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
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
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.
NEW PASS DISTRICT
LOCAL AND MINING
DEATH IN A SHAFT
WILL ERECT NEW MILL
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.
MINE AT NEWPASS IS BONDED BY RENO MEN
NEW PASS MINE'S MILL TO EMPLOY TEN MEN AT ONCE
MILL AT NEWPASS IS READY FOR BUSINESS
MILL AT NEWPASS IS MOVED DOWN TO WATER
NEW PASS MINE IS CLOSED DOWN
Post Office: May 2, 1900 to February 28, 1903
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.