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(surveying the) Desert Area near Jungo Nevada 1931


  • http://nvghosttowns.topcities.com/humboldt/humlst.htm Jungo came into being in 1910 as a station when the Western Pacific Railroad was completed. Became the major shipping point for a huge area. A substantial town developed but by the 1930s, its usefulness was gone and Jungo faded. Since the 1940s, only a handful of hearty souls have lived here. A large hotel from the early days still stands as do a number of other buildings.

Jungo Flat

File:Jungo Hotel 1936.jpg
Jungo Hotel 1936

Jungo Hotel

  • Dayton Lummis, "Dust Devils," p. 72. By 1963, Jungo was deserted, but the hotel had not yet burned.

Jungo Road

Jungo Road is the road from Winnemucca to Gerlach, also known as "High Road", and as Nevada Road #2048 (?)

Jungo Railroad Siding


That the U. S. had a great new gold vein in its lap was the fond hope of the West last week.* Whatever it was, the Jumbo Mine, in the Awakening district of Nevada's Slumbering Hills made headlines from San Francisco to Manhattan. Discoverers were two old prospectors, "Red" Staggs and Clyde Taylor, who spied the yellow flecks on the frozen ground of this sagebrush desert on Jan. 29, 1935. Three months later, in need of cash, they sold their find to George Austin, grizzled, 63-year-old keeper of the general store, hotel and filling station at Jungo, a tiny hamlet on the Western Pacific R. R., 36 miles southwest of Jumbo Mine. Price was $10,000, $500 down.

George Austin could not find a Nevada mining man to put up the $500 cash for a third interest and he himself did not want to mortgage the house he owned in Reno. Finally he borrowed $1,000 without security from a generous friend, made the down payment and bought equipment. Crudely he dug out three sacks of ore, trekked them out by packhorse and sent them to the San Francisco Mint. They were worth $84.45. His ore assayed at the bonanza rate of $1,495 gold and 20 oz. of silver per ton. If the Jumbo vein held out, George Austin was a very rich man.

For a while he kept the secret in the family. His brother Jesse staked two claims adjoining Jumbo on the north. George's two sons, Kenneth, 24, University of Nevada graduate, and Wilfred, 20, University of Nevada sophomore, staked claims on the remaining sides of Jumbo. The four thereupon signed a 50-year agreement not to sell their claims.

Starting first on the original strike, they dug shallow shafts and open cuts over an area 800 ft. by 400 ft., found gold wherever they dug. Working with a primitive "coffee grinder" mill, they began turning out $500 worth of gold a day, paid off the two prospectors within a year and up to last week had taken $80,000 in gold out of the earth. Last week the dazzling story of the Jumbo strike spread across the country on the authority of no less a mining expert than Herbert Hoover.

The country's only living ex-President and a San Francisco oilman named R. W. Hanna visited Jumbo last fortnight, "purely out of geological curiosity." Much impressed, Mr. Hoover advised Austin to hold on to Jumbo. When Austin offered to pay for this advice, Mr. Hoover told him: "That kind of advice is free." Oilman Hanna, however, bought five claims in the Slumbering Hills around Jumbo.

Last week Jungo citizens were telling all-comers of a cash offer made by Mr. Hoover; of $1,000,000 for a half-interest offered by John J. Raskob, who arrived at s Jungo in a private railroad car; of $3,-' 500,000 offered by Consolidated Goldfields of South Africa, Ltd. Against these fabulous bids were two authentic offers of $250,000 cash. In addition to Mr. Hanna's claims, Nevada's one U. S. Representative James G. Scrugham (pronounced "Screw-gum"), onetime dean of the University of Nevada's Engineering College, was so im-pressed by Jumbo that he had bought an option on a nearby claim and was camping in the neighborhood.

Of Jumbo the Mackay School of Mines Director John Allen Fulton, declared: "I have never seen anything as rich. It is truly remarkable. . . . The ore is scattered over a large area and I imagine it will extend to considerable depth. I will be surprised if it doesn't. It is in a unique formation, different from any I have encountered as gold bearing, which just goes to prove that 'gold is where you find it' and not where you think it ought to be." Said Owner Austin: "I came here 26 years ago, just as they were putting through the Western Pacific, to get the mine I knew was around here ”and I've got it. I've traced the northeast-south-west fault that runs from Virginia City (Nev.) to Boise (Idaho) all the way, inspecting every prospect hole. I think this mine is on the same fault that the Corn-stock Lode is on." This was promptly denied by the Nevada Mining Journal's Editor Richard Ritchie, who said last week, "Any suggestion that this is a second Comstock Lode is absurd. Comstock in 75 years produced $700,000,000 and is still producing.

The Austin mine has not been opened even to the extent of proving it may become a major producer." Whatever his mine was worth, George Austin last week flatly refused to sell at any price. Said he: "If I sold for a million Td have to pay the Government $420,000 taxes, leaving me only a half a million. But the taxes don't apply as long as the gold stays in the ground. The gold's there all blocked out. It's better there than in the bank and we own it. I have two sons and half a million would probably make loafers out of them. No, it's better to keep the mine and work it ourselves. The boys will appreciate it more if they have to dig the money out of the ground themselves. There are eight drifts and crosscuts running in all directions and they don't run out of ore in any direction yet."

Last week the Austins were busy building a bigger mill capable of handling 30 tons of ore a day, to be ready in three months. And in the Jungo general store big, cheerful Mrs. Austin, between selling cans of tobacco to Western Pacific section hands and shying rocks at stray dogs, told newshawks: "What do I think about selling the mine? I haven't got a think coming. That's up to Mr. Austin. Mr. Hoover was a real fellow. But celebrities don't mean a thing to me. I knew plenty of them when I was a nurse in San Jose. I nursed Jack London once. If we got too much ready cash all at once my son Wilfred would go right out and buy an airplane and get himself killed. Anyway, in the other big gold strikes, the people who sold out right away either got cheated or came to a bad end somehow."

One who "sold out right away" was Red Staggs, who last week grumbled: "I didn't sell Jumbo. I gave it away. That's the second time I've given a mine away. Next time you see me giving away a million-dollar strike, you'll be lucky."

According to the U. S'. Bureau of Mines' Minerals Year Book, published last week, the U. S. Treasury's price of $35 per oz. for gold stepped up U. S. gold production in 1935 to 3,676,327 oz., worth $128,671,384, biggest since 1917.