Historic Culverwell Gold Mine and Mining Camp
20 Acre Lode Claim – Delamar District – Lincoln County, Nevada
Aerial view of claim and boundaries.
Overview of the Claim
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Culverwell Gold Mining Claim. This is a 20 acre lode mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. The claim is located just outside of Caliente, Nevada and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. All Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. claims have been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.
There are very few claims that are able to stay off the grid and not be molested and disturbed by the general public. The Culverwell is one of those rare examples of a historic mining camp that has been operating for nearly 100 years before it was abandoned. The mine was located on a wire gold outcrop and as late as 1982 it produced gold at an average of 1.44 OPT. There are USBM reports of wire gold on quartz coming from the mines. Wire gold is often more valuable as a sample than the actual gold weight and can sell for up to 8x the spot price of gold. It’s that rare.
The Culverwell was reportedly owned and operated by Mr. Charles Culverwell as far back as 1899. Charles Culverwell was the owner of the Culverwell Ranch which later became Caliente.
“The meadow area around the junction of Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek was originally settled in the early 1860’s by Ike and Dow Barton, two Negro slaves who had escaped from Arkansas. In the early 1870’s the area was known as Dutch Flat, with Jackman Ranch being established. In 1874, ranchers Charles and William Culverwell purchased the Jackman Ranch and renamed it as Culverwell Ranch. It was later referred to as “Culverwell.” Along with ranching, the family earned a living by providing hay for the mining camps in Pioche and Delamar.
A dispute between two major railroad companies began when E.H. Harriman of the Oregon Short Line and Union Pacific, pushed track from Utah to the site of Culverwell. Even as Harriman’s crews worked on the line, the newly formed San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad owned by Senator William Clark, claimed the same territory. These rival groups had sought the right-of-way in a canyon only big enough only for a single set of tracks. The Union Pacific had grade stakes set all the way into Culverwell and on toward Pioche, but their rival group gobbled up enough of the narrow canyon to set a road block in the path of Union Pacific.
In 1901 William Culverwell ended the Harriman-Clark battle with his shotgun. As owner of the land, Culverwell allowed one railroad grade to be built through his property. The two factions eventually reconciled, Union Pacific assumed control of the project. Culverwell became “Calientes” (the Spanish word for hot) after the hot springs found in a cave at the base of the surrounding mountains. The town was surveyed, and on August 3, 1901, a post office opened and postal officials renamed the town Caliente, dropping the ‘s’. The railroad line was completed in 1905, and by 1910, Caliente was the largest town in Lincoln County with 1,755 residents.
A two-story wooden structure served as a train depot until burning down in one of Caliente’s disastrous fires. In 1923, the impressive Caliente Train Depot was built, a classic Mission-style building constructed of tan stucco. This two-story building included the railroad station, private offices and a community center on the first floor, while the second level featured a hotel.”
The Culverwell is an extremely valuable Nevada Gold Mining property because of the extensive infrastructure. The claim has a large mine camp on it, this camp consists of a water heated home, a workshop, an outdoor bath and lavatory. In addition to all of that there is a 25,000 (est) gallon cistern on the property and a series of garage/carports. Enough to shelter 4 vehicles and or equipment. There is also a chicken coop for those of you ready to live completely off the grid. It would require a Notice of Operation to occupy the claim full time, a bit of paperwork but it would also allow the claimant to gate the road and restrict access. Something that would be wise with the gold values that are noted from the mines on the claim.
There is excellent road access to the claim and the mines. All you need is any standard 4WD. There is a rocky incline as you start the drive up to the camp that will shred street tires, so make sure you put some good shoes on that 4WD.
This claim is a stellar site and one of only a handful that exist like this. The infrastructure is invaluable and would cost millions in permits today, however, the fact that a mine producing documented wire gold and at a good rate is astonishing. This mine could ideally be worked by a few small miners with a Notice of Operation. Occupying and cleaning up the camp while pulling out the wire gold from the stable and intact mines.
Callahan, 1937, University of Las Vegas, Nevada; City of Caliente, http://www.cityofcaliente.com/about-caliente/history; Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. Surveyors, 2016
[learn_more caption=”Claim Rating”]
Extensive from actual surveys and historical documentation. Well over 2500′ with multiple adits and shafts. Some closed that have not been seen since at least 1937.
Highest possible rating. Charles Culverwell settled the town of Culverwell Ranch which became Caliente. Culverwell was known for his prowess in business and the Culverwell Mine is rumored to have financed a good many endeavors.
Accessibility and Location
Excellent 4WD road to the claim and the lower adits. Location is remote and the mine is at the end of a dead end road.
Wire gold was reported to be the main export. Some of this sold as samples for more than the actual value of the gold.
Water tanks, Housing, Timber, Wood. Highest possible rating.
[learn_more caption=”Quick Overview of the Claim”]
|Number of Mines||5 adits and shafts including some closed.|
|Nearest city with amenities||Caliente|
|Access to the Claim||Drive up access to claim with 4WD.|
|Parking and Staging on the claim||Parking for up to 20 vehicles. Covered parking for 4 vehicles and or equipment.|
|Resources||Water, Timber, Shelter. Full camp ready for work|
|Structures on claim||Housing, Workshops, garages.|
|Relics on the claim||Machinery, old miners trash|
Weather data from nearby Caliente
[learn_more caption=”The Mines”]
Overview of the Mines
The Culverwell mines are a series of workings exploring a trend of wire gold on quartz that is noted in several documents. The gold from this site, when processed in bulk assayed an average of 1.44 OPT in Gold. At current there is a single adit that is open. It is gated by a massive old iron gate that is simply beautiful. The mine appears to be a haulage tunnel for the first few hundred feet before taking a turn and opening into a large stope. The stope breaks off in several directions, one declining drift has been backfilled and would need some work to re-open. There is also a winze in the stope that leads down about 40-50 into another series of drifts. Air was good throughout and readings were steady on the 4Gas meter. The mine is stable and cut into hard rock. There were no areas of concern or potential cave ins.
A 1984 Reports sums up the geology and gives a good general overview of the workings:
“Several south-trending adits, mostly open, with large dumps (probably several hundred feet of workings). One caved shaft & adit. Mine is probably being worked intermittently on small scale. Cabin below workings looks “lived in.” Dump material is sorted. Generator & mine equipment on property.
GEOLOGY: Lower adit begins in alluvial slope rubble of Prospect Mtn. quartzite. The adit obviously intersects bedrock because the dump is composed of silicified quartzite
cut by a random network of white to vitreous grey quartz veins. Some veins are banded, open centered & enclose breccia fragments of quartzite & monzonite porphyry intrusive?
rock. The fragments of quartzite & intrusive are altered & Fe-stained. Pyrites contained in the vein material. White, euhedral barite crystals fill vugs in vein material. Quartzite fragments in the breccia have developed sericite & chlorite in – response to metamorphism & commonly contain finely disseminated pyrite.
Upper adit begins in an outcrop of quartzite & dirty quartzite beds which are 1-3′ in width & strike N40W, & dip 55SW. In general, the rocks are more poorly sorted & contain a higher matrix content than that usually observed in quartzites of the Prospect Mtn . Fm. Most of the dump consists of quartz-cemented quartzite, red & brown sandstone, & siltstone breccia. The breccia fragments are typically cemented with vuggy, banded quartz with prismatic terminated quartz crystals filling central cavities between fragments. Also coarse grey calcite, quartz after calcite, banded chalcedonic quartz & mangosiderite are commonly found as gangue vein minerals on the dump. Crosscutting breccia veins & splayed, banded veins indicate splitting of laminated host during vein emplacement & successive veining & brecciation of the host rock. Mnoxs coat quartz material and barite were observed as minor constituents of quartz & calcite vein.
The upper caved shaft (not shown on map) exposed a N45W, vertical or steeply SW- dipping, banded quartz/calcite vein about 3-4’wide. The vein is brecciated & fractured & intrudes red-brown dirty quartzites & sandstones.
According to Callaghan, the Culverwell Mine explores several NW-striking veins of calcite & quartz . The abundance of vein material at mine site indicates veins were explored for substantial lengths. Rhyolite dikes are mapped near the workings.
Wire gold on quartz reported from this locality. Sample 1756- Lower adit. 1757- Upper adit. ”
REF: Callaghan, 1937; Bentz/Smith 10/2/83; Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. Survey Team, 03/2016
Mine 10154 Entrance
Mine 10154 Diagram
|Access to the Mine||Walk in, work past existing gate.|
|Tailings Present||Extensive, over 10,000 tons|
|Depth / Length||Over 2500′ from historical reports and Gold Rush surveyor reports and maps|
|Minerals in the Mine||Gold, Silver|
|Foot Traffic in the Mine||None|
[learn_more caption=”Surveyor’s Observations”]
Beautiful old claim, nearly undisturbed. Heavy machinery has been removed long ago. Gold on quartz appears to be the main export. Lots of tailings, 20k tons or more, showing some gold and quartz, likely some silver and lead as well. 3 entrances are collapsed and would need to be excavated. This would likely take a few days each for 1 man to clear.
[learn_more caption=”USGS information on the mine(s)”]
Disclaimer: This MRDS information is provided for reference only and does not represent the actual mine or the current state or mineral content or value. It should not be perceived as accurate or definitive. MRDS information should not be relied on as decision data, the MRDS system has not been updated in over 20 years. The US Bureau of Mines, who was responsible for mining site assessment was disbanded in 1994. USGS and MRDS information has not been updated in over 66 years.
- Charles Culverwell, 1899
- Willard Pete, 1974
- Tim Watt, 1982
- Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. 2016 – NMC1120981
- Gold – Primary
Comments on Mine/Production
FIRST DISCOVERY IN THE DISTRICT WAS MADE NEARBY IN MONKEY WRENCH WASH. SOME SURFACE EXPLORATION DONE IN AREA PROBABLY IN EARLY 1980’S. CABIN BELOW WORKINGS LOOKS “LIVED IN”. DUMP MATERIAL IS SORTED, AND THERE ARE A GENERATOR AND MINING EQUIPMENT ON PROPERTY. MINE IS PROBABLY WORKED INTERMITTENTLY ON A SMALL SCALE (1983). VEINS EXPLORED BY A SHORT TUNNEL AND SEVERAL PITS A WINZE WAS NOTED IN THE TUNNEL AS WELL AS A 60-FT CROSSCUT TRENDING S16W, AND A DRIFT ON THE VEIN FOR 53 FT S50-62E. AN OPEN CUT IS CONNECTED TO THE DRIFT BY A RAISE. IN 1983, THERE WERE SEVERAL S-TRENDING ADITS MOSTLY OPEN WITH LARGE DUMPS, ONE CAVED SHAFT AND ADIT ABOVE AND SW OF UPPER SAMPLED ADIT. ROAD TO WORKINGS HAD BEEN RECENTLY BLADED.
Gold – Ore
Chlorite – Gangue
Pyrite – Gangue
Sericite – Gangue
ORE FOUND IN 2 CONVERGING VEINS STRIKING S 40 E AND S 50 E. THE WIDTH OF THE MAIN VEIN IS 2 FEET, DIPPING 74-88 DEG SW. VEIN MATERIAL IS LEACHED NEAR THE SURFACE, CONTAINING QUARTZ WITH MANGANESE AND IRON OXIDES. SOME SPECIMENS OF VISIBLE WIRE GOLD ON QUARTZ WERE OBTAINED.
USGS, Mineral Resources Data System, MRDS M032088
[learn_more caption=”Claim Photos”]
Internal headframe over a winze.
A drift filled with old barrels and miners trash.
Might be some copper running in here.
Hand cut and drilled tunnels.
Another short offshoot.
Gold with quartz in the haulage tunnel.
Copper and Silver.
Gold bearing ores.
Mine is tracked and ready for work.
The haulage tunnel is a little short, but still easily accessible.
Quartz with gold.
Terminated quartz crystals as reported in geological reports.
There was an adit here. It will need to be dug out.
Metals on discarded ores.
Roads are in excellent shape.
Site of the upper adit.
Upper adit. Note the quartz upper right.
Found in the waste rock pile.
Grill and workshop entrance.
Backside of the cabin.
Carport on the property.
From the mine, overlooking the camp below.
Old rails from the upper adit.
Rail runs from the adit to the mine.
Excellent roads all around the claim.
The adit entrance.
Beautiful old mine door.
Inside the adit, note the bleach, common in gold mining today.
Haulage tunnel in excellent condition.
Gold and copper ores.
Fleck gold (upper right).
No footprints inside the mine.
Winze with an open cut.
Decline that has been filled with muck.
Old survey markers on the gold vein.
Some copper showing in the quartz, but its the gold in the quartz you are after.
Likely good grade silver.
Looking out the entrance.
[learn_more caption=”Mining District Overview”]
Delamar Mining District Information
The Delamar or Ferguson mining district is centered around the ghost town of Delamar on the western slope of the northern Delamar Mountains. The main portion of the historic mining district is located in the area between Monkey Wrench Wash and Cedar Wash in the southeastern portion of TSS, R64E and the northeastern portion of TSS, R65E. For the purpose of this report, the limits of the Delamar district have been expanded to include all of the northern Delamar Mountains between Meadow Valley Wash, Delamar Valley and extending between T4S and T7S.
According to the account given in Callaghan, 1937, the first discoveries at Delamar were made in 1891 near Monkey Wrench Wash in the northern part of the district. Claims were located at the Magnolia mine, about one mile to the south of the Monkey Wrench, in March 1892, and the Delamar – April Fool area was staked about one month later. The district was originally named for its discoverers, John E. and Alvin Ferguson, farmers from Pahranagat Valley. In 1893, most of the claims in the district were acquired by Capt. J. R. De Lamar, a mining entrepreneur who was associated with many other mining ventures in the west. De Lamar carried the Delamar and April Fool mines to production, and the Delamar district was the premier producer of gold in Nevada in 1894. Between that time and 1902, the Delamar mines produced $9,500,000 in gold and silver.
In 1902, De Lamar sold his interest in the Delamar mines to a group of eastern investors, and a new operating company, Bamberger-Delamar Gold Mining Co., was formed. This group resumed production in 1903 and operated in the district until 1909 when. the mines were permanently closed. During this second period of operation, $3,400,000 in gold and silver was produced. The district was idle until 1932 when retreatment of old mill tailings began. Between 1932 and 1940, an additional $781,500 in gold was recovered. Total production of the Delamar district through 1950 is $14,983,700 in gold, silver, and minor lead and copper. Delamar’ s gold production has always been emphasized at the expense of its silver output. The district is, however, a silver-gold district as the average ratio of gold to silver has been about 1:3 (Callaghan, 1937, p.47) .
The Delamar district is largely within an outcrop area of Cambrian sediments which form the western flank of a lobe of the large Caliente caldera complex. Within the caldron complex to the east, rocks are mainly thick sequences of ash flow tuffs and rhyolitic flows. The western, resurged (Ekren, et. al., 1977) lobe of the caldron lies just to the north of the productive part of the Delamar district, and the major mines are within an arc of altered rocks which generally parallel the caldron margin.
The Cambrian rocks at the Delamar consist mainly of a thick section of Prospect Mountain Quartzite capped to the north, east, and southeast by Chisholm Shale, Lyndon Limestone, Pioche Shale, and limestone of the Highland Peak Formation.
All of the major mines of the district are in Prospect Mountain Quartzite, but a few prospects are in the shale or limestone units and one property, the Easter or Taylor mine, is within the tuff sequence east of Delamar, within the resurged caldron . Within the mine area, and apparently associated with the ore deposits, several sets of rhyolite dikes have been described which cut the Cambrian section. Callaghan, 1937, p. 27, describes three separate sets of dikes which extend in a general east-west direction through the district. Some of the dikes are described as pre-mineral, some are thought to be post-mineral. The trend of the dikes (NBMG Bull. 73, p. 137, Fig. 23) closely parallels the general trend of the caldron margin to the immediate north, and the association of the caldron margin, dikes, and the Delamar silver-gold deposits points to a common origin for all of these features.
The detailed relationships of the ore deposits at Delamar are very well described by Callaghan in this 1937 NBMG Bulletin on the geology of the district. Callaghan describes four types of epithermal gold deposits at Delamar; quartzite breccia ore, cherty quartz ore, bedded quartzite ore, and volcanic breccia ore. Cemented quartzite breccia ore accounted for most of the production in the main deposit of the district, the Delamar mine. Cherty quartz ore was mined in the April Fool, Jumbo, Hog Pen mines, and the Magnolia mine ore was volcanic breccia. Bedded quartzite ore apparently occurred in quartzite wall rock in areas within the mines, but was not extensive. The three main types of ore have many common features which include brecciation, cementation of breccias by comb quartz, silicification of wall rocks, the presence of free gold, and low base metal content. Ad ularia is reported present at the Magnolia mine, and barite is reported from the April Fool and Jumbo deposits.
The Magnolia volcanic breccia ore contains abundant manganese oxides while breccia fragments and vugs at the Apri.l Fool mine to the south contain coatings of crystalline jarosite.
Perhaps the most interesting relationship noted within the the Delamar district is the close association of the various rhyolite dikes with the productive mines. The Magnolia mine was developed along a vein in volcanic breccia associated with a rhyolite dike. The ore chutes at the Delamar mine appear to have been located along the margins of a large, altered rhyolitic dike. In this dike rock phenocrysts of resorbed quartz occur in a fine-grained groundmass along with crystals of altered sanidine and plagioclase.
|District Aliases||Dalamar, Ferguson|
|Noted Commodities||Gold, Silver|