SECTION: GHOST TOWNS & ABANDONED MINES
ARGENTENA MINE, GOODSPRINGS DISTRICT, NEVADA
Mine is a substantial mining complex to the southwest of the town
of Goodsprings. The mine itself was near the top of Table Mountain,
and ore was sent down to the milling facility (located at the base
of the mountain) via an aerial tramway. Little remains but concrete
foundations and one lonely, solitary tramway tower. Little information
is available on the Argentena Mine, surprisingly; this
site lists the period of operation for the mine from 1927-1962.
Mindat.org lists the primary metals mined as Zinc, Lead, Copper,
Silver, as well as small amounts of Gold and Vanadium.
There is a sad
chapter involving the Argentena Mine. It seems that in October
2002 a bunch of computer nerds playing "The Game" decided
to conduct their play in Southern Nevada, and involved the Argentena
Mine with one of their "clues." Well, one of the nerds
misread the hints while looking for the "clue" and entered
a mine adit....using only the glow from his hand-held GPS unit for
lighting, he blundered inside and fell down a vertical shaft. He
was critically injured but lucky enough to survive...and of course
dug up an obscure owner to sue. Read
here for some interesting notes from the legal case. Now, I
want to feel bad for this guy, but dammit, if you don't know what
you're doing, STAY THE HELL OUT OF ABANDONED MINES!! There
are folks like me who are equipped properly and understand the risks
involved in exploring abandoned mines; all others should just stay
out. There are too many knee-jerkers who want to seal off ALL abandoned
mines because of the reckless and careless actions of a few. I am
sick and tired of being punished for the stupidity of others, so
for God's sake, STAY OUT OF ALL ABANDONED MINES!!
posting these photos so that you don't have to enter these old
mines, please enjoy my photos instead.
Goodsprings was named for cattle rancher Joe Good, who used to water
his herd at the springs named after him. The town of Goodsprings
thrives to this day, but has many reminders of its glorified mining
past. In fact, there is an effort underway to have the former grade
of the Yellow Pine Mining Railroad designated as a trail under the
federal Rails To Trails program. The mining district extends well
beyond Goodsprings and generally incorporates mines around Sandy
Valley & the Potosi Mountain range as well. This section covers
a wide area throughout the district, including photos in & around
Goodsprings township proper.
Strikes in the area were recorded beginning in the early 1880s,
but high transportation costs stymied development until the SP,LA&SL
Railroad (aka "The Salt Lake Route," forerunner of the
Union Pacific) rails were laid through Jean in 1905, less than 10
miles to the south. In 1882 the Keystone Mine was located west of
Goodsprings, and a small mill was constucted in the town. The Yellow
Pine Mining Company was formed in 1901, by combining several smaller
claims located in Porphyry Gulch, roughly 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings
town. The increase in ore output from the various area mines demanded
better transportation to the SP,LA&SL railhead at Jean, and
so in 1909 an attempt was made to acquire the remaining assets of
the defunct Quartette Mining Company's railroad (the locomotives
& some equipment had already been acquired by the Arden Plaster
Company); the deal was not consumated until more than a year later,
and the Yellow Pine Mining Company Railroad was completed in June,
1911. The railroad was approximately 12-1/2 miles long, and featured
steep grades all along its length: 4 to 5% in the "easy"
section out of Jean, and then up to 12% in short sections
along the rest of the route! Runaways and accidents were not uncommon
during the railroad's lifespan. The railroad ran from Jean northwards
into Goodsprings (where the Yellow Pine Mining Co. mill was also
located, along the railroad route), and then northwesterly to the
Yellow Pine Mine. Several other mines were also served by the railroad
along the way to enhance revenue, a very few with their own spurs.
Many of these mines are privately owned, and posted "No Trespassing."
If you don't have permission from the owners, please do not trespass
upon private property! The BLM has also been active in the area,
sealing off unsafe mine entrances & installing bat grates over
others (to support the native bat populations found within some
of the area mines). Many of these mines are very unstable and unsafe!
So please STAY OUT & STAY ALIVE! And in the meantime
enjoy some of my exclusive photos of the interiors of these mines
Mine aerial tramway remains; the cables reflect the sunlight to
show where they used to run. The aerial tramway in the background
is actually located about halfway between the mine & mill; the
mine itself is located high up on the mountain in the far background.
In the foreground are the remains of an aerial tramway tower. Photo
is scanned from a print.
to Argentena Mine Page |
to Goodsprings Mining District Page |
to Ghost Towns & Mines Page
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