Mining activity has been going on in this area since the 1880s. A small camp known as Thorp's Wells came into being around a stamp mill built at the site. It handled ore from the major mines located near Gold Mountain, some six miles to the northwest. The mill operated into the early 1900s, at which time it was purchased by the Bonnie Clare Bullfrog Mining Company. They built a new mill in 1904, which was christened the Bonnie Claire. It milled ore brought in from all over the mining district, but business in camp didn't really boom until 1906, when the Bullfrog-Goldfield Railroad reached Thorp's Wells, aka, Thorp, Montana Station and possibly Summerville.
The railroad brought a small prosperity to the settlement and a new townsite was platted in October of 1906, at which time the residents chose the name Bonnie Claire for their new town. Another railroad, the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad arrived soon after and built a depot in town in 1907. Business boomed. But boomtowns almost always turn into busttowns, and Bonnie Claire began to decline as soon as 1909. It enjoyed a brief resurgence when Death Valley Scotty was building his "castle," as he had most of the building materials shipped through Bonnie Claire via the Tonapah and Tidewater Railroad. But when the railroads folded in the late 1920s, the town began a quick fade to black.
As I pulled into "town," I spotted the mill ruins off to the west of 267, up on the side of a long hill. A few other ruins were located on the east side of Scotty's Castle Road. I headed over to the mill ruins first, to see what I could find.
This ruin was once a bunkhouse for workers at the mill.
After taking these shots, it was time to head over to the other side of the road, to investigate the little complex of buildings that was waiting.
Stamp Mill? Processing plant? I don't know, but it looks like it was used to pull ore up from the shaft in front of it.
The ruins of the home that Vic & Mellie Huson lived in while processing ore here from their Mellvina Lode Claim at Tokop. The structure was built in the mid-1950s. At some point, a vintage trailer was added to the side of the home.
A look at the trailer that is attached to the side of the small house.
This was about as close as I could get to looking down this mine shaft.
Up until around 2009, most of the milling machinery was still in place here. Unfortunately, thieves ransacked the place, most likely selling off the machinery for scrap.
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