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Combination Shaft

Storey County

The Combination Shaft came about in 1875 as a joint venture by the owners of the Savage, Chollar-Potosi and Hale & Norcross Mines. The intent was to explore the Comstock Lode down to further depths. It eventually reached beyond 3,200 feet, making it the deepest shaft on the Comstock. They eventually discovered lower-grade ore down that far, but nothing that raised any excitement. By the mid 1880's, the shaft experienced major flooding. They attempted to remove the water through use of a Cornish pumping system. It is said that they were removing over 5 million gallons of water per day. That is a massive amount of water being removed. Yet, it was not enough to keep the shaft workable. The shaft also experienced heat of over 130 degrees (f). In 1886, operations at the Combination were folding and the pumping system was turned off. It is said that within 36 hours, the water had refilled the shaft all the way back up to the 2,400-foot level. This also caused the lower levels of the three mines mentioned above to flood as well. Being approximately $7,000,000 in debt, with nearly no profits ever seen, the Combination was a massive Comstock failure. The five men listed below (if I found them all), who died in the Combination Shaft, literally did so for a mine that never even produced.

Combination Shaft- Mining Deaths- (1863 through 1882): My source: Comstock newspaper archives from that era.

1879: William Eddy- July 14.
1881: Isaac Frock- July 19: Thomas Matthews- December 3.
1882: William F. Grant- July 5; Thomas Veale- August 12.

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