The Delamar Mine is located in the southeast part of Nevada. Gold was found in 1889 and mining continued through 1909. The dry mining techniques used in the quartzite rock caused many miners to die of silicosis earning the mine the nickname "The Widowmaker". Remnants of the town and mill can still be seen today.
The underground portions of the mine are quite impressive. To date we have found three underground winch rooms and extensive areas of square set timber. The lowest working level contains track and still has a working cart. In our time there we have only began to see what this mine has to offer.
|It looks like we are heading in the right direction.|
|There are drifts that go all the way to the uppermost reaches of the hill. What you can't see are the workings that reach down over 300 feet underground directly under where my truck is parked.|
|The lonely remains of another building. Old photos show that this was a bustling mining town.|
|Bits and pieces of the old buildings. With their common walls these were probably small stores.|
|Looking down into the valley you can see the tailing piles from the processing mill. They took a lot of ore out of these mines.|
|This really gives a feel of just how desolate it is out here. The view across the valley is just beautiful! Someone was nice enough to leave a BBQ for us.|
|Just outside of Delamar is this lonely graveyard. Many of the graves have ornate iron surrounds.|
|Most of the dates indicate that deaths occurred in the late 1800s or early 1900s. This mine earned its nickname "The Widowmaker".|
|Some of the graves have beautiful ironwork surrounding them. The graveyard overlooks a beautiful valley.|
|Through the years the graveyard has become overgrown with sagebrush obscuring many of the graves.|
|Some of the graves have a simple wooden fence around them. Unfortunately vandalism has desecrated some of the burial plots. So very sad.|
|Tailing piles and old building foundations dot the valley.|
|A trail leading out of the valley. Maps show mines throughout the area.|
|Building ruins and tailing piles stretch across the hillside. This is a neat old ghost town to visit even if you aren't an underground mine explorer.|
|The weather report said there was a chance of rain so we decided to bed down inside the main drift. The mice left us alone as they scurried out to the portal to forage for food. It's quiet and peaceful inside the mine.|
|Looks like we made the right decision to sleep inside the mine. We ended up getting snowed on. Tony had rigged up an abandoned tent across the entrance to reduce the amount of air blowing through the drift. It helped keep the cold out and we slept great.|
|By this time a lot of the snow had melted off. I'm not used to having to brush snow off the table before I can start cooking.|
|There is a lot of framing around this ore chute. The long metal handle lifts the gate so the ore can be dumped into a waiting ore car. I have only seen a few metal gates in my explorations of older mines. This one is pretty neat.|
|This is one of the three underground winch rooms. From here they pulled ore carts up from the lower working level. So far we know that two of these inclines reach the same lower level.
The framework in the foreground was where the winch was mounted. The cable was routed over a sheave wheel mounted high over my head, then down into the shaft. Ore was dumped into the hopper in the upper right to wait its trip out of the mine.
Photo courtesy of Tony Pritchard
|Bill is first down the shaft. We can't tell how deep it is so he's going to do the recon for us.|
|I'm next down. Bill has already rappelled to the bottom. It's not obvious from this picture, but this section of the shaft is about 200 feet deep. I'm less than 50 feet down at this point.||
Photo courtesy of Tony Pritchard
|It is a good thing that we dropped a rope down this shaft rather than just climbing down the ladder. The whole lower section of the incline had collapsed into a large pile of rubble. The last 30 feet is a free hanging rappel.
Tony rappels into the chamber. It's going to be an interesting climb out.
|Once again photographs just don't do justice to what is actually there. This chamber is BIG and filled with broken timber. Bill is starting to work his way down through the rubble to see if we can find our way into the working level.|
|We found our way down to the lowest working level that we know of. (There certainly may be more!!) Once again the square set timbering is just amazing.|
|Dynamite is always a hazard in these old mines. We keep our eyes open to make certain that we don't accidentally step on a stick.|
|Tony is trying to find if there are any interesting areas to explore.|
|We found these interesting mineral formations at the lowest level. It shows that nature is always at work creating new and beautiful wonders.|