Silver Hill We Visited: 7/21/01 and 10/25/03
Our Dinner: Beef Stew, Coleslaw, Rolls
39 39' 57"N, 118 12' 39"W - I X L CANYON quad

Directions: 40 miles east on U.S. 50 from Fallon, turn left (North) on Dixie Valley road. Proceed 27 miles north to intersection of Settlement Road. Go 2.2 miles WNW, take left form and head SW 1.7 miles.

From Fallon: 71 miles

What Was

In 1860, prospectors discovered silver here and by the next year there were a couple of hundred people living in Silver Hill. Oddly enough, there was neither a post office nor was there even an application for one. By the summer of next year, almost everyone had left for strikes elsewhere. A few remained, and by 1880 "rediscovered" silver ledges were the catalyst for new building, including a boarding house and two blacksmiths. A couple of years later interest died again, only to be energized a third time during the 1906 boom. [Paher]

In Historic Site Studies in Churchill County, Nevada Davis quotes historians Thompson and West that the major mines in the district were the Bayfield, Black Prince, Eastern Star, Iron Point, Spar, Morgan, and Mammoth. The Iron Point tunnel was 160 feet long. Davis writes that the upper ruins cabin "still has it's wooden window casing intact." However, this is no longer the case in 2003. Either vandals or natural actions of the elements have disintegrated it.

Paher mentions a stage line operating from Silver Hill to Virginia City. and there was also a toll road from Stillwater.

"He [Moses Job] operated a toll road from Stillwater to Silver Hill, charging fifty cents for camels probably used in the salt trade, and a quarter for horse and rider." (Childers, Magee Station and the Churchill Chronicles)

In our estimation as professional (well, we would be professionals if someone paid us) explorers, this toll road went from Stillwater to Silver Hill via Job Canyon. In other words, it went east through Job Canyon then north up Dixie Valley and then west into IXL Canyon.

In the September 24, 1932 Fallon Eagle, Ira Heber Kent wrote about "The Passing of Old Man Kellogg", most if not all of which can be read on the Churchill County Museum site in Bunny Corkill's In Focus article. Before the 1906 boom, Charles Kellog owned the Black Prince Group of mines.

"The old man was the owner of six claims known as the Black Prince Mines, in addition to his other holdings, lying on the ridge and extending down each side of the mountain above Cox's Canyon, as we called it in those days, about twenty miles from Stillwater..."

Kent relays a story about recovering Kellog's body after an accident, and describes his cabin. The claim map shows a single cabin, and it has been our task to locate this cabin and plunder document it. The problem is, the claim map, as recorded, appears to be inaccurate. Twice we have assaulted the canyon and twice we were repulsed by lack of time and breath. We shall return

Post Office: None

Newspaper: None

What is

This is a canyon that doesn't get too many visitors except cattle. There are cow paths all over the place, but most traces of road are now extinguished. Be prepared to do some hiking to really explore this site. The walls of the canyons are steep and sandy, and we found walking sticks comforting and useful.

The road got a little too narrow and sandy for us, so we walked most of the way. Braver souls got further with their quads than we did. Somewhere during the trip my thermos ended up missing. There are several rock ruins and some scattered lumber and metal around the site, over a very large area. On our second trip we hiked quite a bit to try to find some other cabins, and we did manage to locate the one on the map and an additional one nearby.

Some guy on a yellow quad or jeep was parked on the top of the hill over Silver Hill yelling something. We yelled back. He yelled some more. Neither one of us could understand the other, if he heard us at all. Maybe he was just yelling. Maybe he was yelling, "I took your thermos and there's nothing you can do about it, sucker!" Who knows. We usually take our GMRS radios with us and use Channel 14 SUb-Channel 14 so use that and don't yell. It frightens the quail.

When you get to Settlement Road, there is a dirt road that heads in a SW direction- that's the one you want. Just make sure you go up the correct canyon. The other one takes you to Stillwater. That white line going from right to left at the base of the mountains is not a road- it's the fault from the 1954 earthquake.
Typical of the ruins here are these partial stone walls. In many places you can see where previous residents dug a level spot into the sloping canyon sides.
Ruins at Silver Hill
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