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Leadville is a ghost town about 35 miles north of Gerlach on Highway 34. At one time, Ogle Swingle owned 3 of 5 patented claims at Leadville. David Pennick of San Francisco owned two claims.[1]

The Mineral Resources (1911) states: "Leadville district- The Donnelly and Tehoqua mines produced 110 tons of ore in 1910 carry gold, silver, copper and principally lead, which was mostly shipped to smelters[2].

Quarter ending on Dec. 31, 1912: Rural Liquor Licenses in Gerlach:[3]

  • King & Schultz Leadville 15.00

In 1913, the following was written: "The Mackey mines, consisting of 13 claims, controlled by A. P. Mackey of Denver, adjoining the Tohoqua have been taken over under a long term lease by George D. Johnstone and associates of Los Angeles." [4]

July 2, 1921: "Leadville The fourth shipment of concentrate has been made by the Leadville Mines Co operating in northern Washoe county 40 miles from Gerlach on the Western Pacific. The concentrate is sent to the Western Ore Purchasing Co sampler at Hazen. These shipments average about 225 oz silver and 50 lead per ton and the net value of each shipment is $6500 to $7000 The mill-heads assay 20 oz and treating 30 tons of ore daily three tons of concentrate is produced .An electric locomotive is used to haul the ore through a 1700 ft tunnel to the mill. The ore is a sulphide that is treated by flotation."[5]

September 3, 1921: "Gerlach The Leadville Mines Co is shipping monthly four carioads of concentrate worth $150 per ton or a gross monthly production valued at $30,000 from the treatment of 30 to 35 tons of ore daily.[5]

December 24, 1921: "Gerlach A. A. Codd is planning more extensive development of the property of the Leadville Mines Co. During this year the gross production has been more than $153,000 which is a good record considering that shipments were not begun until after July 1. All of this production has come from between the 190 and the 300 ft levels Codd now purposes to sink to the 500 ft level and begin drifting at both the 400 and the 500 ft levels The mill is well equipped and the ore is concentrated to about 6 into 1 This gives concentrates of about $200 per ton The mill is now handling an average of 35 tons per day which will be increased to 50 tons. A new 75 hp boiler is being placed which will give the needed extra power."[5]

Mine and Mill of Leadville Mines Co. at Gerlach, Nevada, ca. 1921

In 1921, R. Semenza was listed as being the agent of the Comrade Silver Lead Mining Company, which registered as a corporation in 1919.[6]

In 1922, Leadville Mining Company, Gerlach, was listed as having 45 employees.[7]

The 1922: "There was more activity than usual in the Leadville district The Comrade Silver and Leadville mines were operated and both produced silver lead ore. Most of the output was milled in a 50 ton flotation plant of the Leadville Mines Co which was improved during 1920"[8]

Sphalerite (ZnS) was found at the Comrade Mine.[9][10]

Lincoln states that F. A. Elliot was the Gerlach superintendent and further describes the mine[11].

The mine was operated selectively at the 700 foot level until it was closed in 1928 by Mine Inspectors orders. The 1944 Bulletin stated that "Two of the last leasers, Ogle Swingle and Ben Cassidy, now live in the vicinity of Gerlach." [1](Was Ben Cassidy the owner of the Cassidy Mine in the Trego Mining District?)

Overton discusses the mine.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nevada Bureau of Mines, "Bulletin", Issues 41-46, p. 67, 1944
  2. "Mineral Resources of the United States, 1910--Part I--Metal," p. 532, 1911.
  3. Appendix to Journals of Senate and Assembly ..., Volume 26, Part 2], 1913.
  4. Good Returns on Washoe Ore," November 9, 1913.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Mining and Scientific Press, p. 33, 343, 907. Volume 123. Includes photo of Leadville. See also https://archive.org/details/miningscientific123sanfuoft
  6. "| Appendix to Journals of Senate and Assembly," p. 25, 1921.
  7. Directory of Industries," State of Nevada, 1922.
  8. "| Minerals Yearbook]," p. 335, US Bureau of Mines, Geological Survey (U.S.), 1922.
  9. | Comrade Mine (Mindat)
  10. "| Minerals of Nevada, Issue 31]," Stephen B. Castor, Gregory C. Ferdock, p. 413. The Keck Museum is the the source of the citatation.
  11. Francis Church Lincoln, "Mining Districts and Mineral Resources of Nevada," Verdi, Nev.: Nevada Newsletter Publishing Co., p. 236, 1923.
  12. Theodore D. Overton, "B046: Mineral resources of Douglas, Ormsby, and Washoe Counties," B046, Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology. Includes images of Fly Geyser, the Petrified Forest, Gerlach Hot Springs that are in the collection at UNR.

Desert Magazine references


  • Doris Cerveri, "A Trip to Leadville," Desert Magazine, June 1968, pages 10-11. LEADVILLE, a small town now ghostly and deserted, did not make much of a splash ... significance. The stretch of highway from Reno to Leadville goes through Sparks, follows the Big Bend in the Truckee River at ...
  • Peggy Trego, "The 40 Wilderness Miles North of Gerlach, Nevada," Desert Magazine, November, 1960. ... begins and the pavement ends is the 40-mile Gerlach-to-Leadville Road. If you can shuck the trappings of ultra-civilized travel, do ... and swamps north of Gerlach. Most maps don't even show Leadville - a highly photogenic "ghost town" - nor the petrified forest of ...
  • "On Black Rock Desert Trails,"Desert Magazine, July 1951 ... in the southern part. We knew there was a ghost town - Leadville - approximately 50 miles north of Gerlach, and we'd heard rumors of a ... station operator if he thought we could make it through to Leadville. Running a critical eye over our dust-covered car and clothing, ...
  • Nell Murbarger, "Navy Land Grab in Nevada's Black Rock Country," Desert Magazine, October 1956 ... day, I continued on north toward the old mining camp of Leadville. It seemed to me that in all the years I had known this land, I ... the hill and started across the flat near the head of Leadville Canyon - a band of 14 antelopes feeding peacefully not more than 100 ...
  • Lost Hardin Silver, Mystery or Hoax?," Desert Magazine, April 1955... fulfillment of a long dream. After following the old Leadville road for about a dozen miles, we turned sharply into the desert, and ...


Remote Resources

See Also