NAME: Potosi
CLIMATE: Hot summers. Pleasant winter days with occasional raw weather or snow.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Can be visited anytime, but cooler weather better.
COMMENTS: Mine high up on cliffs.

Lead ore deposits were found high upon a cliff by prospecting Mormons living at the mission at Las Vegas in 1856. Soon thereafter, Nathaniel Jones came from Salt Lake City to take a look at the mine and named it the Potosi after his Wisconsin boyhood home. Jones returned to Salt Lake for supplies to develop the mine and returned. Early smelting developments were futile for the lead proved to be uncooperative. In 1861, the Colorado Mining Company set up a larger smelter at Potosi Spring, and silver mining operations were commenced. Potosi townsite was platted 700 feet below the mine by Capt. J.E. Stevens, which was then in northwestern New Mexico Territory. 100 miners made Potosi their home. A handwritten newspaper was published by J.A. Talbott called EAST OF THE NEVADA; OR THE MINER'S VOICE FROM THE COLORADO. The first issue was published February 19, 1861. In the remote village, Talbott had competition in the form of the oddly named POTOSI NIX CUM ROUSCHT, which was quite short lived. Talbott's paper lasted a few issues, the ROUSCHT lasted only one issue. Mining operations ceased in 1863. In 1870 the Silver State Mining Company reopened the Potosi and a cluster of buildings at Potosi Springs was called Crystal City, but didn't last long. Work was sporadic at the Potosi for the next three decades until Senator Clark's Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was built through Las Vegas, passing within less than a day's wagon ride from Potosi, in which mining began in earnest. The mine was found to contain a high zinc content and for 14 years zinc mining was conducted on a regular producing basis. A tramway was built to make the trip from mine to smelter easier. Activity slowed after 1920, although between 1925 and 1928 production was again running full bore. Potosi produced over $4,500,000 in lead, silver and zinc. Submitted by: David A. Wright

Potosi Mine. April 11, 1999.
Courtesy David A. Wright

View from below the Potosi Mine. April 11, 1999.
Courtesy David A. Wright

View of the Potosi Mine area. Large tailings pile on the left near the top of the cliff pinpoint the mine. April 11, 1999.
Courtesy David A. Wright

View of the area that the camp sat in on a dreary, snow shower filled day. April 11, 1999.
Courtesy David A. Wright

WESTERN PLACES publisher, Alan Patera, walks the rough road leading to Potosi. April 11, 1999.
Courtesy David A. Wright