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Gold Mines & Mills - Nelson, Nevada


Picture of entrance to Techatticup mine property
The Techatticup mine, located in 1861, was the most important mine in Eldorado Canyon. It produced millions of dollars in gold ore, and was originally served by steamboats on the Colorado River. The mine's name is taken from a Paiute word meaning "hungry" or "bread."

Two of Nevada's most famous renegade Indians lived in the canyon; Avote, who killed five victims, and Queho, who killed over twenty people sucessfully eluding sheriff's posses.

Eldorado Canyon

Eldorado Canyon, the site of a mining boom, runs east from here to the Colorado River. Prospectors began digging for gold and silver here about 1859, forming the Colorado Mining District. The three largest mines, the Techatticup, Wall Street, and El Dorado Rand Group, yielded over $6,000,000.

This portion of the Colorado River was navigable before the construction of Hoover Dam, allowing steamboats and barges to freight goods 350 miles from the Gulf of California to the mouth of Eldorado Canyon and upriver. The steamboat era peaked in the 1860s but continued to the turn of the twentieth century.

In 1867, the US. Army established an outpost at Eldorado Canyon to secure the riverboat freight and to protect miners in the canyon from Native Americans. The military abandoned the camp in 1869. In the 1870s the mines flourished again, producing ore until World War II.



Techatticup Mine

The Techatticup Mine is a historic gold and silver mine located in the Eldorado Canyon near Nelson, Nevada. Here are some key details about the mine:

Establishment and Early Operations: The Techatticup Mine was established in 1861 during the mining boom in the American West. It quickly became one of the most productive mines in southern Nevada, extracting gold and silver from the ore deposits in the Eldorado Canyon.

Mining Technology: The mine was known for adopting advanced mining technologies of its time. It utilized stamp mills and other equipment to extract precious metals from the mined ore. These technologies were crucial for increasing efficiency in the extraction process.

Boom and Bust: Like many mines during this period, the Techatticup Mine experienced both periods of prosperity and decline. The mine contributed significantly to the economic development of the region during its heyday.

Labor Conflicts: As was common in the mining industry of the time, there were labor disputes and conflicts over working conditions at the Techatticup Mine. Miners faced challenging and often dangerous conditions, leading to tensions between laborers and mine owners.

Abandonment: As mining activities in the region declined in the early 20th century, the Techatticup Mine was eventually abandoned. Many mines faced economic challenges as ore deposits became less lucrative.

Film Location: In the 1960s, the Eldorado Canyon, including the Techatticup Mine and the nearby ghost town of Nelson, gained popularity as a filming location for movies and television shows. The unique desert landscape and well-preserved historical structures made it an attractive setting for filmmakers. Notably, scenes from the 1969 film "Easy Rider" were shot in this area.

Tourist Attraction: Today, the Techatticup Mine is a popular tourist attraction. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to explore the mine's tunnels, see remnants of mining equipment, and learn about the history of the site. The mine provides insight into the challenges faced by miners in the 19th and early 20th centuries and offers a glimpse into the mining history of southern Nevada.

The Techatticup Mine, along with the Eldorado Canyon and Nelson, has become known for its historical significance, unique desert scenery, and ties to the mining heritage of the American West.

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These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
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