Donnelly Mining District

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The Donnelly Mining District is in the Calico Range.[1]

The Donnelly district includes a gold mine operated by James Raser who built a 5-stamp mill in 1911.

Vanderburg (1936) states that a cowboy discovered gold in 1907 and sold to Raser[2].

Lincoln (1923) states that Raser discovered the mine in 1910 and that the Reeder Mine to the south was was said to have used an Arrastra[3].

"What can be accomplished in mine development by one man is splendidly illustrated when one visits the property of James Raser, located 40 miles west of Gerlach and about 10 miles north of Leadville. This property was first noticed by Mr. Raser while riding the range for cattle. So firmly was he impressed with the surface showing that he quit the cattle business and turned his attention to the development of this property. It was a difficult proposition that confronted him, as the property lies far up in the mountains and required the grading of a road for several miles before it could be reached by team, and, worst of all, the snow is so deep during the winter months in that section that freighting to the mine is almost impossible. However, he went to work with a will, taking out ore during the summer months, shipping the higher grade to get funds with which to build a mill, and today he has an up-to-date 5-stamp mil1, plates and concentmtor. The mill is run by a 35-horsepower Charter gasoline engine. The mine is developed through a series of tunnels to a depth of 250 feet. The vein is very flat and the stopes are held by stulls and back filling." [4]

In 1914, the following was written: "The Donnelly Mountain Mine Co., has been incorporated with a capital of $10,000 to operate the Donnelly Mountain, Belle of the West, Antelope, Lava Butte, Lulu B and Klondike claims, in the northwester portion of Humboldt County. Directors are James Raser, G. J. Blanchett [sic], John Raser and H. L. Norton of Gerlach. James Raser is manager. It is planned to start work immediately." [5]

Mineral Resourced 1929 states that three producers in the Donnelly mined gold. The ore was "closely sorted and treated in hand mortars."[6]

Carlson states Granite Creek was "a former gold mining district, located in May 1902 by James Raiser [sic] and James D. Murray of Granite Creek. In August, 1902, the name was changed to Donnelly and the town or Raiser City was laid out."[7]

Overton (1947) states that John James Thrasher owned property in the Donnelly Mining District[8].

It could be that the Donnelly District was named after J.P. Donnelley, the superintendent of the Nevada State Police. However, it is more likely that the district was named after a James Donnelly. The 1910 Census shows James Donnelly (b.1863) living at Deep Hole.


  1. Joseph V. Tingley, "Mining Districts of Nevada," Report 47, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 1998, 2nd Edition. See map for details.
  2. W. O. Vanderburg, "Reconnaissance of mining districts in Pershing County: Nevada," U. S. Bureau of Mines 6902, 1936.
  3. Francis Church Lincoln, "Mining Districts and Mineral Resources of Nevada," Verdi, Nev.: Nevada Newsletter Publishing Co., p. 234 1923.
  4. Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines," p. 36, 1913.
  5. Mining and Engineering World, Volume 41, 1914.
  6. "Mineral Resources of the United States," p. 98, 1929.
  7. Helen S. Carlson, "Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary," p. 126 (1974). The district was named the Granite Creek in May, 1902 and the name changed to Donnelly in August, 1902.
  8. Theodore D. Overton, "B046: Mineral resources of Douglas, Ormsby, and Washoe Counties," B046, Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology, 1947. Full version with lower resolution images. Includes images of Fly Geyser, the Petrified Forest, Gerlach Hot Springs that are in the collection at UNR.

See Also