Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cherry Creek, Nevada February 9, 2011

A look at main part of town today

On my way to visit the Nevada Northern yard in Ely, I stopped at the historic town of Cherry Creek. I had heard Cherry Creek was a well preserved ghost town in White Pine County. The weather was gorgeous for a February day with warm temperatures and clear blue skies making for a wonderful stop. While walking around town two dogs barked at me incessantly marking the only annoying aspect of my trip. Cherry Creek is north of Ely, Nevada, approximately 10 miles off of US 93. The dirt road to Cherry Creek is dirt and well graded however, the road to Egan Canyon is rough according to locals.

History: Cherry was the biggest town in White Pine County. It was also the largest producer of many different metals, primarily gold and silver. The area had three major periods of mining activity in Egan Canyon (approx. five miles to the south) the last of which ended in 1940. Total production for the area is between $15 and 20 million.

The first major period began in 1872 when John Carpenter located gold in what would become the Tea Cup holding. Within a year the region had boomed with seven major mines in operation and 400 people in town. Many businesses were built including a hotel, black smith shop, boarding houses, and three saloons. The boom was short lived and major mining activity had ceased by 1875.

A second major period began in 1880 with the development of new claims at the important Echequer and Tea Cup Mines. Very quickly the area exploded with workers and three new mills. One of which moved from Hamilton to the south to the Star mine. At this time the town had an astounding 28 saloons, mercantile stores, school, brewery and even a race track. The movement of the White Pine News to Cherry Creek helped facilitate the revival.

This particular boom ended for two major reasons financial panic and three fires. In 1883 financil panic on the eastern seabord caused the closure of three major mines. The first fire burned the hoist at the Star Mine stopping production. The second and third fires, which were accidents burned whole sections of town.

The third revival ocurred in 1905 because of the reopening of two major mines: the Star Mine and Exchequer and the arrival of the Northern Nevada Railway. The railway facilitated the movement of people into Cherry Creek and the movement of ore to the north and south. During the period of 1902 to 1922 $701,000 worth of ore were produced in the area. This period saw six mining companies work claims in Egan Canyon at one time. The most important being the Tea Cup Mining Company. which controlled the Tea Cup mine. In 1927 the Nevada Standard Mining Company purchased most of the claims controlling over 41. From 1920 to 1930 200 men worked the mines and mills. Production continued until 1940 when the company folded.

Today, mining in the area is quiet except for a few small mining claims owned by residents. A museum in the old school is worthwhile; even though, it has eratic hours and was closed today. The area has a number of interesting areas to explore including the town and cemetery, Nevada Northern and Egan Canyon. Remember to tread lightly and respect Nevada's history. Cherry Creek also has the second oldest school in Nevada.The cemetery in town has been vandalized and needs to be rehabilited. (Info from: Romancing Nevada's Past: Ghost Towns and Historic Sites of Eureka, Lander, and White Pine Counties by Shawn Hall)

Mining in Egan Canyon (thanks to the White Pine Historical Society)

Tara on an old Nevada Northern car near Cherry Creek

The cemetery with the Cherry Creek range in the background;

This cemetery has been vandalized by miscreants

Old equipment near the school

Another pic of town showing the old and new

Pic of old car showing modern trailers in the background

Cool pic

No comments:

Post a Comment