New Pass We Visited: March 7, 2007
Our Breakfast: Eggs 'n' omelettes at the Cold Springs Cafe!
Our Lunch: MRE's at New Pass
39° 36' 24"N, 117° 28' 40"W - MT. AIRY quad

Directions: From Fallon, take U.S. 50 East for 86.6 miles, then north on New Pass Mine Rd. for 4.8 miles. CAUTION: PRIVATE PROPERTY. Arrange visit with owner first.

 

From Fallon: 91.4 miles

4WD or high clearance desired

What Was

Many of the texts I've seen put New Pass in Lander County; however, the USGS maps put it in Churchill County- but just barely. In fact, the county line goes right through the property, but the mines and most if not all of the buildings are in the Churchill side. On the other hand, they've been defining or redefining the boundaries for years, including up to 1983, so it's possible the border has moved around a bit.

Paher writes that the district was organized after gold was discovered in 1864. A five stamp mill was moved from Austin to nearby Warm Spings (aka Petersen's) and milled 12,000 tons of ore before closing. At the turn of the century, work resumed but ceased by 1920. The History of Nevada, 1881, Thompson and West, pages 359-372 provides us with:

NEW PASS DISTRICT was organized in the spring of 1864, and ledges of gold-bearing ore were found, which, on the surface, appeared very valuable. The district lies in the Shoshone range of mountains, about thirty miles west of Austin, and the mines were chiefly worked by people from that city. The mines were quite thoroughly tested, but not yielding to exceed fifteen dollars per ton, were abandoned, but the State Mineralogist of 1867 regards them as valuable.

A bit of history on the site is given in a 1946 report to the Reorganized Silver King Divide Mine Company of Tonapah written by mining engineer Parker Liddell:

The Superior and Gold Belt veins were discovered and located in the '60's and were approved for patent in 1873. Open cuts and short tunnels explored these veins and some work was done on the Lander and True Blue veins. Up to 1900, according to report, about 6,000 tons of one ounce gold ore was reduced in a 3-foot
Hutington mill located at the Warm Springs mill site. State Senator Bell owned this operation and is said to have purchased a cattle ranch in Reese River Valley from the proceeds.

Title passed to the New Pass Gold Mining Company and the Gold Belt shaft was sunk to a depth of 350 feet.

In 1913 A. G. Kirby reported 12,840 tons of ore. W. C. Pitt, of Lovelock, Nevada erected a cyanide plant in 1917 to work this ore, but due to... conditions, operations were suspended and the mill dismantled. Only limited portions of the Superior Mine ore body were mined and milled. Subsequent mining and milling operations from 1930 to 1932, when an amalgamation mill was erected at the Warm Springs, proved the estimate on the Superior to be substantially correct, according to Wayne H. Smith, who had charge of most of the mining and the reduction of the ore.

Wayne H. Smith and Tom W. Byers acquired the ground on the north end of the patented claims in 1932 and later and uncovered the extension of the Gold Belt vein system, which they named the Thomas W mine. Howard C. Snyder succeeded Byers as part owner of the mine and Smith and Snyder have developed the vein to a depth of 340 feet with drifts on different levels.

A description of the "new" mill is provided in a report by mining engineer Harry H. Hughes, dated April 11, 1947 to the Board of Directors of the Reorganized Silver King Divide Mine Company of Tonapah:

Mill construction has practically completed at this last visit. It required only installation of the amalgamation plates, classifier, concentration tables, a water tank and small odds and ends to be in operating condition. Ore will enter the top of the mill through a grizzly screen, pass through the crusher and be elevated to the fine ore bin. From this bin it will be fed automatically to the ball mill, pass through the classifier and over the amalgamation plates, where most of the gold will be recovered.
After leaving the plates it will go through the flotation machines, which will pick up any values not caught by amalgamation. The flotation tailings will pass over concentrating tables, which are more to give the mill operators a visual idea of how the plates and flotatation cells are working , than to recover any values. Milling of the ore has already been proven by the extraction of $50,000 from stamps and straight amalgamation. In the new mill an extraction of at least 9O% of the gold is confidently expected. Ores accumulated in the bins at the stamp mill, from current development work, are to be milled at once.
Water for the new mill is to be had from two wells located one-half mile from the mill. It is delivered through a 2-inch pipe line , and from all indications should be sufficient to operate the mill . However, if it should not provide a sufficient amount, there is a spring about one-fourth mile below the mill which , if developed, should give any additional water needed.

NEW PASS DISTRICT
This district was discovered and organized over ayear ago. It is situated four miles north of the Overland Mail road, and the same distance from the New Pass Station. Mr. John Moffett and Mr. Thomas Paine, the Recorder of the district, have recently made discoveries of a peculiar system of gold bearing ledges which are attracting unusual attention.
1865 October 31, Reese River Reveille

LOCAL AND MINING
Gold MInes of New Pass
The gold-bearing ledges of New Pass district are now being developed by a company under favorable circumstances. The ledges were discovered about two years ago, and although they were pretty thoroughly examined by compentent hands and pronounced to be worthy of large investment, they appear to ahve received no earnest attention from capitalists.
1867 August 2, Reese River Reveille

DEATH IN A SHAFT
E.E. Staratt, one of hte owners of hte New Pass mine, drove in today to secure a coffin for his partner, Daniel McIntyre, who fell down a shaft fifty-five feet deep at the mine and was killed. The body was found by locating a lantern to the bottom of the shaft. The body was sent by train to Battle Mountain, a distance of ninety miles, for burial. Deceased was sixty years old, a native of Maine, and leaves a widow and four children.
1888 October 20, Reno Evening Gazette

BREVITIES
R. L. Horton left Austin yesterday fot he New Pass mines with GIles Blood, Governor Nye, and Sam Houser to work on the New Pass mines-- Advocate
1892 August 16, Reno Evening Gazette

FROM AUSTIN
Items of Interest
The New Pass property has not been sold yet, and there is getting to be much uneasiness on the part of the miners who have several month's pay due them, and nothing in the way of sale or wages in sight.
1901 May 9, Reno Evening Gazette

PROPEROUS NEVADA
Deputy Assessor George Watts of Lander county informed a "Gazette" reporter that the New Pass mine had recently been sold to Philadelphia parties for $250,000 [$7,002,734 in 2014 dollars] and that extensive work was being done on the proeprty. He says there is enough ore in sight in the mine to keep a stamp mill busy for the next ten years and predicts that the mine will be one of the best producers in the eastern part of the great State before too long.
1901 July 22, Reno Evening Gazette

WILL ERECT NEW MILL
A stamp mill with a cyanide plant will be erected at the New Pass mine this side of Austin early in the spring and this old property will again become a producer.
1913 December 23, Reno Evening Gazette

A prospector known to his friend as "Mysterious" Bill Smith, [related, perhaps, to "Mysterious Pete?"] with an associates, are in the hills between the old camp of Skookum and the New Pass mine, not far from the "home ranch" of M.W. Malloy, searching for what is known as the :Lost Bullwhacker" mine. As was told in a story furnished the Gazette by Ms. Malloy and printed several months ago, a freighter was searching for strayed oxen in that vicinity in the early days when he found several large pieces of float, fabulously rich in gold, and although searched for many times the ledge from which it came has never been found.
1926 March 12, Reno Evening Gazette

MINE AT NEWPASS IS BONDED BY RENO MEN
The Gold Mountain mine at Newpass twenty-five miles west of Austin near the old road between the latter point and Reno has been taken under bond and lease by Parker Liddell and Wayne H. Smith, well-known Nevada mining engineers from W. C. Pitt of Lovelock, the owner.
1929 February 1, Reno Evening Gazette

NEW PASS MINE'S MILL TO EMPLOY TEN MEN AT ONCE
WIth a new mill now installed at the New Pass Mine between Fallon and Austin it is expected that ten men will be regularly employed as soon as operations start some time between Monday and July 1. This property is an old producer which has yielded a small fortune in gold. Owner William Pitt installed a cyanide process in the mill which he built before the war.
1930 June 13, Reno Evening Gazette

MILL AT NEWPASS IS READY FOR BUSINESS
The fity-ton amalgamation and concentrating mill at New Pass, between Fallon and Austin, was completed last week and was due to start trating gold ore this week, according to A.A. Towle, who took a supply of quicksilver late last week from Virginia City to New Pass. At the time it was said that everything was in readiness for the start excepting a flask of quicksilver to amalgamating the gold. A Harding ball bill was installed to grind the ore to be amalgamated. A gas engine has been placed to provide power. The mine, formerly owned by William C. Pitt of Lovelock and discontinued during the war when supplies for operating a mill were not available, is owned by Wayne H. Smith, who is in charge. A.D. Drumm,Jr., Fallon highway contractor; William A. Young, assistant state highway engineer; A.A. Towle, Fallon rancher, and his brother Charles Towle, Churchill county mining man.
1930 July 11, Reno Evening Gazette

Oops.

MILL AT NEWPASS IS MOVED DOWN TO WATER
The job of mmoving all except the rough-crushing department of the New Pass Gold Mines Inc. mill from the property five miles down the hill to the old millstite where there has been a plentiful supply of water, has been completed and it should be in operation now, it was said this week by W. A. Young, one of the officials. The company has completed a road between the two points, and it will not cost more than fifty cents a ton to move the ore to the new site, which will probably be more than offset because of a better saving of values brought about by greater dilution of th epulp before it goes over the plates. The mill uses amalamationa dn concentration and the saving is high.
1931 May 8, Reno Evening Gazette

NEW PASS MINE IS CLOSED DOWN
The New Pass Gold Mines Company has ceased work at the mine between Austin and Eastgate it was announced this week. Operations have been carried on with apparent success for about two years working under a bond and lease. A mill was built and a large amount of development work was done. Any Drumm one of the stock holders, said in Reno yesterday that if the terms of the bond could be modified to the satisfaction of the company, work would probaly be resumed.
1932 May 27, Reno Evening Gazette

Post Office: May 2, 1900 to February 28, 1903

Newspaper: None

What is

The New Pass Mine property is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Don Jung. Mr. Jung was kind enough to take some time and show us around the mill and several out-buildings, explain how things worked, and was generally friendly and extremely interested. He then allowed us to poke around and take all the pictures we wanted. We're indebted to him for his kindness. Just another reminder, Mr. Jung was probably kind because we arranged to meet with him beforehand- please extend to him the same courtesy and don't just show up unannounced. The Jungs llive and work at this mine! Tours are sometimes arranged through Dr. William Davis through the Churchill County Museum, I believe. Contact them and ask about the next one!

We say "No 4WD needed" but in fact, we'd still be there if we didn't have 4WD, since the roads were muddier than heck. And it was a sticky, gummy mud, which took four car wash dollars to remove from the wheel wells. So if you're going to go in the winter or spring, better make sure you bring enough traction.

 


Mr. Jung explains the hoist mechanism.
The headframe of the Thomas W. mine. Mr. Jung worked this mine when he was here in the late fifties, while his wife ran the mill by herself. Thomas W. was Thomas W. Byer.
This device was used to indicate what level you were on when you were using the hoist.
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