2015 Mining History Association Tour

 

Nevada Ghost Town Tour - Six Mile Canyon, Dayton,

Thompson, Yerington, and Mason Valley

Tour Leaders: Stan Paher and Bob Spude

June 15, 2015

 

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The post-conference tour was led by the well-known author and guru of Nevada’s mining camps and ghost towns, Stan Paher, and MHA Past President, Bob Spude.   For an extensive description of the locations visit, CLICK HERE to download the tour guidebook.

Charles Butters’ cyanide mill in Six Mile Canyon processed the tailings from earlier milling operations to recover gold and silver.  The ruins attest to the size of this huge plant that operated into the 1920s.

The large, concrete stamp battery foundations are the prominent features of the series of mills that were built at Rock Point, east of Dayton.  They date from 1912 when the last mill closed. The first mill, built in 1861, was water powered and used the Washoe Pan Process.


Stan Paher (right) relates the history of Dayton as a milling center.  Bluestone (copper sulfate) deposits in the Yerington District southeast of Dayton were mined to provide the chemical to the mills employing the Washoe Pan Process.
Little remains of the Mason Valley Mines Company’s smelter (1912-1929) at Thompson.  The location was named for William Boyce Thompson the prominent mine financier and developer.

The Anaconda Company’s Yerington Mine operated from 1952 to 1978.  It was a major producer of copper from a porphyry deposit.  The nearby company town of Weed Heights is still occupied.

 

The Anaconda arrowhead logo is still visible on the water tank near the Yerington Mine.

 

Employees of Singatse Peak Services (right), the current land owner, served as guides at the Yerington Mine site.
MHAers at the edge of the flooded Yerington pit.  The green stains in rocks on the pit slope reveal the presence of copper minerals.

Several buildings remain at the Yerington processing plant complex.  The plant successfully employed vat leaching for recovery of copper.The Bluestone Mining Company operated this concentrator near its underground mines 3 miles northwest of Mason.  The town of Mason was built in 1908 as part of William Boyce Thompson’s Mason Valley Mining company’s operations in the area. The Nevada Copper Belt Railroad connected the mines to the smelter at Thompson.

Photos Courtesy of Bob Spude

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