Friday, October 27, 2017

Monarch Mine, Nevada

After leaving Sprucemont, Nevada (see the previous post), we continued up Spruce Mountain about two more miles.  The road got much rougher, although it was not nearly as difficult as we expected.  I did use four-wheel drive, and in one or two places low range, and was glad I recently added skid plates to my truck.

Our first view of the mine area included a few houses along a side road.  The area is very steep, with houses on different levels of the hillside.

Most of the buildings are frame houses, but there is one cabin made from massive logs that probably dates back to the earliest days of the mine, around 1899.

This is a true ghost town.  Many buildings are totally collapsed, and those that are still standing have a lot of damage.  Some look like they were nice at one time, but now the wallpaper is peeling and the ceilings coming down.  But, their positions high on the mountains had great views from the windows.

There is a huge crumbling ore bin right in the middle of the residences, and a mine shaft nearby, so miners didn’t have to go far to work.  The gigantic timbers were held together with massive nuts, bolts, and square washers.  Now many are gone, and others are beautifully rusty.

The Monarch Mine was a big producer of lead during World War I.  According to the USGS website, 

"About $200,000 worth up to 1902; 21,000 tons ore worth $475,000 from 1919 to 1921; more production through 1952. Total production was over $1,000,000 worth, including some zinc and copper."

This photo gives some idea of how steep the mountain is, and how houses were built on plots leveled out of the hillside.  We enjoyed exploring the townsite, but didn’t stay long because snow flurries started, and we were a long way from pavement.  The Spruce Mountain mining area was well worth the visit.

I hope you enjoy the photos, but please respect the copyrights and do not use them for any purpose without permission.

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