Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cobre, Nevada February 13, 2011

Desert pic with abandoned Nevada Northern tracks in the foreground

The weekend before Valentine's Day I continued my research of the Nevada Northern by driving to the ghost town of Cobre, Nevada. Cobre was the northern terminus for the Nevada Northern Railway. Trains would then ride Western Pacific rails west or east. To get to Cobre take Nevada 233 north from Oasis for 7 miles. Look for the BLM sign on the left hand sign of the road. Turn and follow road for one mile.
History: Cobre boomed in 1906 when the Western Pacific moved its headquarters from Winnemucca and the Nevada Northern completed its branch from Ely, Nevada. Copper ore trains started to move from mines and mills to the south and passenger trains stopped at a new station. A hotel, post office and saloon opened as well. The town was known for its violence including the murder and robbery of a few saloon owners. In 1910 the town had sixty people and a school opened in 1915.
The town started to decline with a downturn in freight and passenger service. As a result, many people started to leave town. Only twenty people remained when a large pumice deposit was discovered to the north of town in 1930. Within two years a big mill and over a dezen buildings had been built. The mines' owner out of Detroit, Michigan, tried to market the pumice but the operation shut down after two weeks. The end of the town came in 1950 with the closing of the post office. Ore trains continued to rumble on the Nevada Northern until 1980. (Info from: Old Heart of Nevada: Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Elko County by Shawn Hall)
Union Pacific train rumbling through the desert

The engine house; one of the only buildings left standing

Manline Union Pacific tracks

Almost nothing left in Cobbre

Nevada Northern East Ely Yard, Nevada February 9, 2011

Looking north into the yard

On February 9, 2011, I returned to Ely to visit the historic Nevada Northern yard. I wanted to see more of the railway after riding the Polar Express with Tara. The yard is a living museum to show what operations were like on the Nevada Northern. The yard itself is about 10 acres and a visitor walk around and observe freight cars and the steam locomotives in the engine house. The Nevada Northern was important in transporting copper from White Pine County to the Southern Pacific at Cobre, Nevada (see December post for more history). The weather during the day was sunny and warm; perfect for visiting historic areas in Nevada.
Caboose showing the importance of the Kennecott Copper Corporation
to the west
Looking towards the water tower in the yard

Tracks leading to the engine house

Cool pic in the yard