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REFERENCE SECTION: GHOST TOWNS & ABANDONED MINES
VALENTINE MINE, GOODSPRINGS DISTRICT, NEVADA (2009)

The Valentine Mine is located in the Goodsprings Mining District, between Jean & Goodsprings, Nevada. Virtually no information is available on the Valentine Mine that I've been able to find, not even on the Nevada Buruea of Mines website (but there are still a LOT of documents to browse though, so who knows what may yet turn up). I assume that Zinc, Lead, Copper, Silver, and Gold were the primary minerals extracted, since the geological composition is similar to other mines in the area (Accident, Bullion, et al). The mine has been scoured of equipment & materials, but what little remains appears to be of the same time period as the Accident & Bullion mines (20th Century).

We knew that this would be an arduous hike, but figured that since we could park at the base of the mountain, it shouldn't be too hard to reach. As it turned out, this is one of the hardest hikes we've experienced! The pack trail is steep, loose, and very washed-out...it is very hard to follow in some spots. Follow along as we explore the Valentine Mine.


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 instead.

DANGER!
DO NOT ENTER old mines, especially without having the proper equipment. NEVER enter by yourself! We use headlamps for light, with several back up flash lights. We carry a multi-gas sensing meter that measures the oxygen level, as well as methane gas level; however, we do NOT carry rescue breathing equipment. Bad air is a reality for many old mines - carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases collect in lower levels of many mines, as well as in many isolated pockets of the twists & turns of many mines (and you will NOT be able to smell the bad gas before it overwhelms you). We carry extra batteries, rescue ropes, first aid kits, and plenty of water. We also carry a Spot GPS Meter that sends an email w/GPS coordinates via satellite to love-ones before we enter stating our location and that we are OK. We do it again upon leaving the mine to let them know we’re out and safe; this meter also has the capability of sending a help signal and/or alerting 911 via satellite providing GPS coordinates – of course it doesn’t work within the mine itself. The BLM strongly advises to not enter these old mines, so if you choose to do so, it is solely at your own risk. Some mines, have steep & deep drop-offs, as well as difficult-to-see vertical shafts, which could be impossible to get back up out of. Also, even though you may see extensive use of wood ladders, shoring and support platforms inside old mines, this wood is very old and unstable; much of it is rotted (along with corroded nails & bolts) and WILL NOT support your weight. So please enjoy these photos but do not try to enter any old mines.
One of a few ore loading bins left inside; most of the stopes served by these loading bins were easily accessible to one side or the other of the loading bins. However, all of the stopes I explored are bare of anything interesting to photograph.
 
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