SECTION: GHOST TOWNS & ABANDONED MINES
YELLOW PINE MINING RAILROAD, GOODSPRINGS, NEVADA
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
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.
Eventually, the mines in the district played out, and the railroad
fell into disuse; by 193? it was abandoned.
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
|These are just a few of the
photos I have; when I find the rest & scan them to digital,
I will post them here. I will also be posting current photos of
the old grade as I get opportunities to take them.
to Goodsprings Mining District Page |
to Ghost Towns & Abandoned Mines Page
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