2021 Mining History Association Tour

Eureka Mining District
Eureka, Nevada
Tour Leader, Richard Reid
June 11, 2021



Richard Reid moved to Nevada in 1981 to work as a mine geologist.  He completed his career with Newmont Mining Corporation as Chief Geologist of North America. He is semi-retired but is affiliated with several Canadian junior companies.  The images below are selected from Richard’s more extensive virtual tour presentation.




The historic mining town of Eureka, Nevada is a friendly town located on US Highway 50, said to be the “Loneliest Road in America.”  In 1864, a group of silver prospectors from Austin, Nevada, discovered mineralization. Richer discoveries were made by Cornish prospectors in 1869 and the rush was on. By 1878 the town had a population of 2,500.  However, by 1885, the rush was over and production began to decline.  Underground mining activities continued off and on until 1974.

By 1869, mining had started in earnest on Ruby Hill southwest of today’s town of Eureka.  Mines supplied a local smelter.  This tour visits three important mine sites:  Richmond (18), Locan (20), and FAD (16). (USGS Professional Paper 406, Plate 1, T. B. Nolan, et al.)

The enriched gossan zone on the original Ruby Hill discovery contained oxidized ore with silver, gold, lead, and zinc.

Underground mine workings have subsided all the way to the surface.

View of the Locan Mine before 2009. The old railroad grade can be seen in the foreground.

In this current view, the headframe had collapsed due to a heavy winter snowfall.  The trestle and the ore bins are visible.

Hoist house of the Locan Mine.

The hoist is still inside.

Elaborate headframe foundation.  Ore cars on the trestle above, miners on the cage below.

Locan Mine powder house.

Richmond Mine ruins.

Richmond headframe and ore bins.

Ruins of the boiler house at the Richmond Mine.

Richmond Mine hoist.

Historic view of the Locan Shaft (ca1880). Ore was produced on the footwall side of the Ruby Hill Fault.  As workings deepened and attempted to cross the fault zone, the mine was beset with water problems that caused its closure.

In 1919, Thayer Lindsley’s Ruby Hill Development Co. tried unsuccessfully to dewater the shaft.  Lindsley’s Eureka Corp. Ltd. resumed production and exploration until 1937.  This led to the sinking of the FAD Shaft. Activity stopped in 1943 because of World War II.

During the World War II era, drilling by the US Bureau of Mines located deep ore in the down dropped side of the Ruby Hill Fault.

The steel headframe was constructed in 1945 after the earlier wooden one was destroyed by fire.  By 1947 the shaft was over 2,400 feet deep.

Substantial buildings from the 1940s remain at the FAD Shaft.  After numerous attempts by several mining groups to dewater and reactivate the mine, underground equipment was removed in 1966 and the lease was finally terminated in 1974.

Water tower was constructed around the late-1940s.  The manager’s house is in the foreground.

FOOTNOTE: In 1997, the open pit Carlin-type Ruby Hill/Archimedes Mine was developed by Homestake Mining. It has recently (2021) resumed production by Elko Mining Group, LLC.


*Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all photographs are from computer screen shots taken during the virtual presentations. This accounts for lower resolution images than those from the usual MHA conferences.

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