Seven Troughs

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Pershing County

The Seven Troughs Mining District was another of the early 20th century booms. Gold was discovered here in 1905 or 1906. Prospectors out of Goldfield were grubstaked by a mining superintendent named Friedman. the area was named Seven Troughs because of seven watering troughs at the mouth of the canyon. In early 1907, ore was discovered that assayed as high as six figures per ton. This caused the great rush to the area. By 1907 a tent camp had formed. Friedman had purchased a rich claim here and named it the Kindergarten Mine. Freight and supplies were hauled 30 miles from Lovelock. By 1907, the estimated population of the entire mining district was 2,500. However, only several hundred were believed to be living in Seven Troughs proper. Based on the very close proximity of Seven Troughs, Vernon and Mazuma, many businesses in one town would serve all three. The district had stores, saloons, banks, boarding houses, a hardware store and a 100- room hotel. Five different newspapers operated in these towns. The Seven Troughs Miner, Vernon Miner, Vernon Review, Mazuma Herald and Seven Troughs District News. The central jail for the district was made of concrete and located at Vernon. There was also talk of a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad coming through Vernon to Seven Troughs, but I do not believe that it ever went beyond that. Tragedy hit the area in July of 1912. A major flash flood came out of the mountains and gained steam as it entered Seven Troughs Canyon. It eventually hit Mazuma and decimated the town. Only a couple stores and residences built on hillsides survived. I believe that nine people were killed in the flash flood, to include three young children from the same family. By 1918-1919, the area was in decline. The post office closed in 1918. They also began to experience water in the mines. Attempts were made to alleviate this issue by Friedman. It allowed them to continue operations for a while. By 1920, major mining was done here.

If you go to the area, you will first hit the mouth of the canyon where the town of Mazuma sat. In the wash, you will see an old bank vault. This vault washed down the canyon in the flood of 1912 and landed here.

On this trip, I started attempting the re-creation photos. It's where you try to stand in the same spot that the photographer did all those years ago. The purpose is to compare the town as it looked back then, to what it looks like today. I think I did pretty good. I added three of those in the photo section. It is hard to believe that a booming town full of buildings and commerce was here only a hundred years ago. Remember to double click on the vertical photos. It will give you the full view.

Post Office: July 18, 1907 to September 15, 1918.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: May 2021. The road is fine until you get to Mazuma. From here, there are two ways that you can go in. Once you hit the beginning of town, you can turn left (west) and go through the wash. This looked pretty bad. the second way is to stay straight (north) and go the long, looping way around. This road was okay with some rough patches. After you've looped all the way around, you will come to where the hotel and stuff sat from the historic photos. The road was completely washed out. And I mean really washed out. Not even attemptable in my truck. Just a steep drop into a hole, where your truck would sit permanently. With that said, this is right there at the heart of where everything was. We just parked and walked around.