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Thread: Leadville, Nevada

  1. #1
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    Default Leadville - Nevada

    There haven't been any recent threads regarding the status of Leadville in Nevada, even though there is at least one old thread with questions regarding the town. I stopped by there this past weekend and figured I would post an update on what I saw the status of this mining camp to be.

    First, a little history:
    Leadville - Born in 1909 and abandoned in the 1920's. A small town now deserted, did not make much of a splash in mining circles although production of lead and silver continued regularly each year from 1910 to 1923.
    In 1920 the Leading Mining Company took possession of the area.
    Production under this concern was $153,000 in 1921, and about $254,600 in 1922. The property consisted of three main claims developed by two shafts, a 1700-foot tunnel, and a 500-foot winze equipped with two 75 and one 100-horse power and semi-Diesel engine, compressor, electric locomotive, auto trucks, 7500-foot water line, and 30,000 gallon tank. Also in operation was a 35-ton mill and flotation plant. All this was incorporated in 1920 with capital stock of $1,500,000.
    Like all mining activities, ore petered out, and production ceased. No one is living in Leadville at the present time, but some sort of lease or claim on the mine was filed in Feb, 2011.
    Prospectors and would-be miners never give up; there is always the possibility of finding a new vein leading to a rich bonanza...



    There is not much left of the town except for scattered wood and metal, a couple mines, tailing piles, and there are still a couple standing wooden structures left, although they are slowly being worn away by the elements over time.


    There are some things to be aware of if you decide to explore the area. Abandoned mines still exist, though they are filled in for the most part. There is also a bit of wildlife and cattle. During my visit I saw a bunch of cows and a few deer...
    ...Since both of these animals frequent the area, there are also Ticks in the area... I hiked well off the beaten path all over the area and ended up finding ticks on me when I was done. If you have a dog, make sure to either keep them safe, or check them for ticks when you're leaving, not to mention checking yourself. That being said, there haven't been any reported cases of Lyme Disease in the area, and even though I was bitten, haven't had any adverse reactions (yet). This was my first tick experience, so maybe I'm over-reacting... Just be aware.





    *Some info sourced from: Desert Magazine - June, 1968; "A Trip To Leadville"; and "Nevada Ghost Town Trails", by A.L. Abbott
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-12-2011 at 10:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Leadville is located approximately 3-4 hours north of Reno, in Washoe county, Nevada. It is in the remote wilderness and precautionary measures should be taken if attempting to access this area.
    There is a saying around these parts that this is "where the pavement ends, and the wild west begins"...
    The drive takes you through numerous landscapes saturated with history. You drive along rivers, past cliffs, dried lake beds, some canyons with the roads winding along and sometimes crossing a creek. Yes, there are some seasonal water crossings, but also a few crossings that have tunnels for them going under the road.

    Although this place has many great views and things to look at, Be Careful While Driving, especially at night... Cattle roam free and sometimes like to stand in the road. Trust me, you do Not want to hit a cow. Also, the dirt road conditions are subject to change, as well as there being some decent curves that might catch speedy drivers off guard... This place is a long ways from getting any help and should be respected as such.

    This is a zoomed in view of visible Leadville from the main road


    There really isn't much of the town left to see. I saw pictures in a book of the remains from the 1960's, and they greatly differ from what I saw recently, about 50 years later, nearly 90 years since the town's abandonment.
    There are two sections with structures and mines; I would call them the "upper" and "lower" sections.

    In the upper section, I believe there used to be quite a few buildings. Now, there is only evidence of 3-4 structures. One of them is still standing, and seems like the sturdiest thing in the area, although that's not saying much. There are two other collapsed buildings, one of them larger than the the others. I also noticed a stone foundation or retaining wall which I assumed was for another structure.



    In addition to these structures, I saw part of a cement pad near one of the mine entrances. This mine entrance is boarded up and caved in, and has some nasty looking water coming from it.
    There are also some of what I call "test scrapes" around the area, where I assume they basically scraped up the dirt to see if they could find more minerals.

    Here is a panoramic shot from the end of the tailing piles looking back at the main part of the upper section of Leadville.


    From this upper section, there are a couple roads that take you deeper into the hillsides... One of them is visible in the above picture, and runs up into the canyon that this upper section rests in. If you take this road, you get to the top of a hill where there is some sort of monument or marker (it looks like it says "USLM - 208"), and a couple other mine shafts, now filled in. Pretty good view from up here too.
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-12-2011 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #3
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    The other road from this upper section leads to the lower section. Part of the road looks like it was reenforced, probably to keep it from crumbling away. There are tailing piles in this spot, but I didn't spend enough time looking through them to find anything interesting.


    The road leads around a hillside and past a pretty neat rock outcropping. Once you pass this outcrop of rocks, if you look down the hillside from the road, you will see a couple other structures. One appeared to be a cabin of sorts, and the other I am not familiar with the term for; a "hopper loader", or something? I don't know. There was also a bit of metal scraps as well as some old car rails sticking out of the dirt.


    You can see in the picture above that there is another road that goes to this lower section, but it didn't look as nice as the one I was on, so I didn't try it.



    The road splits right above where these structures are. If you keep taking the road up into the ravine, you will come across more tailing piles. There are a couple mines in this area. One is like a pit, filled in, and the other is a tunnel, also mostly filled in. I wouldn't have even noticed where the tunnel mine was if someone hadn't put up t-stakes, barbed wire and a sign around it. I looked around at the rocks for a little bit, but again, didn't find anything worth keeping.


    Just a little further up the road from the mine are some trees and a marshy area. There is a tree that has fallen across the road, but the road continues up into the mountains, splitting into different roads heading different directions with different destinations.
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-06-2011 at 10:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default More pics from the upper section of Leadville

    ...Just some more photos I wanted to share...

    Here is a shot of the water coming out of the boarded up/collapsed mine in the upper section... You don't have to tell me twice to "keep out".


    A stencil on the corrugated tin used in the still standing structure of the upper section. I saw it on multiple sheets.


    Pull-top trash... Don't know how old it is and haven't done research about this product yet. Whatever it is, it's obviously "diet" : )
    In this picture, you can see the rock foundation from something, just above the can, also it's relationship to the standing building in the upper section


    Here is a pic of the upper section of Leadville, taken while hiking up the road that goes to the top of the hill... Here you can see the larger of the collapsed structures. Also, my truck. The road going to the right of the picture connects to the lower section of Leadville.
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-07-2011 at 06:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default More pics from the lower section of Leadville

    ...Just some more photos I wanted to share...

    It's Official!! I found this folded up under a rock when I was hiking along the road from the upper to lower section. I don't know if folded up under a rock is "official", but I saw some wooden posts with paperwork inside plastic containers attached to them... Maybe this was an extra?


    A view from above where the structures in the lower section are, looking down into the valley. If you look closely, you can tell how much the building is leaning by how off-set the vertical boards are from each other... This building might not last much longer.


    The end of the line: rails in the dirt


    Greenery always makes the desert seem nicer... cow poop and ticks do not.
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-06-2011 at 06:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the post and photos. I seem to recall that Cragmont soft drinks were a Safeway house brand, but could be wrong about that. Interesting that someone has staked a claim, but it would seem that they have not done any work to explore yet.

  7. #7
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    Default ...a few more random pics...

    I just wanted to get a few more photos up here:

    Picture of the monument at the top of the hill. You can see the mine behind it.


    Abandoned car at an abandoned town... I suppose it's fitting; Every ghost town needs one, right? I like the grille on this one


    ...And just for a comparison, the picture in Nevada Ghost Town Trails supposedly from 1960 (at least taken in the 60's), next to a similar picture I took in 2011. They don't match exactly, as I was not meaning to do so in the first place, but happened to take a picture that was close... I just thought it might be interesting to see them together.
    The only standing structure in the recent color photo is the second building from the right in the foreground of the older b&w photo.
    Last edited by bustindustin; 06-07-2011 at 09:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    excellent there Bustindustin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Super cool pics, thanks much..........Speedy

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=bustindustin;51974]Leadville is approximately 40 miles from Gerlach, Nv., which is approximately 2 hrs from Reno, Nv.
    There is a saying in Gerlach that this road is "where the pavement ends, and the wild west begins"...
    Before the pavement ends, you will pass Fly Geyser - an accidentally man-made geyser that is rich in color and of course, hot water. This is private property, and should not be entered... Sometimes there is even somebody guarding the property. Not to worry, as it is visible from the road, easily spotted in cold weather or cold mornings due to the steam it produces. You can see it from the road pretty well if you have some binoculars.

    Although this place has many great views and things to look at, Be Careful While Driving, especially at night... Cattle roam free and sometimes like to stand in the road. Trust me, you do Not want to hit a cow. Also, the dirt road conditions are subject to change, as well as there being some decent curves that might catch speedy drivers off guard... This place is a long ways from getting any help and should be respected as such.

    After you leave the playa and ranch area, you pass through some canyons with the road winding along and sometimes crossing a creek. Yes, there are some seasonal water crossings, but also a few crossings that have tunnels for them going under the road. After a while, the canyon widens into more of a plains area... This is around where you will find the remains of Leadville, Nv.


    There really isn't much of the town left to see. I saw pictures in a book of the remains from the 1960's, and they greatly differ from what I saw recently, about 50 years later, nearly 90 years since the town's abandonment.
    There are two sections with structures and mines; I would call them the "upper" and "lower" sections.

    In the upper section, I believe there used to be quite a few buildings. Now, there is only evidence of 3-4 structures. One of them is still standing, and seems like the sturdiest thing in the area, although that's not saying much. There are two other collapsed buildings, one of them larger than the the others. I also noticed a stone foundation or retaining wall which I assumed was for another structure.

    In addition to these structures, I saw part of a cement pad near one of the mine entrances. This mine entrance is boarded up and caved in, and has some nasty looking water coming from it.
    There are also some of what I call "test scrapes" around the area, where I assume they basically scraped up the dirt to see if they could find more minerals.

    Here is a panoramic shot from the end of the tailing piles looking back at the main part of the upper section of Leadville.


    From this upper section, there are a couple roads that take you deeper into the hillsides... One of them is visible in the above picture, and runs up into the canyon that this upper section rests in. If you take this road, you get to the top of a hill where there is some sort of monument or marker (it looks like it says "USLM - 208"), and a couple other mine shafts, now filled in. Pretty good view from up here too.
    [QUOTE]




    XLNT report (IMO) and a near perfect example of posting update material. Due to the scourge of vandalism, only thing I'd omit is specific directions, but still very good indeed.
    Last edited by bad bob; 06-07-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: tactical error

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