The Telegraph Mine

Gold was struck at the Telegraph Mine in 1930 by A. A. Brown and Ralph Brown of Utah. The samples that were collected showed free gold assayed at a value of up to $800 per ton. This discovery set the stage for a new gold rush to the Halloran Springs region, and the creation of the Halloran Springs Mining District (previously the Solo Mining District).

The Telegraph Mine was leased from 1932 to 1935 to O. Perry Riker, a miner from Long Beach. Milling was performed three miles away at Yucca Grove (modern-day Halloran Springs Exit off of I-15). During Riker’s lease $35,000 of gold ore was removed.

In 1935, Judge Nosser took over the lease producing an additional $65,000 in gold ore between 1935-1942.

 

Abandoned structure and water tower at the Telegraph Mine.

Abandoned structure and water tower at the Telegraph Mine.

 

Structure at the Telegraph Mine.

Structure at the Telegraph Mine.

 

Industrial style desk inside of an abandoned structure.

Industrial style desk inside of an abandoned structure.

 

The Telegraph fell silent in 1943, and remained that way for several years. During this period of silence all the equipment was removed, and the mine fell into a state of abandonment.

When mining resumed it is hard to pin point. There are no records that I have been able to locate after 1943 until 1981, at what time the operation was transformed into a strip mining venture. As recent as 2014 the mine was silent, but under lease to Mojave Gold, a mining company based out of Salt Lake City. It appears that the company was probably put through the ringer by the BLM and National Park Service due to the close proximity of the Mojave National Preserve (created in 1994), essentially forcing them into limbo.

When I visited the site in 2015 the mine had again fallen into a state of disarray and abandonment. The several structures that stand at the camp have been ransacked, shot at, and just generally vandalized. The fact that the mine sits only a few hundred feet from the busy I-15 probably doesn’t help it. The wood buildings appear to have some age to them, possibly depression era construction with some modern updates. Inside of one of the structures are a couple of dozen boxes filled with sacks of soil samples. Other than that the buildings are just decaying empty shells.

The Telegraph Mine is definitely not one to go on the must see list, but for those that enjoy abandoned places with some standing structures it will not necessarily disappoint.

 

Structure with cloths line.

Structure with cloths line.

 

Boxes of samples.

Boxes of samples.

 

Sacks containing soil samples.

Sacks containing soil samples.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.