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Belmont- Monitor Belmont Mill

Nye County

While researching this mill, I found different dates on when this mill supposedly opened and closed. I wanted it to be right, so I went directly to the newspaper archives from that era. This mill was called the Monitor Mill and the Monitor-Belmont Mill. It should be noted that the small historical marker next to the mill gives the dates of 1873-1889. This matches the dates from Alan Patera's book "Belmont Nevada". The first pertinent article that I found was from the Gold Hill Daily News on July 27, 1872. It reported the death of a man named McClellen. The accident occurred while they were doing grading work behind the mill during its construction. In October of 1872, the Pioche Daily Record reported on the current building of this "20-stamp Mill, with a Stetefeldt furnace." The Monitor-Belmont finally began operations in 1873. I'm now confident of that date of start-up. By October, the mill was working ore from the Prussian South Mine in Jefferson that was said to assay as high as $10,700 a ton. By the end of 1873, it was being reported that the Belmont mines were so good, that they might challenge Virginia City or the White Pine District. The Monitor Mill was running full speed. In December of 1873, a man named Toby Green reported to the Gold Hill Daily News. This was in reference to his visit to the mill. He stated, "Taken on a whole, I never saw a better arranged or neater kept mill in the state." On March 16, 1874, the Gold Hill Daily News wrote an article that clarified who owned which mines and mills in the Belmont area. There was also a Monitor Mine, a Belmont Mine, etc. There seemed to be some confusion as to who owned which. It stated that the Monitor & Belmont Mill Company simply owned the mill. Their only affiliation with the mines was through processing their ore. The mill continued to stay busy from Jefferson and Belmont ore until the Spring of 1875. They were unable to secure salt and had to shut down. From here, I don't think that I found another article until August 21, 1878. The Carson Appeal reported that the mill would be reopening. By the Fall of 1879, the mill was having significant problems with the concentrator. From this date forward, articles spoke mainly about two things. The ore that the mill was working, or the problems that it was having with equipment. The Stedefeldt furnace was not properly roasting the ores. Two Pacific Improved Chloridizing Furnaces (also called Bruckner furnaces in another article) were ordered in October of 1881. However, the work of tearing out the old Stedefeldt furnace and installing the two new furnaces took time. It was completed by late January of 1882 and the mill was restarted. By May, the mill was again receiving another overhaul. From here, the articles vanished until late November of 1887. By December, the mill was opened and working ore from the Barcelona Mine at Barcelona (Spanish Belt). While the Barcelona Mine continued to produce, it appears that the Monitor-Belmont continued to have equipment problems. Construction began on a concentrating mill closer to Barcelona. An Article from the Eureka Weekly Standard on October 13, 1888 indicated that the Barcelona Mine planned to utilize both mills if the Monitor-Belmont was able to be fixed and reopen. On January 9, 1889, the Silver State reported that the mill produced 7,094 ounces of silver the previous week. From here, the articles disappeared. This would coincide with the dates that I listed at the top of this write-up (1873-1889). I only found one article of significance beyond 1889. In January of 1891, William McCann utilized the Monitor-Belmont Mill to test some cinnabar ore that he had discovered in the area.

See pages for: Barcelona; Belmont; East Belmont; McCann Station; McCann Canyon. These may provide you with further information about the area.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I've been to Belmont many times. These photographs are from March of 2016. The main road through here is good. If I remember right, I don't think that you can drive up to the mill. You'll have to park and walk down to it.

Sources: Belmont, Nevada (By: Alan H. Patera); Gold Hill Daily News (Newspaper); Pioche Daily Record/ Pioche Weekly Record (Newspaper); Eureka Daily Sentinel/ Eureka Weekly Sentinel (Newspaper); Carson Daily Appeal (Newspaper); Lyon County Times (Newspaper); The Silver State (Newspaper).

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