Take it easy

38° 09' 32"N, 118° 05' 21"W USGS Candelaria Quad

VISITED 4/9/2005 . Our Dinner: MRE's at Columbia
9/2/2017   Our breakfast: Eggs at Country Sunflower, Yerington
                Our Dinner : Burgers 'n' such at Tailgaters, Yerington
DIRECTIONS From Hawthorne, take US 95 South for 42.2 miles to junction of State Highway 360; take SR 360 south for 6.5 miles to Belleville turnoff; take dirt road 7.4 miles in generally SE direction.

The Candelaria District-- also known as the Columbus District-- came into being after a party of Spaniards discovered silver here in 1863. The Northern Belle- the largest and most productive mine-- was located in 1864 and in the same year was acquired by a partnership between Bateman, Allen, and Holmes. They abandoned the property and it was relocated in 1870 by A.J. Holmes. In 1873, a company was formed to work the Northern Belle property, and a 20-stamp mill with three White furnaces, 10 pans, and six settlers were erected at Belleville 8 miles from the mine, and treated the ore using the Washoe process (amalgamation in pans heated by steam). The mine's success attracted attention, and Candelaria grew. In 1876 a second 20 stamp mill with 12 pans and 6 settlers was erected by the Northern Belle Co. at Belleville. The two mills had a combined capacity of 120 tons of ore per day. Power was generated with steam, pine wood being used for fuel. An old report states that the two mills required 1,000 cords of pine wood per month. Other companies erected mills at Columbus and Sodaville.

In 1882 water was brought to Candelaria from the White Mountains, 27 miles away through a 4-5" pipe. Also in in 1882, the Carson and Colorado Railroad had a narrow gauge line serving the area.
You can see examples of the pipe and where it is by going to this web site. Clicking on the link will open a new window.

In 1883, The Holmes Mining Co. sued the Northern Belle for tresspassing and won $360,000 in damages, and in 1884 The Northern Belle Co. was sold at auction to Holmes Mining.

From 1913-1918, about 125,000 tons of tailings were re-treated in a 120 ton cyanide plant.

As ore was exhausted, the camp fell into decay. In 1919 the Candelaria Mines Co formed, consolidating the most importat mines in the area, the Argentum, the Mt. Diablo, and others.

By 1932 the C&CRR abandoned the branch, and the post office closed in 1939.

[Source- Mines of Churchill and MIneral Counties- William O. Vanderberg]

Candelaria's name was spelled in a few different ways. Originally, Candalaria, then Candalara, and then Candelaria. The name could have come from the Candelaria Mine in San Dimas, Mexico, which was established in 1785, or it could have been the name of one of the Spanish miners.

Another view of the history of Candelaria, this one from 1922:

The silver veins in the Candelaria Mountains were dicovered by a company of Spaniards in 1863, and a mining district was organized in the same year. The veins themselves crop out in a particularly barren and inhospitable part of Nevada, and the town that grew up, called Columbus, was situated where water was obtainable, 5 miles southeast of the principal mines, on the western edge of a great alkali flat, the Columbus salt marsh. In 1867 the town had 200 inhabitants, many of whom were doubtless dependent on the salt industry, for in those days the metallurgic plants of Nevada consumed a large quantity of salt; but the work that had been done to prove the silver veins of the district was small. Ross Browne, writing at that time, says that crushings of small lots of ore yielded from $50 to $200 a ton, " a good result considering the quantity of ore of this class that can easily be obtained; so "that the prospect is not unfavorable." The remoteness of the district, the complex metallurgic treatment required by the ores, and the fact that the veins were held in numerous small holdings all combined to retard the growth of the new camp. Not until the middle of the seventies did the district come into its own, but then, owing to the successful development of the Northern Belle mine, it became the most productive silver camp in Esmeralda County and one of the foremost in

Two 20-stamp mills, erected 8 miles west of the mines at Belleville, where water is available, were put in operation, one in 1873 and a second in 1876. Roasting furnaces were also installed, for the ore was refractory and required preparatory roasting. In April, 1875, the Northern Belle began paying monthly dividends, and for a period of ten years it produced annually a million dollars in bullion. The success of the Northern Belle mine led inevitably to the growth of a town near the mine, the present Candelaria, which was started in 1876. Prosperity was everywhere apparent at this time. The town grew large enough to support a newspaper, and on June 5, 1880, the Candelaria True Fissure appeared for the first time. In naming his paper thus the editor was regarded as having made a peculiarly happy stroke. The name was intended to convey the thought that the Northern Belle and the other mines of Candelaria were on a true fissure vein, " which was the hope of every camp in Nevada which aspired to rival the Comstock lode." A water system was completed in 1882, which brings water from the White Mountains through a pipe line 27 miles long. The camp still benefits from this system. In March of the same year the Carson & Colorado Eailroad, a narrow-gage line projected In 1880, reached Candelaria by a branch from the main line near Belleville and gave the camp much needed transportation facilities, connecting it with the transcontinental line of the Central Pacific by way of Mound House, near Reno. In later years, after the discovery of Tonopah in 1900, the narrow-gage line was taken over by the Southern Pacific system, changed to a broad-gage line as far as Mina, 25 miles from Candelaria, and renamed the Nevada & California Railroad.

Litigation broke out in 1883. The Holmes Mining Co., whose property adjoined that of the Northern Belle Co., sued that company for trespass and asked for $1,500,000 damages in compensation for ore taken from its ground. The jury gave their verdict in favor of the Holmes Co. and awarded it $360,000 damages. Thereupon the Northern Belle Mining Co. ceased operations and wound up its affairs. The mine at Candelaria and the reduction mills at Belleville were sold by the United States marshal on March 20,1884, and were purchased by the Holmes Mining Co. The Northern Belle, after having yielded $10,000,000 in bullion and $2,122,500 in dividends, thus went out of existence. The Holmes and the Northern Belle were consolidated as one mine, which has since the consolidation been known as the Argentum. About this time the Mount Diablo mine became a heavy producer, and in 1883 it began paying its first dividends. The richness of the ores then available is perhaps shown most impressively by the fact that the total cost per ton of ore treated in 1883, including charges for mining, milling, transportation, overhead, taxes, and other expenses, was $44; nevertheless the mine was able to pay dividends. The ore milled in 1883 yielded $56 a ton in bullion; as mined it must have carried at least $65, or roughly 60 ounces of silver to the ton. In the Callison stope there was a body of ore from 100 to 140 feet long; it was worked for 110 feet on the dip, and in the widest place it contained 12 feet of $200 ore. The Argentum and Mount Diablo mines were the mainstays of the camp; together they are credited with having produced $19,000,000.

As the bonanza ores of the early days became exhausted in the late eighties and early nineties the camp declined and fell into decay. To-day there are hardly a dozen buildings in the town, even though some revival has taken place as a result of new activity. In 1918 the Candelaria Mines Co. was incorporated. It owns or controls under lease and bond the Argentum, Mount Diablo, Lucky Hill, and other properties, including the water system from the White Mountains. It has carefully sampled the old workings, nearly 10,000 samples having been cut and assayed. Active development has been concentrated on the Lucky Hill mine, and new ore bodies have been found. An extraction plant of 150 tons daily capacity is projected, which, it is estimated, can earn a profit of $216,000 a year, or $4 on each ton treated. It is planned to extend an electric power line from Mina into the district early in 1922.


The following clippings from the Reno Evening Gazette follow the town through the mining, murders, robberies, unbridled miscegenation, fires, railroads, search for water, the drinking of whiskey when no water could be had, and all the other things that make Candelaria such a fascinating place.

Well, Fargo & Co.'s Express Robbed By Two Road Agents in Esmeralda- Several Thousand Dollars in Bullion Carried Off- A Sheriff's Posse in Pursuit.
Candelaria, Oct. 3-- Wells, Fargo & Co.'s stage was robbed about a quarter mile from the town of Candelaria of gold bullion to the amount of several thousand dollars. The stage left Candelaria at 3:30 A.M. and on the outskirts of town two men stepped out of the sagebrush and told the driver to throw out the Wells, Fargo & Co.'s box. He did so and they ordered him to drive on. The bullion came from the Silver Peak Co. of Esmeralda County. The Sheriff and posse are scouting the country for the robbers and they will probably be caught.
-Reno Evening Gazette, October 7, 1879

Candelaria was definitely a rough town, and when whiskey is easier to get that water, it can make for some problems.

Two Saloon Keepers Quarrel- A Knock Down and a Pistol Shot
From our own correspondent
A Shooting scrape occurred here on Nov. 2, involving three parties, viz: Wm. Robinsons, Dave McKissick, and the latter's wife. The real cause, as far as ascertained, is that Robinsons and McKissick are rival saloon keepers and faro bank owners. Last evening was "pay day" in several mines, and McKissick's faro bank, receiving most of the miner's patronage, caused a quarrel between the two men. Robinson called Mrs. McKissick a prostitute and other vile epithets, whereupon Mr. McKissick confronted Robinsons and struck him in the face, knocking him senseless, and then told him to get up as he did not want to kick him when he was down. When Robinson got up and had got into the street, one of the McKissick's fired a pistol shot at Robinson, missing him. No arrests were made. Candelaria, Nov. 3, 1879
-Reno Evening Gazette, November 6, 1879

They started to look to the White Mountains as a source of water, needed for drinking and needed to run the mills..

Notes from Esmeralda County
Fruit, fish, eggs, and butter find a ready and profitable market in Candelaria. Eggs $1.25 a dozen, butter $1.25 a roll.
A survey has been made from the White Mountains in California to Candelaria, for the purpose of supplying this section with water and wood. Cold Weather is still the attraction in Southern Nevada. Stores and dwelling houses are continually being built as fast as lumber can be procured. Pneumonia is prevalent in Candelaria amongst the dissipated class of men, otherwise it is healthy. W.J.M. Candelaria, Nevada Feb. 5th.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 7, 1880

Things were now starting to get lively and Candelaria was turning into a real town..

Lively Times In Candelaria
Editor Gazette: Jumping town lots is now the order of the day in Candelaria. Lots are being fenced in on the main thoroughfares and public streets. The streets, in some instances, being fenced in. Plenty of lots here yet, and probably a few shooting matches will be on the tapis ere long. Strangers are continually coming into Candelaria. At present there are no accommodations for man or beast. W.J.M. Candelaria, Feby 7, 1880
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 10, 1880

A newspaper has been started at Candelaria, under charge of John H. Dormer.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 13, 1880

Lucky Baldwin is buying up property in Candelaria
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 18, 1880

No man ever went into the town of Candelaria and hunted a fight, says the Bodie Press, but that he found one. The boys there are all on the shoot, and seldom miss their mark. If the town keeps up its reputation during the coming book, the fences of the graveyard will have to be moved back a pieces and more ground enclosed.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 21, 1880

Candelaria's new paper will make its appearance on the 13th instant.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 5, 1880

A Letter from Candelaria
Abrams Bors. have received a letter from Jack Wyatt, who recently went from Reno To Candelaria to engage in the saloon business. Jack writes that Candelaria is lively and money plentiful there. The prices of all kinds of merchandise are high. Shirts such as sold at the White House [large clothing store in Reno] for $2.50 bring $5 in Candelaria, and other things are in the same proportion. Jack says the only thing cheap in the camp is board. A good meal can be had for four bits. Wyatt's barroom is now open and he thinks he will do a fine saloon business.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 8, 1880

Water is worth ten cents a gallon in Candelaria. Whiskey is two bits a finger, and no foolishness about the measure at all, as all the bartenders are on the shoot.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 11, 1880

Water for Candelaria
The scarcity of water in Candelaria has been one of the obstacles to the development of that camp. It sells at five cents a gallon there now. But a company has been organized to build a ditch and flume twenty-two miles long, which will supply abundance of water for all purposes. Candelaria will be booming in the spring.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 17, 1880

Even the newspaper wasn't quite sure.

Information is wanted as to the correct method of spelling the town in Esmeralda county which is generally known as Candelara, Candelaria, Candalara, Candalaria, etc.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 20, 1880

John Dormer's Candelaria paper is to be called the True Fissure.
-Reno Evening Gazette, April 12, 1880

Candelaria is no place to go to for work. The True Fissure says that, and the True Fissure is Candelaria's live paper.
-Reno Evening gazette, June 11, 1880

The "Man Eater" Badly Beaten-- a Good Camp To Stay Away From
Candelaria, June 8, 1880
Editor, Gazette-- A great many large buildings are being erected at present. A large two-story hotel is also being erected here. Sam Fannon will commence to build in a few days. Candelaria is a good place to stay away from for the next three months-- plenty of idle me here at present. Several Renoites are here. A fight occurred here a few days ago between the "man-eater" Mike McGowan and a young man named Morris. The man-eater was fearfully beaten about the head with a six shooter, someone to the detriment of his biting propensities. M. Grippen of Reno is here. A.C.R.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 12, 1880

Fire was disaterous in any miing camp, but especially so in a mining camp with no water.

Burned out at Candelaria
Samuel Fannon's and george Taylor's stores at Candelaria were burned last Thursday night. Mr. Fannon saved a portion of his stock, but Mr. Taylor lost everything. both were partially insured. The whole town came near going.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 14, 1880

A Conflagration Stopped With Snow
The fire which burned out S. Fannon and G.H. Taylor at Candelaria is supposed to have been caused by the explosion of a coal oil lamp which had been left turned on down in a room adjoining Taylor's store. The fire was smothered with snow which the men threw on with shovels. Had it now been for the snow, the whole town would have been consumed, as the wind favored the fire, and there were not 300 gallons of water in the whole place.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 1880

Modern Mound Builders
The True Fissure say there are probably about eighty snow mounds in and around Candelaria which have been thrown up by the frugal denizens. They vary from three to ten feet in height, and contain from seventy to four hundred cubic feet of snow. Their uses are for the preservation of the snow for the manufacture of water. by thus making mounds of the snow it is kept from melting for a greater length of time which left lying flat and exposed to the full rays of the sun and the warm winds.
-Reno Evening gazette January 5, 1881

Some Woman At The Bottom Of It, No Doubt
The Bodie Free Press says: "A private letter from a girl in Candelaria confirms the report of the killing at that place, on Sunday last, of ex-deputy Sheriff Joe Turner my Doc Callison, but the letter contains no particulars further than that the difficulty was the result of cards and whiskey; that Callison fired four shots before any of the bystanders could interfere, and that it was generally reported in Candelaria that Turner himself was to blame. The two men had been the best and most intimate of friends.
-Reno Evening Gazette, April 9, 1881

Not every mining camp got a train- very handy for hauling ore and passengers.

Happy Candelaria
Candelaria celebrated the arrival of its first train with a good deal of joy. The new depot is a large building, very convenient and in a good location. Joe Barstow is the agent.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 7, 1882

What Is Going On In That Busy Little Mining Camp
Candelaria, Nev. April 20
Editor Gazette: Candelaria just now presents a lively appearance, but even better times are anticipated in the near future. The sound of the saw and hammer is heard upon every side, and gangs of men are busily employed grading the site of the Princess mill, laying water mains, and distributing pipes through the street and to the hoisting works along the hillsides. Too much cannot be said in praise of the efforts of L.J. Haking, general manager of the White Mountain Water Company, and his able superintendent R. E. Doran, for overcoming so many obstacles and bringing such a fine quantity of water from so great a distance to moisten the palates of our thirsty citizens.
The Northern Belle
And Mount Diablo Mines are turning out the usual quantity of ore, the same being hauled to Belleville for reduction. Other mines in the vicinity are looking well and some of them are liable to be heard from soon in the way of ore developments. At least two thirds of the new portion of town has been and is being built by parties from Gold Hill and Virginia, who have torn down their residences and business houses in the two above-named places and have moved them out here. Old shanties and cabins which were built from dry=goods boxes and barrel staves, and roofed with tin taken from the old cans of every description, during the time when lumber was selling at $110 to $140 per thousands feet, are now considered as having outlived their usefulness and are being replaced by nicely-built and comfortable houses. One thing I have noticed, viz: None of Reno's business men are coming out this way, which fact, I judge, is caused by their having enough to attend to in their own thriving little city. I came near forgetting S.D. Fannon, who has lots of friends in Reno. He has lately erected a fine restaurant adjoining his store here, and appears to be doing a rushing business. The neighborhood of the railroad depot is a lively one, the agent having about all he can attend to, in handling quantities of merchandise arriving daily, not only for the immediate vicinity, but for reshipment by team to Silver PEak, Gold Mountain, Montezuma, Columbus, Lida, and Fish Lake Valleys. The merchants, and in fact everyone here, are anticipating a rush of people and capital into this section this Spring, and are making every preparation to meet the emergency. In my ramblings around I have noticed several neatly painted signs which read as follows, "The Reno Gazette is the leading paper," etc. I must say, "Success to your paper." Many copies are received here daily by different parties, and all are satisfied with is bright, newsy pages. O.H. Shaw.
-Reno Evening Gazette April 22, 1882

Business Increasing
On the 10th instant the Carson and Colorado Railroad will put another train between Candelaria and Hawthorne. It will do the work of hauling the ore from Candelaria to Belleville, and such other work as may be necessary.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 7, 1882

The English Mill is crushing 16 tons of Candelaria ore daily.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 11, 1882

Good Ore Coming
The ore now being brought to Reno from the Potosi Mine, Candelaria, for reduction at the English mill, is much better quality than any heretofore received here from that mine and will probably yield the shippers a good profit.
-Reno Evening Gazette, October 10, 1882

A Candelaria Miner Blown Up By a Blast
Candelaria, NEv., March 18
Johnny Evans, a man employed at the Mount Diablo Mine, and the former forman of the Northern Belle, was killed by a blast in the former mine at 11 o'clock last night.
Reno Evening Gazette, March 18, 1884

Candelaria Looking Up
There are said to be 125 miners at work at Candelaria, which number will be increased to 300 when the Northern Belle starts up again.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 29, 1884

To Be Built
The True Fissure expects to see work on a 30-stamp mill which was commenced at Candelaria two years ago, again soon resumed. The same paper says Candelaria has a bountiful supply of as fine water as anybody drinks.
-Reno Evening Gazette, September 22, 1885

Esmeralda Items
The new mill being put up by the Candelaria Water Works and Milling Company (Limited) is being pushed rapidly towards completion. The roof is all on the buildings, the pans, settlers and batteries are in place, and when the reporter visited the scene of operations yesterday afternoon the stamps were being put in, the foundation for the engine room was being laid, and the roasting furnaces were being bricked.
-Reno Evening Gazette, January 13, 1886

The Candelaria True Fissure, one of the Gazette's most valuable weekly exchanges, has entered its seventh volume.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 1, 1886

Did the Gazette speak out of turn, referring to Ms. Davis as a prostitute? Well, they didn't get her name right, apparently, so who knows.

Annie Davis, a courtesan, suicided at Candelaria Tuesday afternoon by taking a dose of laudanum.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 25, 1887

Suicide in Candelaria.

On the 23d, a woman named Mrs. Davis, was found dead. She is supposed to have committed after having a quarrel with the man with whom she was living. The Corner’s (sic) verdict was to the effect that she had committed suicide. The unfortunate woman leaves two children who are now living with an uncle in Taylor. Justice Grippen saved her property for them. (Walker Lake Bulletin, 3/2/1887)
-Source- Find-a-Grave

The jury summoned before E. M. Grippen, at Candelaria on February 23d, to inquire into the cause of the death of Alice Davis, who was found dead in bed, rendered the following verdict. We, the undersigned jurors, find that the deceased came to her death on the 28d (sic) day of February, A.D. 1887, in Candelaria, Esmeralda County, State of Nevada, from an overdose of laudanum administered by her own hand, or by some person or persons unknown to this jury. We find also that her age is about 40 years. A. V. Brown, William Dunlap, G.H. Hamor, John Grady, Thos. Smith, N. L. Becker, Jury. (Esmeralda News, 3/5/1887)
-Source- Find-a-Grave

More murders, more accidents.

A Candelaria Homicide
Richard Gundry was shot and killed at Candelaria on the night of June 17 by Thomas Edwards. Edwards is a saloon-keeper and both men had been drinking heavily and quarreled. Gundry struck Edwards in the face and the latter drew a pistol and fired with fatal effect. Edwards claimed his shot Gundry in self-defence and was discharged from custody after a preliminary examination. Gundry was a former resident of the Comstock and is said to have a brother residing there.
-Reno Evening gazette, June 21, 1889

A Young Man Loses His LIfe In a Candelaria Quartz Mill
A fatal accident occurred at the Candelaria Water and Milling Company's mill at Candelaria Saturday afternoon. Charles Barlow, a young man about 17 years old, whose work was to load ore from the chute into cars and take it to the rock breaker, was the victim. The mill was shut down on account of some trouble with the belt and pulleys. Barlow went to the pulley that runs the battery, and the men got everything in shape to start the mill. They all shouted "all clear" several times. When the mill was started he must have lost his balance and fell about twenty feet, striking his head and breaking his neck. He was caught in the belt and carried in between the pulley and timbers, and was fearfully torn and mangled. Death must have been instantaneous. No blame is attached to the company for the accident.
-Reno Evening gazette, August 4, 1890

Things are starting to slow down now.

The Chloride Belt of the 11th instant contains the following" The Candelaria mill started up on the 8th instant, after a four day's shut-down for repairs and the monthly cleanup.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 14, 1891

Mines Shut Down
the miners of Candelaria will all be thrown out of employment in a day or two on account of the low price of silver. The mine managers say they cannot afford to pay more than $3 per day [81.28 in 2016 dollars] with silver at its present price, and as the miners demand $4 per day, the mines will be closed down.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 1, 1891

Work was resumed last week in the Mount Diablo Mine at Candelaria after a shut down of eight months. Regular shipments of ore will be made to the company's mill at Sodaville
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 8, 1892

Candelaria is improving fast. In a few days the full compliment of miners will be at work.
-reno Evening Gazette, July 15, 1892

Wife runs off with another man. If that man happens to be Chinese, well, that makes the news.

A Former Resident of Candelaria Leaves husband and Home for a Heathen Chinese
James RObertson of Williamsburg, formerly superintendent of the borax mine in Nevada, went to Bloomfield, NJ Monday to investigate a story of the marriage of a Chinese laundryman, Hong Sing, and a white woman. Robertson said that while living in Nevada a Chinese named George Wing fell very much in love with his wife and, as a result, Robertson drove him from the mine at the point of a rifle. Robertson vowed he would shoot everyone in Hong Sing's laundry if the woman and child there proved to be his wife and daughter. Said a person who gave information to the Bulletin representative, "Ming conducted a store in Candelaria, Nevada and was doing a thriving business. I am unable to state how Robertson's wife came to take a fancy to the heathen, but I am told that while her husband was away at the mines attending to business, she would leave her house with her child and visit Ming's store, remaining there some little time. Robertson was induced not to kill the Chinaman but Mng's stay in Candelaria was very brief after the husband's discovery. I am of the opinion that the Chinaman secured influence over the woman by use of the opium pipe, and that during her visit to the store in Candelaria, Ming prepared the drug and got her to smoke it." It is presumed that she kept up a correspondence with Ming since his hurried departure from Candelaria, and that when Robertson left for Brooklyn, Ming followed later and induced the woman to accompany him to the coast.
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 24, 1892

And the decline begins. Candelaria will see some activity but it will never be the same.

The Mason Valley Tidings says: Candelaria may be a dull camp, but it is the boss town for school teachers. The scholars number only fifteen, and the teacher receives $110 per month for services.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 8, 1893

The Cut on the C. & C.
Hereafter trains will run to Hawthorne twice daily from Mound House, but only four times a week to Candelaria. The trough trains to Candelaria will run on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 18, 1893

As yet the old Candelaria [rail] road has not been again put into use, but it probably will be done in a very short time. The owners of the Candelaria mine assured the [Oregon Short Line] company officials that enough ore would be shipped out of Candelaria to make the road a paying proposition and it is thought that the old road will again be in use very soon.
Reno Evening Gazette November 6, 1908

After having lain practically idle for sixteen years, the camp of Candelaria, in Esmeralda county, fifty-five miles northwest of Goldfield, is now on a fair road to be one of the biggest producers of the white metal on the continent. Candelaria was discovered in 1874, and was an active proposition until about 1893, at which time the price of silver went down, and most of the miners refused to work under reduced waged. This necessitated closing down and all work was abandoned. Since that time litigation galore has resulted.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 24, 1908

1911 - Esmeralda County split into Esmeralda and Mineral counties, with Calendaria now in Mineral county.

Reno Boy Is Shipping Three Hundred Tons of Ore a Month from Candelaria
Mark G. BRadshaw, Nevada born and Reno reared, is making good in the old Candelarai district in Mineral County. When he completed his duties at the special session of the twenty-fifth Nevada assembly, he went to the old camp and secured a lease with P.A. Simon as his partner. By some means or other they secured engineer's notes giving the location of the old Calliston stope. The lost was found and for a number of months the partners have been shipping nearly 300 tons every thirty days.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 27, 1912

(Western Nevada Miner, Mina, Nev.)
While in Candelaria Friday, we had the pleasure of inspecting the new test mmill recently put into commission by Supt. George Threlfall, representing the English and San Francisco capitalists, who are rejuvenating the old bonanza cam. The plant consists of ten stamps and a complete modern cyanide plant. It has a capacity of twenty-five tons per day, and was constructed and installed mainly to test the efficiency of extracting and saving the vallues in the Candelaria ores. It has proved an unqualified success and as a result Supt. Threlfall informs us that plans are being drawn and the work of construction will begin in the near future of a modenr 200-ton plant. The new plant is to be built at the mines below the portal of the main tunnel and a tramway constructed to the plant so that the ores will be handled directly from the mine workings to the mill, making a great saving in the cost of handling the ores.
-Salt Lake Mining Review, August 15, 1914

E.S. Chafey, who is opening up the old Lucky Hill mine at Candelaria, has closed a contract with United States Smelting, Refining, and mining Company under which he will ship sixty tons per day. The old camp is said to be humming with activity.
-Salt Lake Mining Review, November 30, 1917

The old Candelaria and Marietta Districts, where millions were produced many years ago, are beginning to show great activity again. The high price of silver now makes it possible to work some of the old mines of the district.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 25, 1919

One of the old landmarks of Southern Nevada was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon when the Candelaria Hotel at Candelaria, erected about 1875, was burned. According to advices received here by C.D. Keadling, general manager of the mine, and by Frank M. Mason, the fire did about $2500 damage, destroying the old hotel and two dwelling houses. The loss was fully covered by insurance. The old hotel was being used temporarily as a boarding house and club rooms for the men employed in the mine. A new boarding and bunk house had been erected and the men are being taken care of there. A large number of cots were shipped to the camp from Reno last night. The fire did not cause any suspension of operations on the erection of the new mill, according to Mr. Keading. Candelaria is one of Nevada's oldest mining camps. Claims were located in 1865 but it was not until the summer of 1876 that the camp came into prominence when Sadoe Pierce, George Vernon, and J.B. Hiskey promoted a townsite there. Hiskey owned the townsite and it is said that in November of 1876 the town contained a post office and four stores, two hotels, eleven saloons, one restaurant, one livery stable, several dwelling houses, but no church. In 1880 the population was estimated at 900, the registered vote being 359. A school house, a telegraph office, an express office, another livery stable and a blacksmith shop had been added to the town by this time but it was still without a church.
For many years mining operations in Candelaria were extensive but declined several years ago. Within the past year activity in the camp has been renewed and a mill is now being built there to treat ore from the workings and from new development.
-Reno Evening Gazette, April 28, 1922

An old-timer reminisces about the good old days of Candelaria and Belleville and why they came to be

The following story of the early days of the Candelaria mining district and the mill town of Belleville is told by S. T. Kelso, one of the old-timers of the southern country:
"My recollection of the circumstances surrounding the establishing of the mill town of Belleville is very vivid and the story of the discovery of Candelaria and the building of the mill to treat the Candelaria ores make an absorbing tale concerning a most interesting time in the history of Nevada.
A. J. Holmes discovered the Northern Belle mine, which later was to prove such a prolific producer, about 1870.I am not sure just where Holmes came from before he showed up at his claims in Candelaria but he was a familiar sight in the camp of Columbus while he was prospecting his claims and getting them into shape to produce. It was In the town of Columbus, on the edge of Columbus marsh, that the idea of a mill town at some other point was conceived and finally carried Into execution by Holmes.
He had been working on his claims for some time when his supply of grub ran low and he went into Columbus to replenish his larder. He was short of real cash, although he was the owner of a potential mine. He asked the storekeeper for a small amount of grub on credit and was politely refused. His inability to secure credit in Columbus necessitated a trip with his burros to Wadsworth, 125 miles as the crow flies, the nearest place where he would be able to get the needed supplies.
He swore vengeance then and there on the town of Columbus and told the merchant that he would some day cause the grass to grow in the streets of this town. This threat, while made in all sincerity, he was not able to carry out in detail as it would take more power than that possessed by mere man to make grass, or anything else for that matter, grow in the streets of Columbus on account of the borax content of the soil. He lived, however, to see the town dwindle to a mere white spot on the desert.
Soon after making his enforced trip to Wadsworth and getting back to work on the Northern Belle he was in pay ore. His ore ran from fifty to seventy-five ounces in silver to the ton on the surface and with a little sorting he was able to raise the value considerably above that so that it would pay to ship his ore to the mill at Columbus, as much as he hated to do so.
"You must remember that silver was well above the dollar mark in those days and it did not take much sorting or shipping until he was quite independent as far as the immediate future was concerned. It was not long until he had an offer to sell the property but would not consider a sale that did not carry with it the superintendency of the mine. The final deal as made gave him $275,000 cash. 10,000 shares of stock in the company to be formed on the property and the superintendency of the property. The mining companies organized in those days did not have the capitalization that they now labor under and a cut of ten thousand shares of stock in one of those companies meant quite a slice of the profits, if any. As a matter of fact Holmes received a dividend of $1 a share, or a total of $10,000 a month on his stock for a period of twenty-nine months after he had the mine developed and on a production basis and before the ore disappeared and it looked like the property had been bottomed.
But after Holmes sold his holdings in stock for a nominal sum and left for Arizona the mine was taken over successively by a number of different superintendents and each in turn found more ore, made large production and then reported the property bottomed again only to have his opinion proven wrong by the next succeeding management. The property now, after some years of non-production, is again being actively developed for large tonnage production and with new ore discoveries reported that presage another era of bullion production for the old camp as soon as the silver market will justify the resumption of milling operations. However, what Holmes considered the most valuable part of the consideration that he received for his Northern Belle was his superintendency of the property as this gave him the opportunity to carry out, at least in part, his threat of taking Columbus off the map. The first thing he did after getting the property in production was to cast his eye about for a suitable place for a mill to treat the Northern Belle ore without taking it to the mill at Columbus, which was nearer than any other available place.
He finally selected a site where he established the first mill, known as the upper mill, at a point which he named Belleville, in honor of the mining claims that had brought him his wealth, and to which he brought a water supply from the hills northeast of where Marietta was located. The water supply was developed through a long and expensive tunnel run into the hills and delivered to Belleville through eight miles of pipe lines. The matter of road building from Candelaria to Belleville was a simple one as the country is comparatively level and the water supply at the new mill was ample, although a rather expensive installation for the sole purpose of carrying out a spite. But Holmes proceeded, regardless of expense, to establish his mill town which grew, eventually, to a population of some five hundred workers with two mills in operation on Candelaria ore. while Columbus went down the toboggan slide to nothing more than a group of holdings on the shore of the marsh. And, while Holmes felt vindicated for the affront given him by the Columbus merchant, it was less than two years after he finally disposed of his holdings in the Northern Belle and went to Arizona that he had dissipated his entire fortune through his reckless disregard for the value of a dollar, it is claimed, and was back on the desert again, broke and looking for another bonanza. The Carson & Colorado railroad, the narrow gauge which was built from Carson City through Hawthorne in 1881, was extended down through the present site of Mina and over Mt. Montgomery pass in 1882 and went through Belleville with a branch line extending up to the camp of Candelaria, giving the camp and the mill town of Belleville direct rail connection and cheaper freight rates on the Candelaria ores.
That the old camp of Candelaria will come back as a producer is a forgone conclusion as the development work that has been prosecuted by the present management has shown up more than enough good grade ore to justify the installation of a mill with modern methods of treatment as soon as the price of silver will warrant. But the old mill town of Belleville has passed to the ranks of the ghost cities of the desert for all time to come unless there is a short revival that might be cause by someone again working over the tailings pond left by the two mills."
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 16, 1930


POST OFFICE August 1876 - January 1939
NEWSPAPER True Fissure, Chloride Belt

We came in to Candelaria on the Belleville side, following pretty much the same route the old Carson and Colorado railroad did way back when. In fact, you can easily follow the right of way on your left as you travel. It was easy to find, despite a brief panic when my GPS listed Candelaria Junction as Candelaria. Once you reach the site, though, you realize that there just isn't much left- the Kinross Candelaria mining operation was really serious about getting ore out of the ground here. Tailings piles dominate the site, and Metallic City is now just a giant open pit. Luckily, they managed to spare some of the significant ruins here, as well as the cemetery, which is surrounded by a chain link fence. Using your map to get around is a challenge, since most maps were made before Kinross moved in. Luckily, on this trip I got my GPS/PDA combination to work almost 50% of the time. A new record!

There are many ruins here despite the new activity- the place is littered with historical debris of all kinds, and there are several buildings still standing, along with ruins pockmarking the area. The Candelaria Milling Company mill site is quite extensive and impressive. The old mercantile store is holding up fairly well despite it's collapsed roof. One wonders how much of an effect the vibrations of recent mining have had on the site.

Kinroos Mining used to have a little something regarding their attempts to "reclaim" the Candelaria site but they've since taken it off their web site. I guess they're done.

If you want to avoid dirt roads, come in from the south- the road is paved most of the way.

Photographs | Return to Previous Document | HOME