Take it easy
  American Flat

39.27025° N, 119.66267° W    USGS Virginia City NV Quad

VISITED Can't remember exactly- 2009 sometime
DIRECTIONS Take US 50 west from Fallon for 44.2 miles; continue north on Six Mile Canyon Rd. for 8 miles; turn left and head south 2.5 miles; head generally SW on Sky Lane and local roads for about 1.2 miles. From Fallon: 56.1 miles

"The United Comstock Merger Mill site is located on public lands at American Flat, Storey County, Nevada. The mill was built in 1922 to process local gold and silver ore utilizing cyanide vat leaching in what was then described as the largest concrete mill in the United States, which makes it historically significant. Since abandonment in 1924, this seven acre mill site has traditionally been used by high school students and other locals as a meeting place to hold parties, post graffiti, conduct paintball wars, etc., despite physical safety hazards from falling concrete, underground mill sumps filled with water, and holes in the concrete flooring.

The BLM issued a Federal Register Notice and closed the historic mill buildings to public entry in 1997 in response to a fatality at the site. Regardless of the closure and repeated efforts by the BLM to fence, gate and post the site with warning signs, the property still receives visitors in trespass. According to the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, emergency vehicles respond to at least six serious injuries on the property every year, mostly from visitors climbing on and falling from the mill buildings which are as much as eighty feet in height."


A flow chart of the milling process can be found here, courtesy of the BLM.

American Flat is an impressive historical site, both in size and in the amount of graffiti. There are ample and spectacular ways to kill yourself here, and many have tried. According to the Nevada Appeal, someone was even killed trying to ride his ATV on the stairs. Any normal person would realize the age and condition of the place and take necessary precautions, but because of a few nutcases- and the fact that the location has been used for alcohol-fueled get-togethers for many years, accidents are bound to happen if you do something stupid.

UPDATE: And because of a few nitwits without any common sense, all of Nevada lost an excellent historic and cultural resource when the government bulldozed the site into nothingness. It's now gone forever. We'll leave it to you to determine who the actual nitwits were in this case.

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