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Pioche Consolidated Mill

Lincoln County

AKA: Godbe Mill

I wanted to know more about this location than what I could find on the internet. I went to the Nevada newspaper archives for this one and found far more than I'll ever be able to read. The Godbe name began appearing in the Pioche and Bullionville area dating back to the 1870's. They were mining men from Salt Lake City who were also involved in Utah area mining ventures, such as Frisco. Prior to building the Pioche Consolidated Mill (AKA: Godbe Mill) in 1891, they were very active in milling at Bullionville. In the Spring of 1890, it was believed that Samuel Godbe discovered the lost Raymond & Ely ledge between the 9th and 10th levels. By September of 1891, the Pioche Consolidated Mining Company and the Yuba Mining & Reduction Company merged into the Pioche Consolidated Mining and Reduction Company. W.S. Godbe was named President, S.V. White of New York was named Treasurer and Samuel T. Godbe was named Superintendent. By the summer of 1891, the Pioche Weekly Record was being bombarded by the new company with Application for Patents on mining ventures. A newspaper article from The Silver State dated October 17, 1891 read: "The Pioche Consolidated Mining & Reduction Company, composed of Salt Lake City and English owners, has over 800 men in its employ in its mines and other works in Pioche, Nev., and its pay-roll is upwards of $50,000 per month. The company has spent over $1,000,000 in the development of its mines, and in preparing its immense ore bodies for years of continuous stoping. It has also in the preparatory work graded and built over eighteen miles of railroad, connecting its principle mines with the reduction works." Also on October 17, 1891, the Carson Morning Appeal published an article titled "Prosperous Pioche". The article went on the write that the population of Pioche had recently gone from 750 residents to over 2,000. It also stated "The Pioche Consolidated & Reduction Company have just completed and started up one of the furnaces of its new smelting plant, now rapidly approaching completion. This one stack from the moment of starting has cheerily whistled the tune of success, and has already converted large quantities of rich ore into silver ringing lead bullion, and all haste is now being made to complete and set in operation a second and larger stack which will start up inside of thirty days. This company has over 800 men directly and indirectly in its employ, and its monthly pay roll has been ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 and upwards for a long time." On October 30th, 1891, the Salt Lake Herald reported that the Pioche Consolidated had just ship 10 3/4 ounces of Gold, 1,054 ounces of Silver and 35,040 pounds of Lead. In April of 1899, the mill burned down. Company Agent E.F. Freudenthal offered an official $250.00 reward. It was believed that an arsonist known as the firebug may have burned it down. By 1901, talks of selling the company to New York interests were being reported. In 1903, the Tonopah Times Bonanza state that the "Pioche Mining and Milling Company" was under the control of H.B. Chaflin and Company of New York. Not long after this, the Union Pacific built a standard gauge railroad from Caliente to the mill. They used the existing grade of the Pioche & Bullionville through Condor Canyon. For the next several years, there are many articles that reference several different Godbe's as being part of the Prince Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company in the area. On December 19, 1929, the Las Vegas Age reported that the mill burnt down again. I will end this section with a March 2021 Legends of America article titled 'Pioche, Nevada- Wildest Town in the Silver State': "The Combined Metals Reduction Company Mine & Mill was acquired by the Amalgamated Pioche Mines & Smelter Corporation in 1912. In 1913 rails were laid by the Prince Consolidated Mining Company, allowing ore from the Prince Mine west of Treasure Hill to be transported to the mill. The Amalgamated Pioche Corporations made no developments after 1917. In 1923, the property was leased to the Combined Metals Reduction Company, and that year the Godbe Mill was reconfigured to a 250-ton flotation concentrator. During 1926, the mill was processing 4,000 tons a month. It burned again in 1929 but was rebuilt yet again."

For more photos of the aerial tramway, see the page titled "Pioche- Aerial Tramway".

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: Growing up, we used to spend a lot of time in the Pioche area. It's been several years since I've really done any exploring there. The photos are from September of 2013. I would have taken more photographs, but when we pulled up to the mill, there was a "No Trespassing" sign on the gate. Therefore, I took some distance photos and left. From Highway 93 at Pioche, there is a dirt road about a 1/2 mile long that leads right to the mill. You can see the mill in the distance from the highway.

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