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Old 01-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
Stuntman OP
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Location: Don't know...I'm lost.
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Las Vegas/Ghost Town Tour in May

***This is the updated dates/route as of March 23rd***

I am planning a ride from my home in New Orleans to Las Vegas May 23rd. The plans are as follows:

Day 1: New Orleans to Albuquerque, NM via Shreveport, Dallas, Wichita Falla, and Amarillo(approx. 1100 miles)

Day 2: Albuquerque to Las Vegas (approx. 650 miles)

Day 3: Ride Vegas and the surrounding desert

Day 4: Ride Vegas to Ely, NV (280 miles) with 90% of the ride there off-road
We will stay the night in Ely.

Day 5: Ride off-road from Ely to Treasure City/Belmont Mill/Eberhard ruins/Shermantown ruins/Hamilton ruins
(all mines/Ghost Towns from the late 1800's) then ride to Picohe, NV
were we will spend the night.

Day 6: Explore Pioche, Caliente and Delamar/Helena mine then head back to Vegas

Day 7: Spend full day in Vegas

Day 8: Las Vegas to Las Cruces, NM

Day 9: Las Cruces to San Antonio via Hwy 90 through Alpine, Del Rio and Uvalde

Day 10: San Antonio to New Orleans


For this ride, there are a few critieria:

1: Be able to "Iron Butt" it to Vegas (or you can meet me there).
2: Be proficient at riding off-road
3: Be easy going and flexible!!!!!

Or you can just meet us in Vegas.

So, if you are up to the challenge, let me know if you are interested in joining me.


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Stuntman screwed with this post 03-23-2008 at 11:20 AM Reason: date change
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:45 PM   #2
Stuntman OP
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History/Pictures

The following are for the areas I plan to explore on this trip. I hope this wets your appetite!

This is a topo map listing all the mines around Treasure City as well as the Shermantown ruins, Hamilton ruins and the Eberhard ruins.


The next is the history and some pictures of Treasure City.
This is the only know picture of Treasure City during its boom.

The citizens of Treasure City looked down on Hamilton and the other towns in the valley, literally and figuratively! A graded road wound up Treasure Hill from Hamilton to Treasure City - the very name suggests untold riches! This was a toll road and was two and a half miles long. Those that were not hauling loads and preferred to hike up the hill had only a mile and half to go. Treasure City was exposed to the full wrath of the winds on the summit. Water had to be hauled up from Hamilton at eight cents a gallon. In spite of this between eight hundred and a thousand miners lived there that first winter. After all, this was the heart of the mineral wealth. The first cabins were built in November 1867 on the western slope near the top of Treasure Hill. Within a year there were close to 6,000 persons in the "city above the clouds." The excitement in the White Pine District developed even faster than the Comstock had and more men made, and lost, fortunes that first year than in the early days of Virginia City. Over 13,000 claims were located on Treasure Hill in less than two years times. Most of these were never worked. Excitement was high in the White Pine District and life was good. Deep snowdrifts that destroyed buildings, blocked roads and hampered mining development did not quell the enthusiasm. Because it was located on the exposed side of the mountain, Treasure City took the brunt of the icy winds that howled though the district most months of the year.

Tallman H. Rolfe founded the first newspaper of the White Pine District in the winter of 1868. Rolfe was a pioneer printer and served as editor and publisher of the White Pine Gazette. Although the prospects for the area seemed favorable, Rolfe suspended the Gazette after a very short time, leaving the field open to the White Pine News. W. H. Pitchford and Robert W. Simpson, attracted by the new mines in the district, removed the plant of the Silver Bend Reporter that was published at Belmont to Treasure City. They commenced publication of the White Pine News December 26, 1868. Simpson soon sold his interest and Pitchford became sole proprietor. He, in turn, soon sold to William J. Forbes who had come to White Pine to run a saloon. Forbes assumed the proprietorship, in partnership with John I. Ginn on May 10, 1869. Ginn retired on June 19 and Forbes was unable to go it alone. The proprietorship passed to the Daily News Company, where Ginn and Pitchford, to whom he was still in debt, joined Forbes. Under Forbes, the News engaged in a bitter battle with the Inland Empire at nearby Hamilton. Forbes finally suspended the News at Treasure City January 8, 1870 to move to Hamilton where he could better combat the Empire.

Playing the role of watchdog for the city,the News warned of the devastation of fire. The following was copied verbatim from the White Pine News published in Treasure City February 27, 1869:
The dangers of fire in our new town are apparent to the most casual observer, and some steps for protection are demanded. We see quite a number of very carelessly fixed stovepipes passing through roofs or up the sides of buildings, which are liable at any time to set the town on fire. These should be attended to. Too much precaution cannot be taken. Our buildings are of an extremely combustible character, and from the scarcity of water or means of removing houses, we are almost entirely defenseless against the devouring element. A fire would be most disastrous at the present time, so guard against it in the most minute particular. Let there be no chance for a fire. In the absence of a city organization, we would suggest the organization of a fire company with two or more paid officers, to act as inspectors and watchmen. Good, experienced and reliable men can be obtained, and we have no doubt but that the many property owners on Main Street, which is densely crowded with wooden structures, would pay liberally to support the service. These watchmen could also act as policemen, and their appointment is a necessity urgently demanded.

The first violent death was reported in this same paper. It appears that one of those affairs that appeared to happen to frequently in frontier towns occurred on Thursday, February 25, 1869 in the Mammoth Saloon. Two men, Daniel Flynn, commonly called Brocky, and a person whose name was given as Pat O'Brien, Pat Burns or Pat Kelly, were seated at a table in the Mammoth Saloon talking. An argument developed between the two, and when challenged to a fight, Flynn replied that he was not "heeled." Pat told him that if he would go into the street he would have a fair fistfight. Both men proceeded to the door, and Pat in advance ascended the stairs leading to the street. As Flynn stepped on the stairs, Pat turned and fired at him. The ball struck Flynn in his right side below the right breast and near the waist, coming out at the loins. Flynn was carried into the saloon and cared for, but died at about half past nine o'clock in the morning, Friday, February 28. The murderer fled to Silver Springs (later Shermantown), where he was reported to purchase a horse and continue his flight.

The News made another attempt to enforce some order and encourage citizens to look to the future of Treasure City with an article written April 8, 1869. Treasure City grew on the slope of the mountain and shallow shafts and pits crowded the streets and alleys. The following article is copied verbatim from the News:
The rapid progress, which our city is making, will soon cause it to rank among those of the first class on the Pacific Coast. With the exception of Virginia it already surpasses any mining town of Nevada or California, and it bids fair to soon leave the great city of western Nevada far in the rear. Difficult as it has been to procure lumber, or other building material, during the past Winter and up to the present time, by the most persevering energy enough has been obtained to build several hundred houses. Now, when the weather permits, the streets resound with the noise of the hammer and saw as the many busy carpenters ply their trade. In every direction throughout the town, mechanics and laborers are seen preparing foundations and erecting houses. Two months ago Treasure City seemed already and completely built up, but since then, some hundred or more houses have been erected, with a constantly increasing demand for material and men. Heretofore but few buildings of more than a single story have been erected, but several of more pretension adorn our street, and many more of two or more stories are in contemplation. The permanency and great wealth of our great city is assured, and therefore we may expect many costly and elegant structures to adorn our streets before the end of the summer. The scarcity of water will induce he construction of fireproof buildings and as the material for such is abundant, a different order of architecture than the present will soon prevail. Substantial buildings will be erected, and it will be necessary that street grades be established, so that uniformity is observed and future expense avoided. The streets upon which the improvements are chiefly made are Main, Union, Broad, Prospect and Wilson Avenue running north and south, and Treasure and Virginia, running east and west. The city authorities should recognize these streets, and their line, width and grade established, and an attempt should be made to open other cross streets. As we now have a City Council, or rather, a Board of Trustees, we may call for the establishing of grades on our principal streets, and the opening of others if possible. Main Street in particular needs the attention of the Trustees. A uniform grade is very necessary, and it is also necessary that the street be cleared and widened to its full extent. We may have one or more beautiful streets if proper engineering is followed, and we trust that this will engage the earliest attention of the city authorities. We hope that no timid councils will prevail. Let us not work on the suspicion that our prosperity is but temporary, and therefore permit things to remain in the disordered manner of the present. Treasure Hill, as its name implies, is a storehouse of treasure, and generations will pass away ere it is exhausted. Let our authorities take this view of the question, and now, in the infancy of the city, prepare for the future. Here is established, and here is to remain the great city of Eastern Nevada, and its future conveniences and beauties will, in a great measure, depend upon the judgement and action of those now invested with the power.
Obviously, from looking at the advertisements in this issue, the newspaper had reason to be optimistic. Treasure City has been said to have everything it needed - except an agreeable climate. There was silver, whiskey and people! This early newspaper boasted three eating establishments. There was Delmonico Restaurant, owned by M. Marincovich and Co., located on Main Street. They boasted that "The proprietors of the Delmonico are determined to establish the reputation of their House as the best in White Pine. The table will be spread with every luxury obtainable. Oysters, Eggs, Game, Wines and all the most fastidious appetite can crave. Private rooms for ladies. House open day and night." H. Trojanovich and Company advertised that Barnum's Restaurant would serve "meals at all hours of the very best." Pascoe and Shelly owned the Chop House where "can always be found the best to be had in the White Pine Market, served up the best possible style. Fine cakes, pies and other refreshments constantly on hand. If you wanted a Square Meal, you could drop in at Pasco and Shelly's Chop House." M. J. Henley and James Ballinger's Coffee Saloon and Chop House were located across from Wells, Fargo and Co.'s Office on the east side of Main Street. Their boast was "Residents and strangers will here find the best the market affords, and served to please. Game in season, and fresh fish, etc. by Express from San Francisco. Champagne and Oyster Suppers got up on short notice and in great style. In connection with the establishment is a comfortable Lodging Department full of good clean beds." (Do you think the word fresh could be stretching the truth a little?) Another article in the same paper stated "Len Wines and Company's Stages, bringing the Pacific Union Express matter, arrived in Hamilton yesterday in less than twenty hours from Elko." Two drug stores advertised. The Treasure City Drug Store was a branch of a San Francisco drug store. They carried drugs, medicines, perfumery, toilet articles and a general assortment of fancy foods. Charles H. Gordon had the Pioneer Drug Store. He advertised patent medicines, perfumery, stationery, toilet articles, cigars, tobacco, pipes, lamp chimneys, coal oil and fresh garden seeds. Both drug stores stated that physician's prescriptions would be carefully prepared.
Claim jumping was a common occurrence. It has been said that personal occupation and a revolver constituted clear title. Behind the miner with his pick, comes the newspaperman with his pen. Hot on the heels of both, come the lawyers, doctors, merchants, real estate brokers and others. This early edition of the News shows that a number of lawyers felt it would be lucrative to be associated with Treasure City. F.H. and J. M. Kenney were attorneys located in Treasure City. F. H. Kennedy was also the District Attorney of White Pine County. The Deputy District Attorney, George W. Merrill, lived in Shermantown and advertised in this issue of the paper in Treasure City. Channing Fenner and E. P. Dunn were counselors at law located on the corner of Main and Treasure Street. J. S. Pitzer and R. D. Ferguson's law practice was located on Main Street in Treasure City. Other Treasure City attorneys advertising were Wm. W. Bishop, H. L. Joachimsen, D. Corson, Thomas P. Hawley, Frank Tilford, Mr. Foster. Attorneys and counselors Aldrich, DeLong, Slauson and Wren advertised that they would attend to professional business in all State and United States Courts. Lewis Aldrich was located in Virginia City. Charles DeLong and J. S. Slauson lived in Hamilton and Thomas Wren was in Austin, Nevada. D. R. Ashley and George S. Hupp were attorneys located in Hamilton. H. Mayenbaum, District Attorney from Austin, Nevada, stated that he practices in Supreme Court and all other courts of this state.
With this impressive list of attorneys advertising in April 1869 it is little wonder that historian's state that late in 1869 excessive litigation brought the district into decline. The shallow veins of ore found on Treasure Hill did not help.
Early newspapers certainly did not know the words "politically correct" - or - there were a couple of miracles in Treasure City! The first birth was in 1868 and written up as "In this city - November 2 to Jacob Hall, a daughter. This is the first child born in this city." Then in May, 1869, the News wrote, "In this city, May 26, to John Cahill, a son - first production of this sort for White Pine County." John and Jacob should go down in the annals of history if they accomplished these feats all by themselves!
The 1870 Census enumerated from June 1 to June 15, 1870 showed 1,920 residents in Treasure City. Buying and selling of real estate took place at a furious pace. James O. Dow, of Elko, advertised he would buy and sell real estate and mining property on commission. Particular attention would be paid to causes before the Untied States Land Office. John A. Belvin was a mining and real estate broker located at Silver Springs. Fulton G. Berry and Wm. H. Sears were mining and real estate agents located in Treasure City. Edwin A. Sherman, a mining engineer who was among the early pioneers of the District and his partner J. H. McDonald were mining and real estate agents in Shermantown. They had "Mill Sites and Water Privileges for sale - perfect titles guaranteed." Reliable information would be furnished as to the precise locality of mines in the White Pine District for a reasonable compensation. J. P. Tenney and W. J. Blake were Notaries Public located in Treasure City. All legal documents could be drawn up and acknowledged. Abstracts of mining records were furnished. L. P. Tenney was also mining recorder for the White Pine District. Daniel Stevens and William Pardy were searchers of records plus Notary Public and Conveyancers [sic]. They had full abstracts of county records at their office at Treasure City. Stevens had came to the White Pine District from Virginia, Nevada and Pardy was from Austin, Nevada. F. A. Durant and A. Baker from Shermantown advertised gentle and easy riding saddle horses to rent. They boasted the best quality of hay and barley on hand and would board horses by the day or the week. A First National Bank of Nevada Agency was located in Treasure City. A. I. Page advertised that bids would be received at the Bank until the 12th for the sinking of a shaft twenty-five feet on the Glazier mine. A Wells Fargo and Company office was located in Treasure City from 1869 - 1873.
The Post office opened on June 15, 1869 and remained in operation until December 1880. White Pine Daily News, July 3, 1899, reported that Mr. C.F. Meyers, of the firm Halleck and Meyers, had been appointed the postmaster and the name of the post office had been changed from Tesora to Treasure City. On July 29, 1869, the News reported that the post office was supplied with "three hundred as handsome glass and lock boxes as can be found this side of San Francisco." It was suggested that persons who desired a choice box make early application.

Like other mining booms, the population soon dwindled. Theron Fox - Nevada Treasure Hunters Ghost Town Guide - gave the population of Treasure City as 44 persons in 1880. In spite of the cold winter wind and snow, and warm summer temperatures, many ruins remain standing at Treasure City.

Hamilton ruins:

Picture of Hamilton in its Hay Day


It is a wonder the White Pine District was not discovered much earlier as it was located on the horse thief trail to Pahranagat and the south. A. J. Leathers, Thomas Murphy, and other prospectors from Austin, Nevada discovered ore on the western slope of the White Pine Mountains in 1865. The Monte Cristo Mining Company was formed and a mill was built and put in operation in 1867.
The most oft told tale is that the odor of a simmering pot of beans triggered the “Rush to White Pine.” Napias1 Jim, an Indian, finding no one home at the cabin shared by A. J. Leathers, Thomas Murphy, and Eddie Marchand; Jim proceeded to eat the beans. History does not record what Leathers and his partners said when they returned home and the beans were gone. It is easy to imagine that it was not printable! Napias Jim had a conscience and he gave Leathers a piece of rich silver chloride ore to pay for the beans and was persuaded to show where he found it. Guided by this Indian, Leathers, Murphy, and Marchland located the rich Hidden Treasure Mine on Treasure Hill on January 4, 1868.

Men attracted to Treasure Hill had to find a place to live and Hamilton was formed because of the need for a town with a desirable location after discovery of rich silver lodes. Early arrivals found shelter in natural caves at the foot of the northern side of the hill 8,000 feet above sea level. By May 1868, a settlement known as Cave City had been laid out. The next month a saloon, built to accommodate the thirty residents, became the first frame structure. Cave City’s name was renamed for promoter W. H. Hamilton.
By mid-winter the population had grown to near six hundred. Many thoughtless prospectors, caught by the lure of riches, ignored the warning not to come to White Pine until the snow disappeared. They had been warned that the alkaline flats would be covered with snow and the thermometer would sink to 18o below zero on top of Treasure Hill. But they continued to rush to White Pine, only to find mining was impossible because of the extreme cold.
A post office was established August 10, 1868. The noisiest, fastest and most intense mining rush since the gold rush in California began with a sensational stampede to White Pine. All types of people came to White Pine County for all directions. They came from Salt Lake City by Overland Stage, and from San Francisco by saddle horse and mule, horse and buggy, and by large freight wagons. Prospectors and miners quickly became teamsters in order to get a ride over the mountains and deserts. Over thirteen thousand mining claims were recorded in the district in two years time; 195 White Pine mining companies were incorporated. The bitter discomfort of the exposed town was compensated by the hot excitement of the day. The climate is best described as ten months winter and two months damn cold weather!
Stirred by a promise of quick wealth, several thousand prospectors flocked to Treasure hill through 1868. Swaps, sales and purchases went on day and night. This was thought to be another Comstock that would last forever. A story is told about a Dutchman that was lured to the White Pine District by the stories of fabulous wealth. He found no mines and lost all his funds at the Hamilton gaming tables. He then set out on foot on the stage road to Elko. Long lines of freighters and stages passed him. At last one driver stopped. “Got an empty space here, stranger. Want a ride?” The Dutchman threw his hat to the earth, stamped on it, and replied “By golly, no! I valk! I learn this damn old Dutchman somet’ing! I learn him he should go not to Hamilton!”

Several towns were platted, lot prices rose into the thousands and toll roads extended in every direction. The Bank of California and Wells Fargo established branches in Hamilton. Men of dozens of nationalities were represented in this noisy mixture of miners, merchants, brokers, speculators, drifters, thieves and desperadoes. Several of the inhabitants of Hamilton were able to think beyond the day when its inhabitants would have only chloride on the brain. A school district was organized with and elected board of trustees and a school site before a child lived in the camp. White Pine County was organized in March 1869 and Hamilton selected as the first county seat. An imposing 2-story brick courthouse with jail was built. The court soon proved to be very busy, as litigation began when claims lapped and overlapped.
Other imposing structures in the town included St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the J.P. Withington hotel. The church was regarded as one of the handsomest churches in the state. Withington Hotel was recognized as the most elaborate building of its kind in Nevada. Historians differ on the origin of the stone used in the Withington Hotel. One-version states the hotel was constructed of dressed stone hauled from England around the horn as ballast and freighted from San Francisco at considerable cost. Another argues that stone would not be shipped in when the necessities of life were at a premium and the stone could be quarried nearby. The trim around the windows shown in old pictures of the Withington appears to be a different type of stone than the rest, so both versions may be valid. All agree that it was the most expensive structure built in Nevada up to that time.

There were many establishments selling liquor - most with billiard tables and cigar counters. Other establishments included several general merchandise stores, lawyers, fire companies, doctors, churches, fraternal orders, Miners’ Union, banks, jewelers, theaters, skating rinks, dance halls, auction houses, soda factory, gunsmiths, newspapers, etc. Anticipating the population would reach 50,000, a San Francisco firm organized a Water Company and steam pumping works. The problem of food, shelter, and water was difficult to solve with water selling at 25 cents a bucket. If miners were sent to dig an artesian well and struck an ore body they would throw up the job of digging for water.
Hamilton boasted two newspapers for a short period. The promising bonanzas of the White Pine Distict in the winter of 1868 were very attractive to two resourceful journalists, James J. Ayers and Charles A. V. Putnam. Ayers and Putnam purchased the entire plant of the Virginia City Safeguard and moved it to Hamilton at great expense in February of 1869. They established one of the most complete printing offices ever set up outside of a large city and on March 27, 1869 the first number of the daily Inland Empire was issued. The paper was large and prospered with the White Pine District.

The following article was transcribed from the Daily Inland Empire, December 18, 1869. This articles gives a eloquent picture of the changes one year wrote in Hamilton:
TO-DAY ONE YEAR. -- One year ago to-day the heaviest fall of snow of the season occurred. The storm commenced on the 18th and continued for two weeks, but nearly all the snow that fell during the whole time, fell the first day of the storm. Thus far this season has been much more propitious than last year. Now we are prepared for rough weather. All our mills are well supplied with ore, wood and water. Our people are well housed and are bountifully supplied with provisions at most reasonable prices. The majority of those now in the district have some employment; then, prospecting was the only business. Yesterday one year ago we were on Treasure Hill, and as we returned to Hamilton our attention was attracted to the immense crowds of people who then thronged the little canvas village. The town contained some fifty or sixty buildings, and the majority of those were canvas. There was but Hamilton street, and but partially built up one street, and it extended from Hunter to [words missing] Hundreds of men were sleeping among the sagebrush and rocks for want of a better place. A man who had a ditch with pine boughs over it, was considered a lucky fellow. Yesterday we were on Treasure Hill, and when we came to the same point in looking down on the young city, our mind reverted back over the past, and we recollect the fact that just one year had elapsed since we were standing on the same spot and looking down on the same landscape. But how changed the scene. Instead of a few scattering cloth tents and rude wooden structures, we beheld a city containing a population between five and ten thousand, with many of the finest and most costly buildings in the State--a city containing the best Court-house and City Hall in Nevada. Instead of the rattle of one ten-stamp mill, on every side was the deep rumbling of a hundred stamps. The most pleasing feature about the town which attracted our attention was the Hamilton Public School-building. No man knoweth what a year may bring forth.
The Empire could well state “No man knoweth what a year may bring forth. The White Pine News moved down the hill from Treasure City in January of 1870 and a fierce rivalry began. April 10, 1870 the Inland Empire suspended publication.

White Pine News was a powerful Republican advocate. Democrats purchased the material of the Empire to support their cause and October 4, 1870 George W. Cassidy revived the Inland Empire. The paper’s final suspension was November 9, 1870 when the material was sold to H. C. Patrick and moved to Stockton, California. White Pine News was reduced from a daily to a weekly November 23, 1872. It was sold to Archibald Skillman and Fred Elliott on February 8, 1873 and the politics were changed to Democratic. Elliott retired in 1875 and in November of 1878, Skillman suspended publication. Although several attempts were made to revive the News, none were successful. The last effort suspended December 23, 1880 and the plant was moved to Cherry Creek.
There were a lot of people in the area and all of the population figures mentioned in the various publications were as close to fact as possible on the day the count was taken! This was a transient group going from one place to the other. Many were out on their claims and were not counted at all - many roamed from one town to the other. Newspapers and mine promoters would expand the numbers to entice others to invest in the area. The 1870 Census enumerated from June 16 to July 13, 1870 showed 3,913 residents.
Main Street was a mile long and cross streets carried the town to a mile and a half in width. Many of the business’s were housed in tents while other used anything which might be converted into roofs, including whiskey barrels and packing crates. All was bustle and hurry, noise and excitement and confusion. In addition, Hamilton was only one of the “jewels” on this mountaintop
In all, 195 White Pine mining companies were incorporated. Their shares were traded enthusiastically throughout the nation. There were many stage lines competing for business in the White Pine District. The glowing reports of the fabulous riches of Treasure Hill proved attractive to many companies. In all, ten stage companies were engaged in shuttling heavily loaded and top-heavy coaches between Hamilton and the Central Pacific Railroad to the north. Probably typical of several operations were the thirty-five men and one hundred and sixteen horses employed by the Len Wines operation. Competition for the business of the route led to racing against time over the 120 miles. The regular time of twenty-four hours for the run was cut to seventeen and one-half hours. Frequently teams would arrive at the same time and race into Hamilton neck to neck. This in turn, became a sporting event for the townspeople who turned out in large numbers to wager on the finish of the races.

The coaches were often overloaded. The fate of a Wells Fargo coach out of Elko is characteristic of such occasions. The coach had twelve passengers crowded into space for nine, an additional heavy load of express packages, freight and baggage when it hit a deep rut in the road and toppled. Such accidents were considered a common risk that must be endured.
Mining excitement eventually subsided, and disgust followed the White Pine excesses in the winter of 1869-70. Mother Nature had played a strange trick on the White Pine District. The rich ore proved to be just surface float and gave out a shot distance underground. Sometime in the past, the earth had spit it up in chunks. Uncertainty over mining development led to depression. Speculators withdrew; miners took up their blankets and walked away; merchants closed up shop. The rush soon was going out instead of coming in. There were more mills than ores inefficient furnaces, and no interest in or ability to handle lower-grade ores once the richest had been taken. Fires hastened the town’s collapse. In June 1873 a cigar store owner set fire to his shop to collect insurance. To ensure the success of his fire, he shut off most of the water coming into camp. The flames spread through the town and destroyed $600,000 in property.
The originator of the disastrous fire was sentenced to seven years in the state prison. This certainly did not help the people who had suffered the financial losses due to his crime. When Charles Sumner visited Hamilton in 1878 on a trip to Pioche, he wrote, “Hamilton, by the known multitude on its former directory, and the special promise of prosperity in its developments, surpassed all previous impressions of sudden collapse and decay.” Sumner saw three hundred houses, many of them going to ruin. Not one in five was occupied. Sumner was told than one half the dwellings that once stood in Hamilton had been taken down and moved to either Pioche or Eureka. He writes, “now that the fire fiend has made a sweeping visit to this deserted village, I may claim to have written of the last town appearance of Hamilton as it was originally constructed.”
Charles Sumner described the courthouse as a very solid and finished edifice, sitting over a quarter of a mile from the center of town. The water works were described as waiting for a revival. In 1885, another fire destroyed the courthouse. The Withington Hotel served as a temporary site to serve the counties citizens. Before long, the rush of traffic was going out instead of coming in. Two years later the town lost the county seat to Ely. Do not think that Hamilton gave up the fight to remain the county seat with out a battle. After the bill passed providing for the construction of county buildings and the removal of the county seat to Ely in January 1887, Hamilton threatened to secede from the county. February 27, 1887 the White Pine News in Taylor printed the following:
Want to Secede
“A Hamilton correspondent writes us under date of Feb. 17th:
There is a petition her in circulation to be presented to the Legislature asking to be appointed to Eureka County. All but five men here have signed it. White River and Newark Valley are with them. Money has been contributed and counsel engaged at Carson to put the matter through. You people had better rustle and put in a stopper, or you may get left.”
The News did not take this threat too seriously. They replied that if “they want to go and stand ready to pay their just proportion of the debt of this county, we shall throw no obstacle in their way.” The article expressed the opinion that the people in Hamilton were resorting to juvenile tactics. This counter-argument ended with “It is probable, however, that our representatives in the Legislature will see to it that our neighbors across the range will remain with us a while longer and play second fiddle in the new programs.” Ultimately, in spite of threats to secede and suits to stop the bonding for the courthouse in Ely, Hamilton lost the final battle to retain the county seat.

A humorous story came out of the “great fire.” A well-known character in Hamilton was “Colonel” Joseph Grandelynr. Grandelynr was an authority on metallurgy and lexicography. He always met the stage to tell newcomers about the advantages of the district. When the economic decline set in, the “Colonel” was hired as a night watchman by San Francisco owners of a mine and mill who continued to pay county taxes and insurance. The story is told that when the great fire broke out the “colonel” sent a message to the owners stating that he was saving the mill but in the meantime, he was losing his wardrobe, of which he was inordinately proud. A speedy reply by telegraph from the owners suggested that he save his wardrobe, but let the mill burn!
Early in this century, the district was active at the Belmont mill. Lead-silver ore was shipped to Eureka. Since that time, the White Pine District has seen sporadic mining and exploration, but nothing remains at Hamilton but foundations and memories of a glorious time.
One who stayed with Hamilton was Louis Zadow. He came to the White Pine District in 1867 and established a butcher shop. One the butcher shop was established, Zadow returned to Germany for his bride. They returned to Hamilton in 1873, just as the decline set in. Zadow expanded his business to general merchandise. His five children were trained in the business. For forty years, Zadow gave aid to scores of prospectors in their constant search for minerals. Louis Zadow died at Hamilton on January 8, 1918 at the age of seventy-five. His widow remained in Hamilton until 1928, then moved to Ely. March 14, 1931 Hamilton lost its post office.
Who knows what the next century will bring! Mining companies are constantly working to improve the technology required to extract precious metal from the earth. As in the 1800’s, the destiny of the White Pine District hangs on the “fickle finger of fate”: the metal’s market, dollar value, weather, government intervention and recovery methods.

Belmont Mills/Mine

This was also part of the Treasure City boom. It seems to be very well preserved.














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Stuntman screwed with this post 01-07-2008 at 06:54 PM
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
Stuntman OP
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Don't know...I'm lost.
Oddometer: 677
Pioche, NV

Here is the history and some (crappy) pictures of Pioche. At one time, it was considered the most dangerous city in the west!


In 1864, William Hamblin, a Latter Day Saint missionary, was led to silver deposits in the vicinity of Pioche by a Native American Paiute. In 1868, San Francisco financier Francois L.A. Pioche purchased claims and constructed a smelter in the area, forming the Meadow Valley Mining Company. The mining camp was called "Pioche's City" and later became known as Pioche.

The town rapidly became the largest mining town in southeastern Nevada in the early 1870's. Population estimates showed 10,000 people by 1871. The town quickly gained fame for its "toughest town" reputation. Due mostly to confusion over the exact location of mining claims, mine owners finally resorted to hiring guards. Hired gunmen were imported at the rate of about twenty a day during boom times to fight mining claim encroachments. Mine owners often paid the gunmen a salary of $20 per daya more certain investment for owners than settling disputes in court where bribery often determined the final outcome. The sheriff's office was reputed to be worth $40,000 a year in bribes alone.


Guns were the only law, and Pioche made Bodie, Tombstone, and other better known towns pale in comparison. It has been reported that seventy-five men were buried in the cemetery before anyone in Pioche had time to die a natural death. According to one reputable source, nearly 60 percent of the homicides reported in Nevada during 1871-72 took place in and around Pioche.

A favorite example of the towns bloody character recalls the arrival of young Illinois lawyer and his bride in 1871. Stepping off the afternoon stagecoach, a flurry of shooting broke out and before the couple could sprint into the hotel, three men were sprawled dead, still twitching in the dirt street. The bride didnt even bother to unpack, and within minutes of her arrival hopped back aboard the stagecoach and headed home to her mother.

Not even the building of the county courthouse was exempt from corruption. Pioche was designated the county seat in 1871 and courthouse plans were initiated. The county contracted to build the courthouse at a cost of $26,400. In order to raise the needed money, $25,000 worth of bonds were sold at a discounted rate of $20,000. By the time it was completed a year later, costs had escalated to more than $88,0000 because of alterations, cost overruns, mismanagement and kickbacks. To finance payment the courthouse, the Board of Commissioners issued certificates of indebtedness at a high rate of interest, and by the 1880s the debt had risen to $181,000. By the end of the century it exceeded more than $670,000. The final payment was made in 1937; four years after the building had been condemned. The total cost of the Lincoln County Courthouse was nearly $1,000,000.

One of the worst fires in the West took place in Pioche in 1871. It began in a restaurant during a celebration commemorating Mexican independence and quickly spread. When it reached the Felsenthal Store, a stone fireproof structure where 300 barrels of blasting powder were stored, the subsequent explosion shot nearly 400 feet into the air, blowing a 1,000-pound door clear out of town and showering the town with flaming debris. The explosion of debris killed thirteen and injured forty-seven, and the accompanying fire left virtually the entire population homeless

The fortunes of Pioche diminished in the 1880's due to the shutdown of the principle mines in 1876. During World War II, an economic boom occured when Pioche was the second largest lead and zinc producer in the nation. Present day Pioche has little mining activity, and in being the county seat, the main focus is now government.









Delamar Mine



The gold rush was on in the Pahranagat Valley of Nevada when farmers in 1890 and 1891 discovered gold in the hills around the mountainous valley. In 1892, the Ferguson Mining District was formed. Reports came into Pioche that assays of $75 to $1000 a ton of ore was being mined resulting in the first rush of miners stampeding to the district.

While miners temporarily camped in Golden City and the town of Helene, the town of Delamar soon developed shortly thereafter when Capt. John DeLamar of Montana purchased the principal claims in 1893 for $150,000 and established the early settlement of the town.

The first post office was opened in June 1894 and by the end of 1895, the camp had become a full-fledged town containing many businesses and more than 300 dwellings. By 1897, Delamar was home to more than 3,000 residents and supported numerous stores, saloons, a theater and other establishments.

The extensive mining operation led to the town's reputation as the "Maker of Widows" as the "Delamar Dust" or silica dust inhaled by the miners led to many deaths. Two years after 1900 when a fire destroyed half the town, Capt. DeLamar sold his interest in the mines which had produced an estimated $8.5 million in gold. The new owners, under the control of a Simon
Bamberger, continued to outproduce all other mines in the state until 1909 but the operation was closed soon after. The site was reopened briefly from 1929-34 and evidence of a mining operation continues there today. Nestled in the Delamar Mountain range are partially standing rock buildings, mill ruins and a cemetery, which some relatives apparently still visit.



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Old 01-08-2008, 03:41 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip that you have planned there, I love the history aspect that you have included in it together with off road riding, you couldn't get better in a vacation!

Have a great time, I look forward to reading your ride report.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:06 AM   #5
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I am sure you know that by mid-June it is 110-120f here in Vegas, right?
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:49 PM   #6
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Excited

What a pity that be to other side of the pond

Great documentation, luck
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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I posted the URL for the thread over at My2Wheels.com to generate some interest among the locals...
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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Do you know when the ride is scheduled?

In particular, the days around Las Vegas. Barring scheduling issues, the my2wheels folks would enjoy a day of riding with you.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vegasphotog
I am sure you know that by mid-June it is 110-120f here in Vegas, right?
Yeah, but it is a dry heat! Seriously, I am from Vegas and spent many years riding and desert racing there. Most of our riding will be in central Nevada where it will be in the low to mid 80's during the day.
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by byh
Do you know when the ride is scheduled?

In particular, the days around Las Vegas. Barring scheduling issues, the my2wheels folks would enjoy a day of riding with you.
It'll be around the first week of June. As we get closer, I'll pin down an exact time line based on my schedule as well as the schedules of the guys coming with me from New Orleans. It would be great hooking up with y'all at my2wheels!
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by aalegado
I posted the URL for the thread over at My2Wheels.com to generate some interest among the locals...
Thanks!!!
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tim
Sounds like a great trip that you have planned there, I love the history aspect that you have included in it together with off road riding, you couldn't get better in a vacation!

Have a great time, I look forward to reading your ride report.
This is a perfect Africa Twin ride so ship that bitch out here and come along!!!!
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Angel-V
Excited

What a pity that be to other side of the pond

Great documentation, luck
Muchas gracias mi amigo!
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #14
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Any detail you can give re: the type of roads / trails we'll be on? I have a Tiger that I'm fairly good on, but the real tight stuff can be a challenge with all that weight.
I'm in Sacramento, but it would be a fun ride down to meet and back up....

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jp4evr
Any detail you can give re: the type of roads / trails we'll be on? I have a Tiger that I'm fairly good on, but the real tight stuff can be a challenge with all that weight.
I'm in Sacramento, but it would be a fun ride down to meet and back up....

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Most of the roads will be gravel with a few areas of packed two track. There also will be a few creek crossings and maybe some rocky climbs but nothing tight. You should be fine on the Tiger. I'll be on a 1200GS, another guy will be on a Ulysses and there will even be someone on a FZ1 with Pirelli Syncs!
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