Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns & gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments



Historical Mining Towns of the Eastern Mojave Desert

Mescal

Six miles south of Ivanpah, near Mountain Pass, was the Mescal Mine (also known as the Cambria or Mollusk), which was discovered about 1879. William A. McFarlane, one of the pioneers of Ivanpah, bought the property several years later and began developing it. By early 1885, he and a partner, Simon A. Barrett, had extracted a large lot of ore worth $100 a ton in silver and gold. They shipped their ore by pack train to Ivanpah, where the Ivanpah Consolidated mill processed it in June of 1885. A few weeks later, Wells, Fargo & Company carried away the first bullion: two bars worth more than $2,000.

Mescal entered its most productive period after McFarlane and Barrett leased out, and then sold, the Cambria to a company of businessmen in Los Angeles in January, 1886. A 10-man crew drove a second tunnel and laid a 350-yard ore-car track. (Eventually, two 300-foot tunnels were driven.) By late 1886, the camp contained an assay office, comfortable offices, a boardinghouse, a lodging house, adobe houses for men with families, and other buildings. The company also built a five-stamp mill near Mescal Springs. The machinery started up in early December. In January of 1887, the mill produced 15,000 ounces of bullion; the company soon added five stamps. A post office, named Nantan, was established in March. By then, the camp had a store.

That was Mescalís heyday. The price of silver gradually slipped; the value of the ore fell to only $20 a ton. Only 12 people remained in 1890; in December, the post office closed. The mine had produced an estimated $250,000 in gold and silver.

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns & gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments
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07-13-2020 - 34 :