Take it easy
  Quartz Mountain

38°54'38.0"N 117°53'50.0"W

VISITED 13 December 2003.
Our Dinner
: Hamburgers at Middlegate!

June 19, 2020
Our breakfast: Eggs at Middlegate
Our lunch: Burgers at Cold Springs Station
DIRECTIONS Highway 50E from Fallon 47 miles to Middlegate and the junction of Highway 361; Turn S on SR361 for 29.6 miles; turn left on local road (SR 844) for 0.5 miles; turn left on local road for 1 mile; turn right on local road for 0.5 miles

Discoveries here weren't made until late in Nevada mining history, in 1920, with real work beginning about five years later. Silver-lead ore was what drove Quartz Mountain into prominence. The activity even helped revive nearby Broken Hills. By this time in history, the automobile had come into regular use, so many miners used them to get to work, and it was trucks instead of wagons that did much of the freight hauling. Paher says the camp folded after 1926, which seems strange because Nevada Post Offices says the post office didn't open until after 1927. So it's clear we have to figure out what's going on here. Not unlike Broken Hills, there was another similarly named place, the Quartz Mountain mining district, about 12 miles east of Goldfield.

In the northern end of the county close to the Broken Hills region a rich ledge of silver-lead ore was uncovered last Tuesday by B. M. Clay, a prospector from Luning who had been engaged in completing assessment work on a goupd of claims. The strike was made on Quartz Mountain, two miles east of the Broken Hills mine in Nye county, 600 feet south of the road between Lodi Tanks and Broken Hills and thirty-five miles from Luning.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 13, 1921

Things are picking up...

J.A. Platt reports that the lease on a part of the Quartz Mountain property is looking very well and a heavy production is being made. The regular output is two fifty-ton cars a week of ore running thirty percent lead, thirty ounces of silver, and from a half to an ounce of gold.
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 4, 1925

Remarkable new strike made on 350 level of San Rafael mine; 2 to 5 carloads of ore going out monthly.
-Mason Valley News, Jule 23, 1927

The problem with being in the middle of... well... nowhere.

The San Rafael at Quartz Mountain has been a regular shipper throughout the year, but frieght and treatment charges have been so heavy that little profit has resulted, according to a report. A move is now on foot to consolidate the principal properties and finance for a thorough development and building of a mill.
-Reno Evening Gazette, December 30, 1927

Not to say they didn't have their own brand of entertainment.

Two-gun Smith on parole from the insane asylum was returned recently from Quartz Mountain, where he had become abusive and dangerous.
-Reno Evening Gazette, March 26, 1928

The post office had closed by now.

Outlook bright for revival of activities in Quartz Mountain and Broken Hills districts. (About two months later, October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday would hit, the stock market would crash, and the Great Depression would begin.)
-Mason Valley News, August 3, 1929

The roads aren't exactly smooth.

LOST- Wheel and tire for Fageol truck, between Mina and Quartz Mountain. Notify Alex Ranson, Mina, Nevada.
-Reno Evening Gazette, April 18, 1930

And yet, there is still ore to be dug out by deetermined miners.

QUARTZ MOUNTAIN 1930- 10 1920- 0
Reno Evening Gazette, May 3, 1930

Quartz Mountain itslef is now being mined-- for its buildings.

Work Being Pushed on Kernick Plant
MINA, Nev. The work on the mill under construction at Sodaville is progressing rapidly.The buildings that have been moved in from the company property at Quartz Mountain are about rebuilt and are now occupied by the crew engaged in the work on the mill
-Renoe Evening Gazette, July 4, 1930

Yet it continues to produce.

It was reported at Fallon to the Standard that ore shipping has continued from the San Rafael mineat Quartz Mountain at the rate of one to two 60-ton carloads a month since the first of the year, according to Obie Lefavor. Lefavor located Quartz Mountain in 1908, but abandoned work after considerable prospecting.
-Nevada State Journal, September 16, 1940

1950 and they're still digging. Who knows, maybe they're down there right now?

A few miles further we came to Quartz Mountain. Here is an active but small mining community, with some eight men working in the mine. We surprised their cook by giving her a chunk if ice, as unlikely a gift in the middle of that isolated and hot stretch of desert as can be imagined.
-Nevada State Journal, June 4, 1950

POST OFFICE June 7, 1927 to January 15, 1929

I wish we had some pictures of Quartz Mountain before we got there, as it looked like it had been a bustling place. While nearby Broken Hills is swept free of debris, Quartz Mountain has quite a few flattened buildings and foundations left. I do think it suffers the same fate at Broken Hills, which is easy access. There is more historical lumber here than almost any site we've visited. Most impressive is the still-standing headframe of the San Rafael Mine. It looks like someone tried to kick the supports over, and I'm glad they didn't succeed.

There is some interesting debris to look at here, and a few cars and car parts, since the age of the auto was dawning at this camp came into being.

As always, dinner at friendly Middlegate Station was superb. Luis had the patty melt and I tried the $8.50 double bacon cheeseburger (it's feed a cold, starve a fever, right?) which is better that anything you can get in town.

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