Friday, July 26, 2013

Gold Butte History Post

To try and consolidate my sites I will be posting all the historical information from here on out on Save Gold Butte:

I posted some information about the Mica Notch Mine:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gold Butte Mining District

Gold Butte Mining District

The Gold Butte district is in southeastern Clark County in the southern end of the Virgin Range. It includes the territory south of Gold Butte lying between the Nevada-Arizona boundary line on the east and the Virgin River on the west. Mining was begun in this area in the eighties. A small boom occurred in 1908, when the camp of Gold Butte was established, and although a number of small companies were organized to work various properties, no important discoveries were made. The total production from the district has been about $75,000, mostly in shipping ores. In 1936 the principal operation in the district was that of the Lake Shore Mining Co.

The geology of the Gold Butte mining district has been described by Hill (Hill, James M., Notes on Some mining District in Eastern Nevada: U.S Geol Survey Bull. 648, 1916, pp 42-53)
The ore deposits are of two types – replacement deposits in limestone and quartz veins in gneiss and granite. The ore in the limestone consists of oxidized copper, lead, and zinc minerals. The values in the quartz veins are chiefly in gold.

A small amount of sheet mice has been produced from pegmatite dikes in the vicinity of Gold Butte.

Mica Deposits
In 1873 Daniel Bonelli discovered mica deposits 4 miles east of Gold Butte, but because of their isolation and unfavorable transportation facilities very little mining was done. As far as the writer could learn, the only production has been 5 tons of sheet mica shipped by Bonelli prior to 1900 and 2,500 pounds shipped by Frank Allsop in 1908. In recent years these deposits have not been exploited. William Garret of Gold Butte is the owner of several unpatented mica claims in this area.

The deposits have been prospected by a number of shallow shafts, the deepest of which is about 40 feet. The mice, associated with garnet, quartz, feldspar, and tourmaline, occurs in pegmatite dikes that cut granitic schists. Due to the manner in which the mica occurs, it is difficult to mine it in large sheets. The mice is said to be of good quality as to transparency, color, cleavage, and flexibility, and the size of the sheets varies from 6 to 15 square inches.

Magnesite Deposit
Magnesite occurs in the vicinity of Horse Springs, 14 miles by road southeast of St. Thomas, Nev and 9 miles north of Gold Butte. The deposit was located originally by Fay Perkins of Overton, Nev in 1922. The present owner is Albert Bauer. No production has ever been made. Development comprises several short tunnels and a shaft about 60 feet deep. Fine-grained dolomite and magnesite beds overlain by shale and underlain by limestone and dipping about 30 degrees outcrop for several thousand feet

Webster Group
A group of sever unpatented claims in Cedar basin is owned by Mrs. A. G. Webster of Moapa, Nv. In 1937 this property was under option to H. G. Snyder of Salt lake City, Utah. Development comprises a shaft 130 feet deep and several hundred feet of lateral workings. Property is equipped with a 2-stamp mill (1,050 pounds each),a jaw crusher (6 by 8 inches), and an amalgamation plate (4 feet long and 3 feet wide). Mill equipment is operated by an automobile engine. About 150 tons of ore, averaging 1 ounce of gold per ton, was treated in this mill.

The ore occurs in a quartz vein in the granite. The dip of the vein is about 75 degrees and the average width is 18 inches. Formation is altered granite and schist traversed by pegmatite dikes.

Azure Ridge Group
The Azure Ridge Group of four unpatented lode claims owned by John F. Perkins of Overton, Nv is near the Arizona-Nevada boundary in the southeastern part of the Gold Butte district. The only production from the property was in 1918, when John F. Perkins shipped two carloads of zinc ore and one carload of copper ore. The zinc ore averaged 40 percent zinc and the copper ore 35 percent copper, with small values in gold and silver. This ore was hand-sorted and hauled to St. Thomas for shipment to smelters. Since 1918 the property has been inactive.

This property is in the prospect stage of development and all work has been superficial in character. Development comprises an adit 100 feet long, another of 40 feet, and several shallow shafts, totaling in all about 300 feet of workings. Mineralization occurs in a faulted zone in limestone near granite.

Lake Shore Mining Co.

The property of the Lake Shore Mining Co., Comprising the Utah group of four unpatented claims owned by O.W. Yates, A.W Lawson, and Fred Gibson of las Vegas, Nv is located about 15 miles south of Gold Butte and 5 miles from the shore of lake Mead. In 1934 and up to July 1935 the Utah group and other claims were worked by the Gold Cross Mining Co., controlled by Salt lake City interests. The Gold Cross Mining Co. erected a small amalgamating mill on the shore of the Colorado River and treated about 400 tons of ore. This company also shipped 340 tons of ore, averaging $51 per ton to Utah smelters. The Lake Shore Mining Co. acquired the Utah group of claims under bond and lease from C. C. McDonald, of Overton, Nv in 1935 and started operations in September of the same year. Up to februrary 1937 total production by the present owners was 1,800 tons of shipping ore with a net value of $30,000. Five men are employed. Development work comprises an incline 200 feet deep and other workings, totaling about 400 feet.
The ore occurs in a quartz vein that dips about 8 degrees and follows the hanging-wall side of a diabase dike. The width of the vein varies from 6 inches to 6 feet, averaging about 2 feet. The vein and dike are in granite formation.

Due to the flat dip of the vein, most of the ore shipped by the present owners is mined by the open-cut method. The granite overburden is drilled with jackhammers and blasted with 40 percent gelatin dynamite and No. 6 caps attached to tape fuse. Compressed air is furnished by a portable compressor. Stripping is done with a 10-cubic-foot capacity Le Tourneau bulldozer operated by a 60-horsepower caterpillar tractor. The average cost of stripping is 12 cents per cubic yard. After the over-burden has been removed (a maximum depth of 20 feet),the ore is hand shoveled into a truck and hauled 5 miles to the shore of Lake Mead, where it is loaded onto a barge. The barge is towed by power boat 56 miles to Cashman Docks, and the ore is again shoveled into trucks and hauled to the railroad siding at Boulder City, 6 ½ miles distant. The barge and power boar are owned by the company. Smelter returns from a shipment of ore to the American Smelting & Refining Co. were as follows:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Snapshot of Gold Butte in 1930

Information from the 1930 Census for people at Gold Butte on the date April 14, 1930

William Garrett: Own\Rent: Own Relation: Head Farm: Yes Sex: Male Race: White Age 50 Birthplace: Texas English: Yes Occupation: Stockman Industry: cattle

Frank Grimes: Own\Rent: Rent $:5 Relation: Head Farm: Yes Sex: Male Race: White Age: 37 Birthplace: Vermont English:Yes Occupation: Mining

Christine Grimes: Relation: Wife Sex: Female Race: White Age: 33 Birthplace: California English: Yes Occupation: none

Baby(not Named) Murphy Son of J. Murphy Birthplace: Nevada

Al Davie: Gold Butte Transients Relation: Lodger Sex: Male Race: White Age: 73 Birthplace: Oregon English: Yes Occupation: Odd jobs

Thomas A. Aljer: Gold Butte Transients Relation Lodger Sex: Male Race: White Age: 51 Birthplace: Utah English: Yes Occupation: Driller Industry: Copper Mine

C. Jacob Aljer: Gold Butte Transients Relation: Son Sex: Male Race: White Age: 13 Birthplace: Utah English: Yes Occupation: Farm Laborer Industry: Truck Farm

John H. Bailey: Gold Butte Transients  Relation Lodger Sex: Male Race: White Age: 69 Birthplace: Switzerland Immigration Natrilization: 1903 English: yes Occupation: Peddler Industry Willow Baskets

Arthur Coleman: Relation: Boarder sex: male race: white age: 53 birthplace: Kansas Occupation: Miner Industry: Mining

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Bonelli Deposit

The Bonelli Deposit – the Bonelli salt deposit is in the NW1/4 of Sec 4, T. 20 R. 68E and near the east bank of the Virgin River.

The salt exposure is confined to the western extremity of a minor spur where it appears as the crest of a small, sharp, anticlinal fold of which the axis strikes about 50 degrees east. The salt mass, as seen in section in the open cut shown in the illustration, is about 20 feet high and 40 feet wide. It is directly overlain by about 70 feet of brown silt containing lenses of very impure gypsum. Overlying this brown silt is about 10 feet of impure gypsum which forms the summit of the spur. In a small ravine immediately north of the salt deposit, crystalline rocks, presumably of pre-Cambrian age, are exposed. The salt-bearing beds were either deposited against a steep slope of these rocks or have been faulted down against them. 

In either vase the salt bed is definitely limited in that direction. To the east and south the salt mass dips steeply under the overlying silts of the Muddy Creek formation. On the west, the salt bed has been cut away by the Virgin River. Some of the higher hills north of the deposit are capped with basalt indicating that the salt probably lies in the same general stratigraphic zone as the other deposits, namely, a few hundred feet below the basalt flow of the former lacustrine period.

A tunnel, shown in figure 105, to the right of the open cut, has been driven into the fill for about 100 feet, penetrating brown silt. Between the tunnel and the open pit there is exposed a little very impure salt, apparently the result of the impregnation of the silt by salt carried in solution from the main salt mass. It is reported that some salt was secured from this deposit about 1895 to 1900, but apparently no mining has been done since that time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grand Old Man of Gold Butte - Art Coleman & Bill Garrett

Orville Perkins is well known for capturing much of early Southern Nevada life with his entertaining and skilled writings. In his book Hookey Beans and Willows he writes of the Grand old Men of Gold Butte capturing a timeless snapshot of the good ol' days at Gold Butte.

Orville and his stories are cited in many different histories of Clark County. His stories and depictions of early life Southern Nevada are an invaluable resource of information, exciting for any reader from the casual to the academic. His descriptive narratives are the reason that many of the histories and legends of this area still exist today. I highly recommend that you track his book down, Hookey Beans and Willows, and purchase a copy for yourself. A copy may be found at the Old Logandale School.
Grand Old Man of Gold Butte
With the passing of Bill Garrett and Art Coleman, an era came to a close. It had been slowly developing for a long time. The two old men were the only link that held the past to the present at Gold Butte.

Art Coleman had been a long time prospector in Nevada. He first saw this area in 1907 during the Copper City boom and was quite impressed with the general area. Art, being young and restless had worked in many camps in Nevada. Robert E. Lee told of seeing Art in early January of 1910 in Caliente, waiting to go to Goodsprings to look for a job. Because of the big flood he was stranded. Art not wanting to waste anymore time in a flood drenched town decided to walk to Ely, the only way to get there. He and a pardner walked the one hundred and thirty miles in the dead of winter. This must have been quite a fete as hardly anyone lived north of Pioche till you reached the Ely area.

With the coming of prohibition many old prospectors turned to bootlegging, they knew most of the old camps and springs to set up operations. In the early twenties Art ran the Moapa Bar, but tiring of looking over his shoulder for probi agents, decided to go to the Gold Butte area and homestead. He settled in the Jumbo Basin to do a little dry farming and prospecting and if things to too tough, he could always do some bootlegging. The farming operations were never a real success but prospecting was good. Art set up dry washing operation in the most likely washes. One time with the aid of Bob Fleming, they did some slice mining. By saving the water, they could run it thru several times. They did recover some gold and a few of the choice nuggets he kept for display, having fun sometimes with the unwary. He was one of a disappearing breed. Here, at Gold Butte, he teamed up with Bill Garrett who had moved into the now abandoned house shipped in by Johnnie Nelson’s mother from White Hills. The house was dismantled and hauled to Kingman where it was shipped in sections by rail to St. Thomas. Johnnie hauled it to Gold Butte and reassembled it. Quite a comfortable home.

Bill Garrett, raised in Texas, wasn’t one to talk much about the past. He was the sort of fellow that one did not pry too much into his past. In some of his more mellow moods he told of as a boy he and another youth pulled a holdup, in the melee that followed a man was shot. The boys ran and bill wound up in Canada. While in Canada, Bill fell in with an old man who taught him how to build a still. This was to come in handy in later years. Drifting back to the States he began to follow rodeos and eventually, became a world champ cowboy. He told of being in St. Louis in 1904 for the world fair. A rodeo was part of the fair, and Bill entered the saddle bronc riding event. On the first day he got a very rough horse and just as the gun went off, ending the ride, this cinch broke. Bill, saddle and all, made a beautiful loop landing straddle of a pole fench with Bill still in the saddle. It was the hit of the rodeo, they wanted him to do it everyday, little realizing it could not happen that way again in a hundred years.

The next fifteen years found Bill working on ranches and following rodeos. Bill became quite the rodeo star. While working in the Unitah County area of Utah, he got involved with a girl, her former boyfriend went looking for Bill, he found him in Vernal. Bill had been warned the man was looking for him in the shoot-out that followed the man lay dead. Bill was arrested and stood trial in Vernal but freed on a self-defense plea. Bill knew it was time to move on, so he next showed up in Gold Butte, working for George Hartman as a cowhand.

For server years the Lord had been good to Southern Nevada, the rains had been plentiful and stickmen were increasing their herds, the future looked the mid nineteen twenties that had all changed, a prolonged drought had set in and few were the cow outfits that would survive. Hartman was one that would fail, even with the men going without pay to keep things together. Big Swapp had nine hundred dollars coming and at thirty a month, that’s a long time without a payday. Bryant and Roxton Whitmore, Bill Garrett and others had back pay they could not get. Some took a few cows for pay, and Bill did this and moved into the abandoned White Hills house which was to be his home for the next forty years.

The Gold Butte house became a popular place, most people going out that way stopped at Bills. He sometimes made a little whiskey which did a lot for the house’s social success. Smoke coming from in back of the big rock some hundred yards back of the house would be a sure sign that a new batch was in the works.

The thirties came and with it the great depression, repeal of the Volstead Act and if that wasn’t enough, the Taylor Grazing Act. One by one Bill sold off his cattle to live. He had a prize horse running on the range, a light sorrel stallion with flax mane and tail. This horse was Bill’s pride and joy. A rancher from Willows, California, saw him from a distance and made a good offer so he was also sold. Bill was getting a little age on himself by this time, he wasn’t quite what he used to be, so had to get Elwood Perkins to catch Sun Flower, the pride of the Gold Butte range.

Art managed by accident to create more excitement than they could handle. One day while prospecting down below the Butte, he pulled off the road to turn around, his old model A backfired and set a grass fire that nearly got him before he could speed away. The smoke could be seen for a couple of days from as far away as Overton.

In their later years, they both got a county pension, still the Gold Butte house always had an open door. Throughout the years, hundreds had enjoyed their hospitality. Art was the older of the pair and passed away first, he was buried there at Butte. A couple of years later, Bill followed and was laid by his old friend. Stones were bought for the pair by their many friends. Those that pass and pause long enough can see that here lies the last of this breed of men.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Key West Mine Property Examination 1932

This report came from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.  The original scan can be found here: 

Key West Mine, Clark County
Preliminary Examination Made January 23rd, 1932
By Alfred Merritt Smith

This examination was made in company with W.F. Darling, a rancher who lives on the Virgin River four or five miles north of the mine, and Jack Lisle, a prospector at that time living in St. Thomas.

The workings examined consisted of a tunnel about two hundred feet long, a cross-cut about one hundred fifty feet direct N. 50 W. Near the mouth of the tunnel is an incline fifty two feet long which connects with a drift running three hundred feet west, then seventy five feet south to a new shaft with head frame. The incline has a slop of about fifty-five degrees and also connects with the old shaft. About fifty feet in from the mouth of the tunnel is a drift running two hundred feet westerly on a vein two feed wide which splits and pinches out the face.

The country rock is a granitic or dioritic formation. It is intruded with a black igneous dyke apparently a peridotite formation, which has been mineralized and constitutes the ore body. The ore and dyke material contain augite, olivine, biotite and enstatite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, phyrrotite. The dykes are of pre-Cambrian age and are older than pegmatite dykes occurring in the area, which cut through both the black ore-bearing dykes and the granitic country rock.

The new shaft on the property is about three hundred feet deep. Water now stands in it at the one hundred and forty feet level. The shaft is said to have made twelve thousands gallons per day on the three hundred foot level. The water was said to be of good quality and potable.

The area is sparsely wooded with pinion, juniper and mountain Mahogany. The property is said to be owned by the Nevada Nickel and Copper Company, a corporation with offices at 50 Congress Street, Boston Massachusetts. R.E. Paine, 50 Congress Street, Boston is one of the officials known to the last operators.

The mine was last operated under lease and bond by a company represented by one Louis Thompson of Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Thompson had a lease and Bond on the mine and constructed a mill at an asserted cost of $120,000. J.J. Jessup was construction engineer. The mill was built in 1928 and operated for a time in 1928 and 1929. It contained an ore crusher, ball mill, Dorr duplex classifier, Wilfley tables and later, Grosh flotation cells. There is no doubt but what the mill was very poorly designed and was an utter failure. None of the group had any knowledge of modern metallurgy, yet they had the temerity to attack what is probably one of the most complex and difficult ores in the country.

Thompson stated to the writer that he shipped two hundred tons of concentrate to Los Angeles and about the same amount of ore. The concentrate was no better than the ore. Eleven hundred tons of ore was shipped to the International Smelter at Tooele, Utah, a hundred tons to the American Smelter at Garfield, Utah. A ton of matte (no information as to who produced the matte) was shipped to Stauffer Chemical Company, Richmond, California, and is said to have yielded good results.

Thompson said the value of the concentrate shipped was $119.00 per ton, some of even higher value. He stated that the ore contained copper – 6%, Gold – 0.02 ounces per ton, silver – 2.0 ounces per ton, platinum – 0.17 ounces per ton, palladium – 0.22 ounces per ton, nickel – 2.5 ounces per ton, cobalt – 1.5 to 4.0%, iron sulphide – 52%, silica – 12%. The ore contained no arsenic and no antimony.

Thompson organized the Key West Mining Company when he leased the property. He contracted many debts, was sued by creditors and a court judgment was obtained against him for $5,000. The creditors removed and sold the mill.

Locally Thompson himself is said to have incurred a majority of the bills and later on to have repudiated them, stating that he was only a minor stockholder in the Company. It was said, however, that he was a principal stockholder and is quite wealthy.

Gasoline engines were used for development work and to operate the mill.

Mt Darling stated that one of Thompson’s partner was named “Scoog”. The mill was removed in 1930.

The Tailings pond below the mill will average three feet deep and about 50 feet in diameter. There is also a pile of about twenty tons of concentrate.

The best ore in the mine is bunchy and erratic and results from the mineralization of the black igneous dyke in which it occurs, a most unusual ore occurrence. After being extracted from the mine the ore weathers and slacks after a time. The ore dyke in the Key West roughly follows the bedding of the gneissic country rock but spreads out along fractures on both the north and the south ends, forming seems and bunches. Most of the dyke is ore of lower grade. In the mine workings it appears to be from three to eight feet wide.

Prior to the operation of the mine by Thompson, it was owned by one Evans and Alfred A. Glaiser, who last worked it in 1904. The mine was discovered by a Cherokee Indian named Scott Allen about the Year 1890.

Some distance to the east and south limestone beds from 1,000 to 2,000 feet thick rise in cliffs resting unconformable upon the gneiss which is a country rock of this mine.