2007 SIA Fall Tour

This was the first year that the Industrial Archeology Club of New Mexico Tech has participated in any society event. The tour was located in Ely, NV, a good ways north of Las Vegas. We headed up there for an extra long weekend.

Our first step along the way was to stop in at Hoover Dam. Yes, we’d been there before, but it is always awesome.

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After visiting Hoover Dam, we ate dinner in Las Vegas and walked up the strip, as we had never done this before. We ate at some French restaurant and then proceeded towards Ely. About half way there, we pulled over to rest, and the car would not restart. I decided to nap and we fiddled with a loose battery cable a few hours later. We arrived in Ely about an hour before the tour began. Our first stop was Treasure City and Hamilton City. Treasure City required 4×4 vehicles, and the local 4×4 club was more than happy to help. Here are a few shots of our convoy going to Treasure City.

Treasure City had plenty of abandon buildings. We can only really guess at what some of them were used for.

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Most of the temporary housing was long gone. However, there was plenty of artifacts left by the miners. Miners in these days were not too concerned about litter.

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There were several collapsed mine shafts around too.

There was a small cabin on the other side of the mountain from Treasure City. I forget the name of the place, unfortunately.

After viewing all of Treasure City, we came back down into the valley to eat lunch in what remains of Hamilton City, the second largest city in Nevada at one time. Here are a few shots from ‘around town’.

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The most prominent feature still standing is the remains of the Hotel Hamilton. Unfortunately, someone decided that there was probably still silver directly under the hotel, and knocked down most of it.

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There was also piles of abandoned mining equipment around Hamilton City.

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After lunch and exploring Hamilton City, we headed over to the Belmont Mill where they processed some of the ore that was mined in Hamilton City and Treasure City.

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Behind the Belmont Mill was this random patch of old cars, flipped upside down. For some reason, I took photos of them.

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We went back to our hotel for a few minutes, and then off to dinner in the Nevada Northern steam train. It was dark, so I did not snap any photos of this train Friday evening. Here are a few of the train at other times.

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Saturday morning, we woke up to snow flurries and an extremely cold and windy morning. The first part of the tour was on the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, including the machine shops, grounds and original offices. I accidentally left my camera in the hotel, so all of the photos here are from the president’s camera. Our first stop was the freight depot.

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After the freight depot, we entered the locomotive shop. Engine 93 was in for repairs. The best part about this shop was the giant lathes for railroad wheels. Also check out the rotary snow plow.

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There was an onsite blacksmith shop with a steam powered forge…

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…and a carpenter’s shop.

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Looking around the railyard, we see…

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and then we investigate the repair in place (RIP) yard.

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We also toured the sanding tower, which is a work in progress.

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After lunch, I picked up my camera, and we headed for the Robinson Mine. It is an open-pit copper mine. We were given a tour of the processing facility as well as taken to a lookout point to see a good portion of the mine.

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We were also allowed to tour one of the giant mining trucks used at the Robinson Mine. This is by no means the biggest mining truck, this one will fit in the dump bed of a few larger ones.

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We then loaded up on the bus and headed over to the Ruth Mine Headframe. Unfortunately, this historic structure will be torn down soon.

After the Ruth Mine, we heaed out to a steam-powered sawmill along Duck Creek. We were able to figure out how most of it worked, even though it had fallen in many years ago. My camera is not very good for photos around dusk, so the president snapped these photos as well.

Photos here

We ate elk burgers for dinner and went to bed.

Sunday provided the light necessary to photograph the Nevada Northern Engine 40 we rode the night before. I snapped a few shots around the railyard too.

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One of the major highlights was seeing the working steam crane that the Nevada Northern Railroad had fully restored. A few lucky members got to operate it in the railyard.

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We began the long drive home, and did not arrive in Socorro until 8 am the next morning.

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