Take it easy
  Kennedy (Pershing Co.)

N40.27571 W117.73842 Kennedy Canyon quad


We Visited: 3/19/2016
Our Breakast: Black Rock Grill, Lovelock
Our Supper : Susie's BBQ in Fallon


Directions: North from Fallon for 56 miles on US 95 and then east on I-80; Head north 6.6 more miles to Coal Canyon Road exit; Take Coal Canyon Road (SR 396) for abut 13.2 miles; turn east on McKinney Pass Road (SR 396) and continue for 31.5 miles; turn NE for 5.2 miles; turn west into canyon for 1.84 miles.

From Fallon: 114.3



The Kennedy district is on the east side of Granite Mountain in the East Range 57 miles south of Winnemucca by fair automobile road. The district was discovered in 1891 by Charles E. Kennedy, who located the Imperial Mine. The Gold Note mine was located about the same time by the Lawler Brothers. Shortly after the discovery of these two properties, the rich ore shipped to Utah smelters attracted attention to the camp, and for several years the town of Kennedy had a population of approximately 500 people. In the late 1890's the Imperial 20-stamp amalgamation mill was built and operated for 1 year. In 1901 the Imperial mill was taken over by the Wynn Lasher Syndicate, which added a cyanide leaching plant and operated until 1905. In 1914 a plant was built to test an electrochemical process patented by L. St. D. Roylance. This process was unsuccessful in treating the complex ores of the district. Several smaller mills were also erected, one of which was a custom plant built by Willliam Jenkins.
-1936 Vanderberg

Here [First National Bank of Winnemuca] he [George Nixon] prospered until one day Jim Wardner arrived with the prescience of a millionaire and Mr. Nixon took him out to see the new gold mines at Kennedy. The immortal "Jim" was delighted and in the long sixty-mile ride back he poured into Nixon's ears the rick fund of imagination, second only to that of Sam Davis, which he possessed. The result was that "Jim" deposited $3000 in the bank with the insouciance of a Croesus, and returned the next day to Kennedy to buy the Imperial mine graciously taking Nixon as a one-sixth partner. The rest is vivid history. In not much more time that it takes to tell "Jim" had the whole country bus hauling ponderous machinery there for a twenty-stamp mill and opening up the mine with three shifts of men working twenty different places. He was too busy to replete his bank deposit and in a little while had broken everyone within a circle of fifty miles about, including George Nixon. And then one autumn morning he departed for parts unknown leaving trouble behind.
A careful estimate of his liabilities aggregated over $150,000 of which part represented six week's wages to some 140 men. George Nixon ordered a cleanup to be made, which aggregated enough to pay the men 60 percent of what was coming to them. He wrote, "Get this bullion to Winnemucca and then check against it in full pro rata, to the men." This was done and those checks were paid. George Nixon with the bullion in his possession which his bank could have attached and in part recouped its losses, paid it out to the last dollar to the men and charged the bank's losses against his own property starting in again the second time in his life at bedrock.
1904 October 24, Reno Evening Gazette

(Special to the Gazette)
Winnemucca, Aug. 27-- In a desperate battle which took place at Kennedy, a mining camp about thirty miles south of Golconda, last Saturday afternoon, Martin Hawley, one of the most prominent mining men in the district, was shot through the head by P.F. Molinary, a prospector. The shooting was the outcome of a dispute over some mining claims. Hawley is a nephew of Donald Keith of Kennedy, a well known operator. He will probably die. Molinary gave himself up to the authorities immediately after the shooting.
1906 August 27, Reno Evening Gazette

Directly across this valley and in the range on the eastern side of the valley opposite Humboldt range may be found the camp of Kennedy. Here Jim Wardner in 1895 started the only mining excitement that occurred in Nevada between the Comstock days and the discovery of Tonopah. Wardner was an Idaho mining promoter and founder of the town in the state of Idaho.
In 1895 mineral discoveries in the Kennedy mining district, originally established by Charles Kennedy, its discoverer, who still lives there, attracted the attention of the mining world. Jim Wardner, in many ways a remarkable personality, succeeded in ingratiating himself into the confidence of George Nixon, then cashier of a modest bank in Winnemucca, and a man of moderate financial resources, but who afterward, through his associations with George Wingfield in Tonopah and Goldfield, became immensely wealthy and was elected to the united States Senate.
Almost before Nixon knew what had happened he had invested his all in association with Wardner in the purchase of the Kennedy property in the Kennedy mining district and erected a stamp mill. The camp enjoyed for less than one year a boom unprecedented in the mining history of the state of Nevada since the halcyon days of the Comstock.
Out of Existence In A Night
The ores, however, proved to be very base, and as milling and cyaniding had not reached the present stage of perfection, the enterprise failed .Nixon was compelled to clean the plates to save himself from utter ruin and the camp died a sudden and violent death, leaving many men absolutely stranded. Merchants were unable to collect their accounts and the camp which had promised to eclipse even the Comstock passed into history in one brief night.
Wardner disappeared between suns and it is said he died afterward in the northwest [actually, El Paso, Texas in 1905- ed.], Nixon recuperated his fortunes, but no odium attached itself to him for his participation in the enterprise.
The Kennedy mining district, in spite of its history, today merits the attention of the mining world, for it produced a remarkable ore and with the present stage of improvement in milling and mining operations may yet redeem itself.
-1913 January 18, Reno Evening Gazette

The Henrietta Mine-- aka in some documents as the Henriette Mine--- was first discovered in 1870 in French Boy Canyon and probably had some activity as late as the 1950's.
-Nevada Bureau of Mines

I attempted to discover the secret behind the 1914 plant to test the process patented by Leon St. Denis Roylance. Apparently Mr. Roylance was a bit of a hothead, as described in this article:

One Electrical Engineer Endeavors To Kill Another
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13. —L. St. Dennis Roylance, an electrical engineer, fired five shots at F. J. Dyer this afternoon at 539 Mission street. Three of the shots tok effect, one in the chin, the second in the right hand and a third on the chest, Just over the heart. The last did not penetrate the body, and inflicted a slight wound. None of the wounds are necessarily serious. The shooting was the result of business differences, Roylance says, although he admits that there were other causes, and there is suspicion of a woman in the case. Roylance claims that he acted entirely in self-defense. Dyer refused absolutely to discuss the matter to-night. He said he was suffering too much pain, and his friends had advised him to remain silent. Roylance was formerly employed by the Acme Electric Company, but was supplanted by Dyer about a month ago. He claims to have witnesses who have heard Dyer threaten to kill him.
Sacramento Daily Union, 14 February 1898

Further investigation revealed yet another gruesome and disquieting story full of tales of violence, horse jockeys, infidelity, and attempted murder most foul!

POST OFFICE January 15 1892 - December 15 1917

The roads out here are extremely good and it isn't until you approach the site that you begin to require a high clearance vehicle. While a fire has swept the area clean of much in the way of wood structures, there are plenty of rock remains, especially the remains of the leaching plant. Lots of historical debris remains- much of it trampled by the cows who now call this canyon their home away from home. Up the canyon, there are several mine locations to investigate. Continuing further up the canyon and over the summit will take you into French Boy Canyon and the Henriette or Henrietta [depending on the source] Mine, which was active during a later period.

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