NORTHUMBERLAND

NAME: Northumberland
COUNTY: Nye
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Hot summer, cool winter.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime.
COMMENTS: Open pit mine has obliterated the site.
REMAINS: Nothing.

According to what newspaper you were reading in 1866, two different and separate groups of prospectors discovered rich silver ore on the eastern slope of the Toquimas in July of 1866. One group discovered the Northumberland mine and the other the Lady Cummings mine. The ore did not last however and the district was abandoned in 1870. In 1875 the discovery of two new mines, the Monitor and the Blue Bell revived the camp and the population stood at about fifty. The town included a store, a boardinghouse, a number of saloons, and a freight line to Austin. In August, the Belmont-Austin stage route began running through Northumberland Canyon rather than going through Smoky Valley to Monitor Valley, making an overnight stop at the town. Activity began to dwindle once again and by 1881 Northumberland was again abandoned. Another revival took place in 1885 and 1886 and ended the same year. Things remained uneventful in the district until 1908 when new silver discoveries prompted a spurt of activity. The district became fairly quiet again until 1939 when intensive operations again took place. The Northumberland Mining Company enlarged the mill and built an extensive camp to house its seventy-five workers. A school opened in the town and a voting precinct was even established. By 1941, the open pit mine was yielding 10,000 tons a month. But the mine was forced to close at the outbreak of World War II. Essentially, that was the end of Northumberland. Fifteen years ago Northumberland’s remains were fairly extensive. Unfortunately for historical Northumberland, in 1983 the Cyprus Mines Corporation began an open-pit heap leach facility. In recent years the pit and leach pads have completely obliterated the townsite.

Submitted by: HBC

 


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