N 40.41677 ° W116.80049° Bristol Well, NV Quad
|VISITED||September 18, 2016
Our breakfast: Eggs, bacon, and hash browns at Cathedral Gorge
Our Supper: Ribeyes as big as your head at Cathedral Gorge.
Go to Pioche, Nevada. You there yet? Outstanding!! Now head north on US 93 for 14 miles; turn left on Bristol Wells Rd. Stay on Bristol Wells Rd for 6.2 miles. You're at a junction. One mile to the west is Bristol Wells; continuing on the road for 3.8 miles will take you to the mine site.
Kiln builders were usually skilled artisans who took great pride in their work and employed special techniques in the construction of their beehive-shaped ovens. The fact that many century-old kilns remain almost intact attests to their fine craftsmanship. Not only were the rocks in the Bristol kilns skillfully fitted but they are of an unusual green color. Surrounded by clumps of blooming rabbitbrush, the green kilns and golden flowers complemented one another. Originally, there had been four kilns but one had collapsed (or been vandalized) and most of the stones were gone. Each kiln stands about 20 feet high, has a very small opening at the top and a metal-framed opening at the bottom which faces north. Of particular interest is the middle opening on the side which faces in a different direction on each kiln. We hypothesized about this but did not come up with a satisfactory explanation. Adobe mud mortars the exterior rocks and the interior has a coating of cement. They were built to last and they have. Once said to boast a population of nearly 400, several mills, a smelter, saloon and store, the crossroad of Bristol Well was an active community for many years. A windmill, several stone buildings, a few foundations, a covered stable and piles of slag mark the site. The stable is intriguing. It utilizes a rock wall built into the side of a hill (originally a mill site) which is about 60 feet long. The eastern half has been covered with ridge poles and roofed with sod. Heavy timbers down the center hold the weight of the roof. The western end is partially boarded and may have been roofed at one time. Due to the climate in this area, shelter for animals would have been necessary on winter nights. Later, talking with S.A. Hollinger of Pioche, we learned he had run cattle in the valley many years ago and used Bristol Well as a line-camp. He had used the stones from the collapsed kiln to build one of the cabins and also constructed the stable for his horses. "Those horses had to learn to duck in order to get in and out of the stable," Hollinger told us.
Pretty sure, due to the distance mentioned and the fact that men were "chopping wood," that this refers to the site now known as Bristol Wells.
Not to say all was roses and charcoal at Bristol Wells. It had its share of crime like its neighbor Pioche...
Mystery At The Well
BODY OF MISSING MAN FOUND IN WELL
The police narrow their focus on the son....
INVESTIGATING PECULIAR DEATH
And then... everything went away.
No bills were returned against Roy Alexander, accused of horse stealing, neither was any returned against Julius Weir, Jr., accused of the murder of Charles Todd, the jury having concluded that there was not enough evidence to warrant putting the county to the expense of a trial.
I could locate no records for the Weirs or Todd, and no grave for the latter, at least in an internet search. Were the Weirs guilty of murder most foul? Who took the $150-- almost $4,000 in today's money? Why was he carrying so much on him? Why didn't Lee take Todd with him when he arrested Blackwell? We'll never know.
Several ruins, a wind mill, and, of course, the charcoal kilns grace this site. I saw something about one of the buildings being built from a dismantled kiln, leaving only three, but I didn't see any evidence of a missing kiln, unless it was in another area. We met a nice gentleman from Tucson who was slowly crawling around the area in an old Forest Service pickup. I've forgotten his name, unfortunately, but apparently he was making a ghost town and mining camp tour of Nevada and told us about some of the palces he visited. He, too, had heard that Bristol Silver Mine ws off limits, but he was going to go up there anyway, and we did see him later as we were trying to escape from the area. We rarely see anyone during our travels so it was nice.