has an enclosed porch with rusted out window screens. There is no glass in the windows, however it is the only cabin with a door in front.

An archeologist was staying in this cabin the night I arrived.

Poinsettia Mine:  Cabin Three

The third cabin has no door and no glass in the windows. The front porch is not enclosed, and appears to have been rebuilt relatively recently. This is the cabin I stayed in.

Poinsettia Mine:  Other Structures

Behind the three cabins, there are several other structures and ruin, including an outhouse. There is also a solitary grave marked with a wooden cross. No name is on the grave, and I haven’t found anything online that tells who is buried there.