Lost Mines of Nevada
© 2011 by Anthony M. Belli email@example.com
The “Silver State,” as Nevada is sometimes known, got its nickname from the large number of silver mines discovered in that state. But plenty of other valuable minerals have also been found in Nevada including gold. And thanks to the many prospectors and miners who worked these miming claims we today have their stories and legends of lost mines, lost prospector’s caches, buried outlaw treasures and more. And since Nevada has always been a fascination for me I thought I’d do a bit of research and share many of her tales of lost mines here in Lost Treasure. The Lost Mines on McCullough Mountain There are two lost mines up in the McCullough Mountains located southwest of present-day Las Vegas that by chance were both first discovered by Mormon prospectors. In the late 1890s a man named Mashbird and his unknown companion stopped at the Stewart Ranch to rest before venturing into the McCullough’s on a prospecting trip. A month later Mashbird stumbled back into the ranch in bad shape and with a frightful tale to tell. Mashbird told his the Stewart’s that he and his partner had camped close to a spring in the mountains and had taken to prospecting the area. He reported that one day a lone Indian entered their camp and Mashbird offered him a meal. The Indian accepted and sat down and ate. The three men talked briefly about prospecting in the region when the Indian spoke up and offered to show them where a large gold deposit was located nearby. Mashbird agreed to go with his new friend while his partner remained in camp. The pair was soon walking down a trail when the Indian positioned himself behind Mashbird and smashed him in the head with a rock, then left his new friend for dead. When Mashbird came to he stumbled down the trail a bit further and did find a deposit of gold. After gathering a few specimens he retraced his steps back to camp only to find his partner murdered and no trace of their belongings. Suffering from his head wound Mashbird found travel difficult but he managed to descend the mountain and make it across the desert until making his way back to the Stewart Ranch. Although Mashbird did make a full recovery, the combination of his head wound and the time spent traveling through the desert had clouded his memory and he was never able to retrace his steps back to the campsite or gold deposit, which have been lost and much forgotten ever since. The second Mormon discovery was made by another man whose name has been lost to history. One day this man appeared at the Ivanpah mill near the Nevada-California state line. He had two burros and both were carrying a sizeable quantity of gold ore. He traded with some locals who inquired about where he’d found his gold, but the Mormon kept a tight lip and revealed nothing to no one. When he departed he proceeded eastwards into Nevada. Over several months the Mormon returned to trade at Ivanpah a few more times. He always had identical ore as the first time and always kept his mouth shut as to the location of its source. Apparently someone from Ivanpah followed the prospector and determined that he always went into the McCullough Mountains, which no doubt was the source of his gold.
000 to the ton! Word reached the hunter who initially found the specimen and he quit his job and spent the remainder of his life searching Barrett Canyon for the spot where he’d rested that day. In the days to follow Breyfogle was unable to relocate his camp. he looked down by his feet and spotted a piece of pink quartz. He picked up the odd looking rock and thought it weighed much more than it should so he shoved it into his pocket and continued to hunt. as he had for years to spend two weeks every fall hunting deer. Some pink quartz has since been found in the south fork of Barrett Canyon. It was his usual practice to hunt in Barrett Canyon where he is said to have nearly always bagged a fine animal. Somewhere in the vast desert south of town one of his saddle horses strayed from camp and while searching for it he became lost. Bowler. It was later discovered that the Mormon had been murdered and his body was found in the desert. His route has since become a matter of study and speculation. According to Breyfogle he left Austin to do some prospecting. who also commented on its attractive color and unusual weight. When he returned to Austin and displayed his fantastic ore it created terrific excitement. Bowler agreed. The ranch was located along the Reese River a few miles south of the Lander County line. The hunter gave the rock to Bowler who put it on a window sill where it remained for about ten years. Late that afternoon he returned to the Bowler Ranch and showed his find to Mr. delirious and alone in the central Nevada desert by friendly Indians. Spying nothing to shoot. but prospectors searching the area for decades have never found anymore gold-bearing pink rock. Breyfogle was nursed back to health by the Indians until he was clear minded and strong enough to travel. Nevada’s Best Known Unsolved Mysteries… The Lost Breyfogle It’s a Nevada legend and one of the state’s best known unsolved mysteries. Mr. the Austin blacksmith who in the summer 1864 stunned Nevada residents and miners when he was found stumbling. The story of the Lost Breyfogle Mine is the story of Jacob Breyfogle. He leaned his rifle up against a mahogany and scanned the vista for any sign of game. When the assay report came back everyone was stunned to learn that the sample ran $100. He pointed out traces of gold appearing on the surface and asked permission to have it assayed.Then his trips into town suddenly stopped. Locals searched for his mine and did find an abandoned campsite on the west side of the McCullough’s but no gold. In the 1940s a prospector dropped by the ranch and spotted the unusual rock sitting on the window sill and picked it up for closer inspection. Breyfogle carried on him some of the richest ore the world has ever seen. one that has been passed down from generation to generation into the present-day.
. The mine remains lost to this very day. The Lost Deer Hunter Mine During the Great Depression a deer hunter whose name is lost to time appeared at the Bowler Ranch. but too no avail. The story goes that one year he had difficultly finding suitable game and decided to hike the canyon up to the timberline where he sat down to rest.
Harolds Club of Reno. p. Breyfogle managed to break off roughly fifteen pounds of samples and continued his trek. NV. Both were killed during an early storm that brought deep snow to the mountains south of Mountain City. Their bodies were recovered the following June. they carried more then $30. Nevada Publications. NV. Wilson Advertising Agency of Reno Nevada.
. his tongue swollen and eyes nearly swollen shut. Lost Monte Cristo Mine – (Esmeralda County) Legend states this lost bonanza is located near Crow Springs. when gold sold for $16 per ounce. Pratt is believed to have discovered a rich ledge in the Pinenut Range. Paher. 86 Author’s research file on Nevada lost mines. Nevada – Lost Mines & Buried Treasures.It is believed that Breyfogle traveled a tremendous distance without food and water until madness set in. p. But he never could retrace his steps and had no idea where he was when he found and lost one of the greatest treasures of all time. They were descending the mountain when the storm struck. This was the last lucid moment the man could remember later when re-telling the story. Las Vegas. Sources: McDonald. C.000 in gold ore with them. out of his mind. Lost Sheepherder Mine – (Elko County) Is reported to be east of the Bruneau River near the Idaho state line. 1981. 46. with bleeding and blistered feet. Realizing his find was of great value. Douglas. Stanley W. Lost Pratt Mine – (Douglas County) General A. That’s when he came upon a strange outcropping of reddish ore laced with free gold. 93-94 Thomas C. He used silver taken from this mine to salt other worthless mines he owned then sold to unsuspecting buyers. Pioneer Nevada. More Lost Nevada Mines Lost Pack Train Mine – (Elko County) This gold mine was discovered by Sam Sanders and Julius Schultz sometime after 1869. Reno. Lost Comstock Mine – (Humboldt County) Henry Comstock discovered a rich silver ledge in the Black Rock country. 1951.