4WD or high clearance desired
  Desert Queen Mine

39° 47' 51"N, 118° 53' 05"W - DESERT PEAK quad

VISITED We Visited: 1-23-2003

Directions: North from Fallon 24.3 miles; west on local dirt road 7.4 miles

From Fallon: 31.7 miles


The little bit of material I've been able to dig up on the Desert Queen Mine all mention that

"...is said to have been discovered by emigrants in 1849." (Mines of Churchill and Mineral Countries, W.O. Vanderburg)

Either everyone got the information from Vanderburg's book, or the rumor is widespread. They never say who says it, exactly- but if it's true, than the Desert Queen Mine is the first known lode mine worked in Northern Nevada and is hereby included in our list of Historic Churchill County places, even though we said we'd only go back to 1850.

Vanderburg continues to say that a two-stamp mill was built two miles east of the mine (39° 49' 34"N, 118° 51' 27"W - PARRAN quad) , and when that didn't work out they built a second one 14 miles NE on the edge of the Humbolt Sink. In 1937 a 25 ton mill was erected with power supplied by gasoline engines. camp buildings supported a crew of ten men.

At Lovelock I learned that old Ben Smith, the owner of the Desert Queen, some 15 miles south of Jessup, had at last bonded the property to Holsted and Ruddle of Lovelock, and that it would not be developed as it should have been years ago. He kept hold of the property for years after spending some $10,000 on it, but the claims were too extensive for him to work alone. Heretofore he has refused to let anyone in with him, but the property will now be worked thoroughly."
1908 March 24, Nevada State Journal

Veteran Miner Declares He Is to Continue Working on Churchill Property
Walter Schmidt, the old prospector of the Whiteplains country in northeastern Churchill county, is in town this week calling on his old time friends, says the Eagle. Mr Schmidt [born in Denmark December 28, 1841] came to this locality in 1867 and has ever since been engaged in mining. He is now, at the age of 72 years, developing his fifth great mine. For twenty years now he has been working on the old Desert Queen in Churchill county, located six miles due west of Parran on the S.P. road. Mr. Schmidt declares he will make a mine of the Desert Queen, which is been gouged and skinned by others. He is down to a depth of 255 feet, where the water forced him out because he is not able to put in pumping machinery, but he avers that he has the Comstock formation and has developed the ledge for a distance of 3500 feet. He believes the Desert Queen will go down 2000 feet and make one of the big mines of the state. Despite his 72 years, he vows that he will make a mine of the Queen before he crosses the Jordan.
1914 June 15, Nevada State Journal

Note: Mr. Schmidt passed away Dec. 31, 1919 and is buried in Fallon.

We have two about thousand tons of commercial ore on the dumps, that owing to a very favorable rate from the smelters, we are enabled to ship at a good profit. We have over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars blocked out in the mine. The ore is gold and silver, silver values predominate. We are now working with four men and increasing the force to ten men in the next two days. There is more than enough of ore on the dumps to pay for the mine, and there is two thousand feet of development work. This is not a prospect, it is a mine. In the past it has produced over one hundred thousand dollars. Address all orders accompanied by check, post office money order, or express order to Jack Davis, Palace Hotel, Hazen, Nevada. - Desert Queen Mining Co. stock offering
1919 February 11, Nevada State Journal

Three development tunnels have been driven within the past few months on the property of the Manitou Gold Mining Co., known as the Desert Queen mine and situated in the old Desert of White Plains district, eight miles southwest of Huxey station on the S.P main line in northwester Churchill county.
The Desert Queen mine was first opened around 1863 and was equipped shortly thereafter with a small mill. Plans for mill construction in the spring were announced here by J.J. Wood, an officer of the company. Work is under the direction of Wilford Dennis of Reno. A compressor has been purchased by the company.
1937 February 8, Nevada State Journal




Many, many mines in various states of decay, some mill foundations, and several dumps consisting mostly of cans.

Bob Brady, whose family owned Brady Hot Springs from 1945 to 1966, relates this tale:

I will, however tell you a little story about Joe Lang. Joe owned the Desert Queen in 50s.He never owned a car that I know of. He would walk the highway and hitch a ride to Lovelock to get his groceries. Sometimes he would walk to our place and buy a Coke and a bag of peanuts and then walk back to the mine.

One day Joe came in very excited. He said that the ghost of Abe Lincoln instructed him to dig for three days. There he would find a vein of gold. Well, he dug for three days. No gold. Thinking that age may have slowed him down a bit he dug for three more days. Still no gold. My dad asked him how things were going. Joe said, "Honest Abe- ha! Even death can't stop a politician from lying."

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