Take it easy

41°47'24.67"N 117°32'37.78"W


We Visited: June 8, 2022
Our Breakast:
Black Rock Grill, Lovelock
Our Supper :
The Pig, Winnemucca


Directions: From Orovada, head north on US 95 for 16.4 miles; Turn right 0.8 mi; Continue onto Buckskin Cyn Rd 2.0 mi; Slight right onto Indian Creek-Canyon Creek Rd 5.3 mi; Continue onto NF-084 4.8 mi; Turn left 0.6 mi; Continue onto National Forest Develop Rd 532 Trail 0.3 mi; Slight right to stay on National Forest Develop Rd 532 Trail


Not to be confused with the camp of Buckskin in Douglas county. Discovered in 1906 by two Winnemuccans, the Buckskin National Gold Mining Company erected a 100 ton flotation mmill which didn't work very well. It wasn't until the Nevada Lucky Tiger Company arrived around 1930 that things got serious. They built another mill, but when it burned down during the Depression everyone pretty much gave up and went home.

The excitement begins.

The National Miner says: With a feeling that imlpies excelsior, the leasers on the Never Sweat claim, on the west slope oof the buckskin mountain, are proclaiming their find. The sames of ore they show pronounce richness and enlargement of the body with depth.
-Tonopah Daily Bonanza, November 18, 1910

Things get serious

F. F. Bell, superintendent of the Nuckskin National Gold Mining Company, returned yesterday from a flying trip to SAn Francisco. While in the city he purchased a small mill, rock crusher, and equipment for the company's assay office. The mill will be taken to the property immediately upon its arrival here and wil be used in working high grade ore.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 25, 1914

J. C. Sullivan, who arrived Wednesday from the camp of National, reports a strike of extremely rich ore has been made in the Buckskin National Mining Company's property at the southern end of the district.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 27, 1915

By 1920 things were hopping right along

EQUIPMENT The equipment consists of the following: three small blacksmith shops, two five horsepower gas engines and blowers, 2000 to 3000 feet of six inch galvanized air pipe, several thousand feet of mine rails, five mine cars, hand mining tools, nine Horsepower Fairbanks-Morse vertical hoist, cable and skip. The Mill is equipped as follows: Jaw crusher, three J.H. Champion feeders, three J.H. two stamp batteries (1200 pound stamps), three copper amalgamation plates (4 ft. x 6 ft.), one four foot ball mill, two No. 2 Diester concentration tables, forty horsepower Foos gas engine, small assay office. The Mill is a frame structure covered with painted corrugated iron.
Bunkhouse for twenty men, dining-room and kitchen, three cabins (two frame, one cement) well equipped assay office with crusher, pulverizer, sampler, gas engine, gasoline furnace and balances. 40 acre pasture fenced with barb wire.

I had to look up Foos engines. John Foos developed his own improved version of Sintz's engine and established the Foos Gas Engine Company in 1887 in Springfield, Ohio. By 1900, the Foos Gas Engine Company claimed to be the largest engine manufacturer in the world. The company made stationary gas and oil engines in the late 1800s and early 1900s, gasoline powered traction engines up until at least 1905, and in the 1920s they made wood-sawing machines.

Last Two Cars Shipped Net $39, 842 After Paying Freight, Smelter Charges
The largest shipment of high-grade gold and silver to go out of this section for a good many years was made last month from the Vernon Bell lease on the Buckskin National Gold Mining property sixty-five miles north of WInnemucca when one twenty-eight ton car shipped to the United States Mining, Smelting & Refininf Company at Murray, Utah, broughtr net returns of $16, 783.58, and another car slightly less in weight netted to the shippers $23,058.44 after smelting charges and freight were deducted. This latter car carried 24.96 ounces of gold per ton and 724.2 ounces of silver; the other, 18.11 ounces of gold and 497.3 of silver.
-Reno Evening Gazette, September 6, 1929

Probably bad timing, but in the middle of the Depression, the Lucky Tiger company decided to take a whack at it.

Lucky Tiger Reported Angling for Buckskin
Officials of the Lucky-Tiger mining company may take over the Buckskin National Gold Mining company property.
-Nevada State Journal, May 13, 1934

Altitude at BUCKSKIN is 8,100 feet; it is 3 miles southeast of the NATIONAL camp. Incorporated in 1912 it had been working intermittently and through lessees at least until 1937. From 1935 it had been operated by the NEVADA LUCKY TIGER MINING COMPANY under a lease arrangement. In June 1937 50 men were employed in producing 50 tons of ore per day. 6500 feet of workings include three tunnels, the longest 1,250 feet and a 400 foot shaft from the 100 adit level; mill was a 50 ton cyanide mill.
-Report, probably 1937

As was not uncommon, fire slowed things considerably.

FIre destroyed the mill and buildings of the Buckskin mine, seventy miles north of here, according to an indirect reort reaching WInnemucca late this afternoon. Chalmers McCormick, Quinn River rancher, telephoned to WInnemucca that he had word of the fire from Paul Travis, forest ranger at Paradise. Travis asked McCormick to get aid from the Quinn River CCC camp. McCormick stated that the CCC officials had seen the smoke and had sent fire fighters to Buckskin. McCormick's report stated that the mill and buildings were destroyed and that the flames had spread to the sagebrush and mahogany on the nearby hills. THe property is being operated under lease by the Nevada Lucky Tiger Company. It is owned by the National Gold Mining Company. There is a large mill on the ground which was recently equipped with considerable new machinery
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 3, 1937

Meanwhile, on top of Buckskin Mountain, they were fooling around with mercury...

The McCormick group of 18 unpatented claims and 2 fractions, owned by D. C. McCormick and John Dermody, of Rebel Creek, Nev., and Mrs. J. E. Ward, of Reno, Nev., is situated on the summit of Buckskin Peak in the Santa Rosa Range at an elevation of 82600 feet above sea level. The road to Buckskin Peak goes up Canyon Creek gulch to the divide and then skirts the high ridges at the crest of the range. From the Winnemucca-McDermitt highway the distance is 15 miles, of which the last seven are fairly steep. The property was located a number of years ago by Chalmers McCormick, of Rebel Creek, as a gold-silver property, but nothing of importance was found until 1929, when John Dermody discovered cinnabar in a prominent outcrop on Buck-skin Peak. The production of quicksilver has been 58 flasks. Development comprises two shafts, one 42 feet deep and the other 58 feet, and several adits, the longest of which is 300 feet. Underground workings total about 600 feet. Equipment includes an Ingersoll-Rand portable compressor, jackhammer, several camp buildings, and a D-retort with a capacity of 2 tons per 24 hours. The ore treated in this D-retort was hand-sorted to average about 5 percent quicksilver. The ore is crushed to about. 1-inch size in a Joshua-Handy jaw crusher (8 by 8 inches) belt-connected to a 6-horsepower gasoline engine. About 700 pounds of ore are treated per charge; the oil consumption is about 20 gallons per ton of ore. Water for domestic use is available from several springs on the ground.

It got serious enough to truck a big rotary furnace up there.

Buckskin QUicksilver Will Handle One Hundred Tons Of Ore Daily
This has been a week of great activity at the Buckskin quicksilver property on top of Buckskin mountain, with machinery for the one-hundred ton Gould rotary furnace being trucked from the railroad at Winnemucca. The sixty-four-foot tube for the big furnace reached the property Monday after a three day trip from town. TO haul it, John Crawford, local truck man, cut an old truck in two and rigged up the dual-tired front section, to carry the back end of the long tube, using the steering gear in the same manner as that on the back end of a hook and ladder outfit, in order to get the tube around the turns on the grade up the mountain. Crawford's truck at the front end of the tub broke down late Sunday morning about halfway up the Canyon creek grade, delaying delivery, and the shining silvery giant came into camp early Monday morning attended by half the population of the mountain. The tube weighs eleven tons.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 20, 1940


In connection with reports reaching here during the week to the effect that the recently installed 100-ton roatary furnace of the Buckskin Quicksilver Mining Co. of Buckskin mountain, 65 miles north of Winnemucca, had been closed down, it was stated by the Humboldt Star that all activities of the company had been suspended on Tuesday morning, on orders from the company's San Francisco office. The mine employed more than 40 men for some time and plans for winter operations had already been announced.
-Nevada State Journal, September 30, 1940


It's a long ways up to the site, and the road is a little bit iffiy, and several water crossings, so suggest a high-clearance vehicle. Magnificent scenery. Most of the wooden buildings have collapsed but there are several tanks and bits of mining gear at the Lucky Tiger mill site. There are also some cabins on the way up that someone is in the process of making livable, so please be kind. Great Nevada scenery and worth the trip to the top for the ride alone. At the beginning of the ride, depending on which way you come, there is a large roatary furnace next to the road.

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