Take it easy
  Shady Run (aka Coarse Gold)

39° 47' 10"N, 118° 13' 15"W - FONDAWAY CANYON quad

VISITED April 4, 2002

From Fallon, take Highway 50 East and turn left on Stillwater Road. Take Stillwater Road through Stillwater and north along the Stillwater Mountains for 42.5 miles. Head east up the canyon for 2.9 miles.


The Shady Run District is one of the early discoveries which never got beyond the prospecting stage. The Zinn Bros. prospected Fondaway Canyon; T. Sullivan and F. Smith, Shady Run Canyon; K.B. Jenkins, a property at the mouth of Shanghai Canyon; and Humphrey and Wisner, Pike Hollow. A number of Virginia City miners built a small custom mill at the mouth of Mill Canyon in the eighties, but it operated for a brief period only. Some silver-lead ore was shipped from Pike Hollow.
- Bulletin of the Department of Geology and Mining.
Preliminary report in the Building Stones of Nevada.
Including a Brief Chapter on Road Metal
June 1904

When gold was discovered 1/2 mile up the canyon in March, 1908, Shady Run was established. A feed yard and two saloons were operating by the end of April. The following month, $200 a ton ore was being shipped, but mines gave out and the camp died that year.

There are references to a site called "Coarse Gold" which leads one to believe that the site of the Shady Run camp once had another name before it took on the name of the district, or vice versa.

Fallon, Nev., March 28-- Among sensational reports from the new strike at Shady Run the past week is that made by Leon Hall, about a mile south of the original strike. The assay gave $2110.24 in gold and $17.49 in silver, a total of $2127.78 per ton. Ed Brown and John West came in very much elated over the discoveries and say they have claims close to the main strike. Brown states that N.C. Sullivan of Fallon has run a tunnel into the hill on his claim right at the townsite of Coarse Gold. He is in the solid pay ore the entire length-- that is, he has ore above, below, and on the right that averages $76 per ton. Frank Smith has claims just above from which one can horn gold almost any place on the surface. Brown bought in a chunk of rock from the surface on the Hall claim that shows the nuggets sticking out in various places. Leon Girac of Stillwater say they have nine claims in the vicinity of the new strike and that they got a $40 assay from a two foot ledge. This ledge is so located that it would be very easily worked. E.S. Adams this week returned from a five days' prospecting tour in the new camp and say there are about 100 men in that locality and he met39 teams going in as he came out. Mr. Adams was in Goldfield in the early days of the camp and thinks the Coarse Gold country makes a most favorable surface showing. He located twelve claims for himself and Fallon associates about two miles south of Shady Run. He sent a sack of samples to Salt Lake to be assayed and expects to give results in a short time. Mr. Adams says the Sullivan ledge will carry right on through other claims.
-Reno Evening Gazette March 28, 1908

At one time, there was enough activity to contemplate a railroad spur. From the Fallon Eagle:

A Wall Street Corporation has a franchise for a line from Parran to White Cloud. Shadyrun alone has not warranted the projection of a railroad into the district but industrious development done there makes far more certain of the contemplated line being put through. Churchill County Eagle - July 9, 1908

The Nevada State Journal went into more detail.

The route from Parran across the mud flats would be very expensive as trestling would be required almost all the way and absolutely no business or freight would be developed along the way. Running out from Fallon through Stillwater the line would pass through the richest homestead land in the sink-- the Indian lands as they are called, which were thrown open last year. Then would come Stillwater with some of the [unreadable] and alfalfa land held in private ownership, and from there the line would skirt the base of the Stillwater mountains with no grades whatsoever, and with hard ground for the road bed. The Black Knob district would be a short distance from the railroad and at 18 miles out the promising Cox's canyon and famous I.X.L. district would be tapped for freight. In and out, and 10 miles further ont he new camp of Shady Run would be reached with all its promising prospects that are being developed. Then three miles further White Cloud would be reached, the seat of operations of the company backing the railroad.
-Nevada State Journal, July 1, 1908

The post office department has recently provided a star route from Shady Run to White Cloud.
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 13, 1908

Some folks just couldn't stay away, though...

Shady Run District May Produce After Long Idle Period
Development work is being conducted on property in Fondaway Canyon central Churchill county by D.G. Zinn, formerly of Fallon and who owned and prospected the ground more than 16 years ago. Fondaway canyon is part of the old Shady Run district which includes also the early-day camps of Shanghai Mill Canyon and Pike Hollow, situated on the west slope of the Stillwater range 47 miles easterly from Falon by the Stillwater Road. The Shady Run district, discovered and named in the early '70s, had a small boom in 1907 but the activity was short-lived and little work has been done since that time.
-Nevada State Journal September 17, 1934




A small mine opening, the remnants of a shack and some furniture, and a large debris field are all that's left of Shady Run. While the canyon is impenetrable except for hikers, it's worth a short jaunt just to see some examples of the tortured rock that make up Churchill County. A close encounter with a small rattlesnake reminds one to tread carefully while exploring these desert areas.

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