Nightingale (Pershing County) We Visited: 9/25/2005
Our Dinner: Eggs 'n' sausages
40 00' 39"N, 119 13' 34"W Sage Hen Spring Quad

Directions: From Fallon, west on Highway 50 to Fernley; north on SR447 to Wadsworth and proceeding to Nixon; proceed north 1.8 miles, turn right on local road; proceed 11.7 miles and take right fork 10.6 miles.

From Fallon: 63.5 miles

What Was

Tungsten was discovered in the Nightingale district in 1917, and enough was found that they hauled it down to a mill at Toulon, 40 miles to the southeast. In the early 1930's they built a 100-ton concentrator on site but it never got much of a workout. Tungsten production was intermittent until World War II, but then slowed down again until about 1956, when interest petered out altogether.

While not as romantic or exciting as gold, tungsten has its uses, and was particularly important during wartime. Its uses in high speed metal-working equipment, steel, armor, and armor-piercing shells made tungsten a vital war commodity. Tungsten was in such short supply during the way that the War Production Board mandated that all replaced automotive ignition points be returned to salvage the tungsten in them.

Up the road parallelling dry Lake Winnemucca is the ruins of another tungsten-gathering venture, the MGL Mill. Taking that road up the canyon will take you to the mine site. Be advised this road requires a 4WD vehicle.

Post Office: None

Newspaper: None

What is

A contingent of Sacramentoans was camping at the mill site when we arrived this bright fall day, and the temporary Mayor of Nightingale, Gregg, showed us a few of the area's attractions. While the foundations on the side of the hill are prominent, there are some ruins, foundations, and debris of a historical nature. More fascinating, in my opinion, were the ruins of the MGL mine and mill, in the canyon about 7 miles north of the turn-off for Nightingale. However, the road is washed out bad in more than a few places, and the going can be hairy.


Ore care tracks at the MGL Mine
The remains of the concentrator at Nightingale
A view of the town site, as it were
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