Take it easy

38° 50' 44"N, 117° 34' 24"W Grantsville Quad

VISITED We Visited: 4-17-04
Our Dinner: Scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausages!

47.3 miles east on Highway 50 to Middlegate; 29.8 miles south on SR 361 to the junction of SR 361 and SR844; 16.6 miles east on SR 844 to the junction of SR 844 and West Union Canyon Road. Continue east 4.89 miles.

From Fallon: 98.5 miles


The discovery of silver during the Civil War led to the formation of a camp in the upper part of the canyon, but discoveries in White Pine lured residents and miners away. By the way, do I even need to mention who Grant was? I mean, I assume everyone knows because they should- but just in case you were absent from school that year, you might want to do a little catch up. It wasn't until 1877 when a mill was built that things got cooking again, reaching a peak of 800 people around 1879. The town boasted the usual array of drug stores, general merchandise, blacksmith, barbershops and saloons; it even had a jewelry store and a brewery. In 1880 the mill went from 20 to 40 stamps, stages were running from Austin and Eureka, and there was talk of connecting to the Nevada Central Railroad. The decline was in earnest by 1885, although before World War Two several new structures were built. (Paher) But by 1927, the last permanent residents had move out, according to an lengthy article by Myrtle Myles published in the Nevada State Journal on 26 May 1957.

Grantsville is in a beautiful canon about four miles from Ione Valley. It is in the Union District, which is situated in the Ione, or Shoshone rang. Ore was discovered in 1863 by P.A. Haven, and a district was at once organized. Haven also laid off the town of Grantsville and about fifty persons settled there. In 1877 the Alexander Company became interested in the mines in and around Grantsville, and re-located and laid off the town, and built a twenty-stamp mill there, the capacity of which was increased to forty stamps in 1880. The present population of Grantsville is 800, including 356 registered voters. It contains ten merchandise stores, two drug stores, one hardware store and tin shop, one furniture store, five restaurants. two bakeries, five saloons, two barber shops, one jewelry store, two blacksmith shops, two meat markets, two livery stables, one brewery, to assay offices, an express office,bank, newspaper, and a foundry. The climate is healthy and the atmosphere pure. Three mails arrive and depart every week, and stage lines connect with Wadsworth and Austin by way of Ione, and with Eureka by way of Belmont. Town lots sell all the way from $50 to $500.
-History of Nevada, 1881

Folks began to take note of the mines in the area.

The mines in Spanish Belt, East Belmont, and Grantsville districts are turning out well, according to the Belmont Courier.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 27, 1878

Obviously, they looked so good it was decided to get a mill crushing ore. Things were getting lively.

Grading for the new mill at Grantsville was commenced last week. Everything is lively.
-Eureka Daily Sentinel, June 26, 1878

Maybe a little bit too lively.

Sheriff Harper returned this morning from a trip to Ione, Grantsville, and that portion of Nye county. He says Grantsville is lively, but the roughest camp this side of the union Pacific Railroad; that it is crowded with tramps, roughs, scrub-fighters, thieves and scalawags, who make day disorderly and night hideous. He thinks the place will pan out a big ledge of criminal business for the Nye county courts.
-Eureka Daily Sentinel, June 28, 1878

Probably not a good idea to just show up in the middle of winter.

The Grantsville Sun says that the town has a full supply of mill men and miners, and that those in search of work had better remain away until spring.
-Daily Appeal, December 15, 1878

Grantsville has become a thing.

A little over a year ago the canyon in which Grantsville is built was a desert waste, not a white inhabitant or building, in which now there is a flourishing town, containing three or four hundred in habitants, and nearly all branches of trade represented. In addition to all this there is the Alexander mill running twenty stamps, with all its surrounding buildings. There are a number of fine frame and some brick buildings and several respectable sized stocks of merchandise, livery stables, boarding houses, lodging houses, a drug store, any number of saloons and other small branches of trade, and last, but not least, there is a creditable weekly newspaper, a public school, and a church.
-Daily Appeal December 25, 1878

A little spat with those Typo upstarts

The Grantsville Sun classically refers to the editor of the Tybo Sun as a "prince of Mars, and reckless traducer of individuals," and a "perambulating distillery." We have always taken a lively interest in such matters, and offer our services as sponge-holder, when the affair comes off.
-Eureka Daily Sentinel, February 18, 1879

Could the name have something to do with it? The post office application drops the "M" and lists S.G. Post.

M. S. G. Post has been appointed Postmaster at Grantsville, Nye County.
Eureka Daily Sentinel, April 17, 1879

Grantsville was quiet for a long time, and then

It was reported last week that the Silver Palace Mines Company was preparing to install a fifty-ton mill on the Silver Palace Mine, at Grantsville, ten miles southwest of Ione, in Nye county.
-Reno Evening Gazette, April 3, 1940

Resumption of milling by the Silver Palace Mines, Inc. in the Grantsville district in northern Nye county was reported, the lately completed flotation mill having been closed down temporarily.
-Nevada State Journal, November 4, 1940

Mining and milling began in earnest

Work Proceeds In Grantsville Mine at Union
Early Operation Was Productive In Silver, Lead
From 16 to 20 men are on the payroll of the Alexander and Brooklyn Mines Co. operation at Grantsville in the old Union district, Nye county, some 70 miles north of Tonopah, scene of major mine developments some 70 years ago and at various times since, says the Times. The company, organized by Los Angeles men, has put up a number of new camp buildings, has made a number of changes in the 50-ton mill on the property and is carrying out a campaign of new development work below the productive horizons mined by former operators. Robert Piatt, mining engineer, is in charge of the operation. Piatt, using maps made by engineers before him and as a result of his own surveys, is working from what is known as the 650-foot level of the old Alexander shaft, which is a flat incline, hoping to cut into one of the big replacement stopes mined by early-day operators when Grantsville boasted a population of 3000.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 15, 1946

Fire, always a concern, hampered work.

Fire Loss Big At Grantsville
Fire destroyed the assay office building and administrative offices of the Alexander and Brooklyn Mines Company at Grantsville, northern Nye county, in the early hours of Friday morning of last week, the Times said. It is believed the fire started from an overheated oil stove. All assay equipment and files of valuable papers were lost in the flames. Working crews in mine and mill had been given a vacation during the Christmas holidays with exception of a small maintenance crew and little could be done by the few men on hand in saving any of the equipment from the blazing buildings. It is reported the loss was partly covered by insurance.
-Nevada State Journal, January 9, 1947

That wasn't going to stop them, though.

At the old Alexander mine at Grantsville, Nye county, the Alexander and Brooklyn Mines Co. will double the capacity of the 50-ton flotation mill and provide equipment to separate the zinc, of which deep level ore has a high content.
-Nevada State Journal, March 13, 1947

Folks continued to poke around Grantsville even up to the 1970's and 80's, but mining activity is now non-existent.

POST OFFICE February 3, 1879 - October 31, 1901
NEWSPAPER Grantsville Bonanza, The Sun

Grantsville and the surrounding area can be easily reached in 2WD car. If it's raining, the roads might get a little slick, though. The site is just littered with ruins of all kinds, mostly stone and brick. The mill ruins are large- and falling apart, so be careful. Walking though the site will reveal more ruins, old foundations, ad sunken areas where buildings used to be, or bottle hunters have scarred the land and not cleaned up after themselves. There is a pit that was once apparently lined with rubber, near the block home where the spring is. An old sign there used to say something- I wish I knew what. Sacks of ore sit rotting in a couple of the buildings. After some looking, we finally located the cemetery. There was supposed to be one readable older headstone left, but unfortunately we could not locate it- just a newer one. All that seems to be left now are fallen fences. More extensive examination of these ruins was curtailed by a swiftly moving spring snow storm.

We rode up the road a piece to Grantsville Summit, intending on giving the Reese River Valley and Indian Valley a going over. By the time we got to the top, we were enjoying a healthy snowstorm, to the point where a local rancher pulled over and asked us, "Are we having fun yet?" He mentioned that the storm was going to get worse before it got better, and that if we had any sense at all we'd head home to our fireplaces. Naturally, we continued on, to our regret, and ended up fighting blizzard conditions which drove us into one of the buildings to cook our supper, a delicious repast consisting of scrambled eggs with bacon and onions, hash browns, sausage,and English muffins, The eggs- which I had cooked the previous day and sealed inside a Seal-A-Meal bag- we just dropped into boiling water and re-heated with no mess and no fuss- we also got hot water for dishes as part of the deal. I recommend this method of anyone contemplating scrambled eggs in the wilderness. An alternative method is to scramble your eggs- but do not cook them- and then freeze- dropping the bag into boiling water will cook the eggs. I'm told you shouldn't freeze eggs already cooked, otherwise the results will be, well, let's just say "undesirable." There is nothing like wolfing down a glorious meal such as this after a cold ride.

Most people coming to this area are coming to see Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park. I recommend stopping at Berlin and checking out this little preserved jewel in the Shoshone Mountains. But then head on down to Grantsville to see a slightly different mining camp.

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