The Goodsprings area will forever be known for its mills and local mines. Though the population of the area is currently only around 200 people, Goodsprings was once a thriving town – primarily due to the Yellow Pine Mining District. The amazing thing is that the entire district started out as just one mill and a bunch of ‘tent cabins’ before the turn of the 20th century.
With deposits of gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead all being found in the area, it’s no wonder that Goodsprings was once booming, but it’s important to recognize the larger effect that the Yellow Pine Mining District had on this region.
A Short but Legendary History
The Yellow Pine Mining District was once the most productive in all of Clark County. The legendary region can be said to have really picked up in 1901, with the formation of the Yellow Pine Mining Company. This was the organization which built the Goodsprings Mill and consolidated the ownership of the majority of mines in the area.
The claim really got its start in 1906, when oxidized copper ore was mined out of a shaft located only 500 feet from the Prairie Flower mine. Mining in the area continued consistently until the 1930s. The sinking of the Prairie Flower mine occurred in 1912, and by 1916, exploratory mining had begun to discover additional ore. This exploration continued northward, and in 1922, two large ore deposits were discovered which led to the creation of a new shaft.
Excavation in the Yellow Pine Mining District was most productive between 1911 and 1928, but just after the beginning of the Great Depression, metal value declined and affected the entire industry. In fact, the Yellow Pine Mining Company ceased its operations in the area in 1931. Ownership of various mines in the area has changed hands over the years, and even the U.S. Government has conducted exploratory drilling in the district.
Even though there has been some productive mining recently, it hasn’t come even close to the burgeoning productivity of the early 20th century. In fact, 1922 saw the last discovery of any large ore deposit.
Mines of The District
Accident Mine: The Accident Mine is about five miles away from Goodsprings. Though it didn’t see much traction before 1911, it was actually opened in 1901. Zinc and lead made up the majority of excavations, but silver, copper and gold could also be found.
Bullion Mine: The Bullion Mine, located during the first year of the new century, would end up being sold in 1912 for only $3,000. This seems like a small amount, and this is even more true when we remember that 3,870 tons of ore were pulled from the mine!
Middlesex Mine: This mine was located in 1901, and it only consists of two tunnels. It’s located about three miles from Goodsprings and about half a mile from the Yellow Pine Mine.
Star Mine: The Star Mine, located along the side of a ravine, produced zinc and lead ore deposits that were mined out of two separate tunnels. There’s actually an 80-foot offshoot that appears to have been searched for ore, to no avail.
Even though the decline of the Yellow Pine Mining District resulted in Goodsprings being thought of as a ghost town, there is still a degree of intrigue that keeps people interested enough to keep the area from completely disappearing into the annals of time.
One staple of the area, which actually brings in movie and television film crews from time to time, is the Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings. There’s actually three bullet holes in the wall of this bar from long ago, and legend has it that the victim of is still around haunting the area to this day. Of course, the saloon is better known for the fact that Clark Gable hunkered down there over a three day period while awaiting news of his wife, Carole Lombard, who had died in an airplane crash on nearby Potosi Mountain.
The town’s general store is located right next to the saloon, and it once served as a cafe which fed miners who were coming in and out of the establishment daily. The atmosphere of the store has changed over time, but since it still sells food necessities to locals, it remains an attraction for travelers and tourists alike.
The Yellow Pine Mining District might not be the largest network of productive mines in Nevada anymore, but that doesn’t take away from its historical significance. Since the turn of the 20th century, the mines have kept the area of Goodsprings relevant, and that tradition continues to this very day.