2015 Mining History Association Tour

 

Tour of Donovan Mill, Bowers Mansion,

Nevada State Museum, and

Nevada State Railroad Museum

Tour Leader: Ron James

June 14, 2015

 

PHOTO GALLERY – 2 of 5

 

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MHAers examine the cyanide portion of the mill.  The bags at the lower left contain ore discovered in the ore bins when the mill preservation project began.

 

The pulverized ore from the stamps was placed in these large tanks and mixed with a cyanide solution.  The precious metals were leached from the ore and recovered from the cyanide solution.


MHAers leaving the stamp mill complex.
Additional redwood tanks are located on concrete pads outside the Donovan Mill.

The Bowers Mansion, now a state park, is named for its original owners, Lemuel Sanford “Sandy” and Alison Orem “Eilley” Bowers.  Married in 1859, they made their fortune from their adjoining silver claims on the Comstock.

The Park Curator explains how the Bowers decided to build their magnificent mansion on land Eilley owned in the Washoe Valley rather than in Virginia City.  It was completed in 1863 and cost $300,000, an outrageous sum at the time.  A major restoration of the property was completed in 1968.

 

Their boom became a bust in 1867 when the mine ran out of ore.  In 1868, Sandy died of silicosis.  Eilley, who had run a boarding house in Virginia City, turned the mansion into a popular venue for picnics and other social functions. Unfortunately, she lost the mansion to foreclosure in 1876.Eilley died penniless in Oakland, CA, in 1903.  Today the mansion is decorated in the style of the period.  Furnishings such as these in the parlor have been donated by Nevadans anxious to preserve this important piece of Territorial history.

Photo Credits: Johnny Johnsson, Mike Kaas, and Bob Spude.

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