Take it easy
  Jessup (White Canyon)

39.948611, -118.873889

VISITED July 1, 2001 & 15 January 2004
Our Dinner : Luke-warm pastrami sandwiches

From Fallon: Take U.S. 95 North for 33 miles, then west on Interstate 80 for 4.4 miles and take off on Exit 78. Proceed NW on local roads for about 4.3 miles


After gold and silver mine claims were located in early 1908, Jessup supported up to 300 residents with grocery stores, saloons, a post office, lumber yards, and a stage from Huxley and the railroad. (Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns &Mining Camps) Southern Pacific would, it's said, stop the train at White Plains about five miles away in order for prospectors to get off and head to Jessup.

"The first location in the Jessup district was made by Frank Jessup and L. H. Murray in 19O8, and in the same year John Macedon and associates shipped several carloads of ore from the Gold King claim reported to have averaged better than $100 per ton. Considerable activity in the district followed, and a number of small companies were organized, which, with lessees, were active in the camp in 1908 and 1909. Although considerable shallow development work was done over an area at least 1 mile in length and l/2 mile in width, the results were not encouraging, and the camp became inactive except for sporadic leasing end prospecting operations. The total production of shipping ore from the district, largely from the Gold King claim, has been about $15,000. (Vanderburg, Reconnaissance of Mining Districts in Churchill County, Nevada (1940)

Jessup or White Canyon? Pick one, willya?

Although the mining camp of Jessup or White Canyon has not been in existence for a month, there are at present more than 300 people in the camp and according to E. H. Francis, who was in from that camp yesterday, more are arriving daily. Recently a mining district was organized and Francis was elected recorder. It will be known as the Jessup Mining District. The original discovery which was made on the Jessup, Murray and Howard property is proving to be richer than was first anticipated.
1908 February 18, Reno Evening Gazette

Arrivals from Jessup pronounce the new district near Brown's Station on the Southern Pacific to be the greatest undeveloped district in all Nevada, and active prospecting is in progress. The town of the district is known as White Canyon. It is already a tented city with every kind of business represented there.
-Nevada State Journal, February 27, 1908

The Record Strike is Made on Hopkins Mine
Two Big Sales Were Made in the District Last Week
Jessup continues to be the center of interest in Nevada mining circles and scores of people are rushing into this camp daily. Many rich strikes are being made and in a short time several of the properties will be ready to ship ore.
1908 March 7 - Reno Evening Gazette

Jessup District Close Rival To Rawhide.
Stage and Autos Taxed to Fullest Capacity With Fortune Seekers
Development Work Being Prosecuted at Severel Properties.
"The boom in the Jessup district continues to go on unabated, and the town and district are rapidly assuming the proportions of old timers," said J. J. Mackedon, the mining man yesterday. "It is remarkable the way the people are flocking in, and if the rush keeps up, and there is no doubt but what it will, it will not be many weeks before White Canyon will rival the great camp of Rawhide." Tuesday of this week the autos and stages were loaded to their full capacity, twenty-two having gone in. Wednesday there were twenty-eight new arrivals. The majority of these people are going in from Reno, Rawhide and other Nevada towns—and all are looking for investments either in mining or in any kind of business, and while it is true some are there just for the purpose of seeing, most of them are preparing to stay and will embark either in the mining, brokerage or commercial business." The first frame building for the town of White Canyon was completed this week. The structure is 20x40 and will be used as offices by the White Canyon Townsite company. Lumber is now on the ground and Reno parties who have recently become interested will commence the erection of a $1200 building which will be occupied by a saloon.
-Lovelock Tribune, March 20, 1908

Although a townsite plat was filed under the name of White Canyon on March 30th, 1908, a post office application was received on March 11 under the name "Jessup."

Another great strike has been made in Jessup this morning and the lucky owner thinks it will equal the largest strike ever made in the camp. The strike was made on the property known as the "Dispatch." which is owned by J.S. Nenzel, who was one of the first in the district. Carloads of lumber are still coming in the city and wooden structures are rapidly taking the place of tents. The town is spreading from one of the canyon to the other and the population will be more than 2000 in six months. There are several large business houses going up at present. L. Menke of Wadsworth will start a butcher shop; Messers. J. McCoy and J.F. Crosby of Lovelock will start a hotel as soon as lumber can be had. Fred Kurtz of Sacramento, Cal. will start a saloon and gambling house; Messers. Poston and Wilson of Yaklohoma [sic] will start a drug store; Geo. E. Sherman of the Palace has a business lot; O.P. Johnson of Reno is opening a garage; Charles H. Cleabell of Cleveland, Ohio and Frank Karasek, agent of the Standard Oil company, intend to start building in the next week or so.
1908 April 1, Reno Evening Gazette

(By L. L. Hagerton)
JESSUP, Nev, Feb 2.-- A meting of the citizens of Jessup was held last evening for the purpose of petitioning Churchill county to build a county road from Jessup to Miriam station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, a distance of eleven miles. After much debate the assemblance which comprised the entire male community here unanimously voted to build the road with whatever assistance the county would afford. The new road which Jessupites started building today is wanted for the purpose of hauling ore, machinery, and other heavy loads which when carried over the present road to Huxley station, causes great delay on account of the salt marshy flats this road traverses.

The new 15-hp. Fairbanks-Morse hoist has been ordered and will be installed on the Mary II claim of the Jessup Mines Co. in a few days. The hoist is expected here about the 2nd of February. The double compartment shaft which will be put down to a depth of 200 feet is being sunk by two shifts of miners.
1909 February 3, Reno Evening Gazette

Things were already slowing down....

Despite the dullness of summer work goes on at Jessup. Investors are coming in to take advantage of the opportunities to secure high grade properties at reasonable figures. Good, substantial development is the rule of the district, like the early days of Tonopah and Goldfield-- the leaser is doing his good work of exploring the ground thoroughly by good, honest effort. The maker of every district that is rich enough to attract his attention is here. Let him be encouraged.
1908 July 31, Reno Evening Gazette

"Work on the Gold King property at Jessup is going ahead as rapidly as possible under the present conditions and circumstances," said George Tayler [sic] to a reporter Wednesday of last week. "We are working at a depth of 145 feet and with the present facilities the work is necessarily slow. Within the next 30 days, however, unless something unforeseen happens to mar our plans, the whip will be supplanted with a hoisting plant and complete and up-to-date equipment."
1909 May 10, Reno Evening Gazette

Let's get something straight.... Frank-- not Henry-- discovered Jessup.

Frank Jessup, the real and only discoverer of Jessup returned from Colorado to Reno only a few days ago and was surprised to hear his friends inquiring about his wife and family, when as a matter of fact, he is a bacehelor.Back in Laporte, Indiana, is a woman who claims that her husband, Henry Jessup of Humboldt County, Nevada, has stated that he intends to return to her after securing a fortune in the mines of Humboldt country. By mistake, the name of Henry Jessup got mixed up with Frank Jessup, the real discoverer of the camp of Jessup and consequently henry Jessup was called the discoverer of the camp. Naturally, everyone thought that Henry Jessup and Frank Jessup to be one and the same person and therefore did not hesitate to ask Frank jessup about his wife and family in Laporte, Indiana. "I am the discoverer of Jessup, all right, "said Frank Jessup this morning, "and I can truthfully say that I have no wife and no children in Laporte, Indiana, or any other place. There is no wife waiting for me to take a fortune home to her. The man in the Gazette story is another Jessup."
1910 May 18, Reno Evening Gazette

There were other discoveries nearby, but by this time Jessup's time was up...

Corporation Is Organized to Work Beeson Discovery Near Jessup
Nevada Tungsten Company has been organized to operate a lease on a portion of the Beeson tungsten discovery, 12 miles north of Jessup in Churchill County, and to acquire tungsten mines.
1916 April 24, Reno Evening Gazette

Another strike revived interest in the area for a short period of time...

Interest is being revived in the old camp of Jessup west of Lovelock in Pershing County on account of a discovery made by Clyde Garrett above the town in a new locality.
1929 April 26, Reno Evening Gazette

And occasionally something would pique interest for a short while...

The Mabel B, one of the most promising claims of the Jessup district, was acquired recently by purchase from Churchill County by Ammil Stank of Lovelock. Stank is one of the developers of the Mill City tungsten properties now operated by the Massachusetts Tungsten Company.
1935 August 17, Reno Evening Gazette

POST OFFICE March 1908 - Jul 1912

Let's not kid each other. Any ghost town or mining camp with its own exit sign on the interstate is going to be obliterated in fairly short order. Jessup is no exception. There are some gravel-mining operations close by, so you have to drive through them to get to the site. There is not much left except for rusted metal, and old pickup, and some surface diggings. While we were there, there were a couple of gents going over the tailings with a metal detector.

Our dining plan was to enjoy hot pastrami sandwiches. Luis was going to use his new Christmas present, a thermal contraption capable of heating and cooling, which plugs into a cigar lighter. I was going to use the tried and true method of cramming a tin-foil-wrapped sandwich near the engine. We both ended up eating luke-warm sandwiches. Luis's box never got hot enough to do any good, and my sandwich was too big to fit behind the cylinder, where there was a glimmer of hope of it getting out of the cold wind while we rode. This method works on a long ride on a hot day, but not in January.

Back to Jessup. Jessup has been active off and on for a century, but aside from mine workings you wouldn't know it. Workings here are shallow; although there are quite a few mines dotting the landscape behind protective barbed wire, there's nothing major to be concerned about. Paher notes that some wooden buildings remained as late as 1970. We found the remains of one very small wooden structure, and lots and lots and lots of debris in the form of cans, lumber. broken glass, and various metal bits. I did manage to find a tiny bottle.

About three miles west of the site at one of the claims stands a small cabin, and about one mile to the NE there is a mining operation with the remains of a cabin or two and some concentrating equipment, Also, apparently, a garbage dump / shooting gallery where everything from IBM PS/2's to a Ford LTD repose, riddled with bullets.

Other than the enjoyment of basking in the historical semi-significance of the site, there's not much going on at Jessup.

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