Spruce Mountain- Sprucemont

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Elko County

Note: The Spruce Mountain area was a collection of different mines, camps, towns, etc. which were spread out over a very large area of Spruce Mountain. This specific page will mainly talk about the activity that occurred at the town of Sprucemont.

AKA: Sprucemount; Spruce

Initial discoveries in 1869 would lead to the formation of many camps that were located over several miles of the Spruce Mountains. These camps included Sprucemont, Black Forest, Jasper, Hickneytown, Monarch and several others. Large scale mining began here when several men sold their interests to a large mining company out of Philadelphia. Two of these men, Abner and Isaac Wiseman, are buried in the Clover Valley Cemeteries to the north of here. Isaac is buried in the south cemetery. Abner is buried in the north cemetery. Abner would become a successful rancher in the Clover Valley to the north. See that page in the Old Cemeteries section. Sprucemont was the main camp set up on the western slope of the Spruce Mountain Mining District. Starr King was located on the eastern slope. By 1872, the population of Sprucemont was estimated at 200 residents. According to Shawn Hall, this was a very rowdy town. Anything from stagecoach robberies to saloon stabbings were occurring regularly. By 1873, it appears that the specific town of Sprucemont was in decline. However, by acting as a supply hub for the camp at Starr King, it was able to hang on. Miners went on strike in 1875 and this entire district was almost abandoned. A revival occurred in 1883 at Starr King and the name was changed to Jasper. Jasper Harrell was a large Elko County rancher who invested heavily in the district. Abner Wiseman and Warren Angel would become owners of the store at Jasper. It appears that possibly a son of Wiseman may have married a daughter of Angel. The son/ daughter angle is pure speculation and can be left up to the geneologists for confirmation. I make my guess based on dates of birth. There is a gravestone for "Mary Angel Wife of A.H. Wiseman April 29, 1858 April 11, 1917" in the Clover Valley South Cemetery. There is also a second gravestone for a younger Abner Wiseman in the Clover Valley South Cemetery. It reads "Abner H. Wiseman Born May 1, 1858 Died Dec 22, 1907". His stone is also marked with a Knights of Pythias symbol. The gravestone for the older Abner Wiseman shows a date of birth of 1830 and is marked with a Masonic symbol. Abner Sr. and Isaac continued to remain active in different mining ventures in the Spruce Mountain area. They profited mainly from selling products at their store to the miners, that were produced by the ranches in the Clover Valley. Although the district was booming again, Sprucemont wasn't part of the excitement. That changed in 1886 when the Ada H Mine became active. See that page for the Ada H Mine photographs. Although Jasper was larger and more active, the only post office was located at Sprucemont. The Ada H Mine would only produce about $11,000 in ore over the next couple of years. The entire area had greatly diminished by 1890 due to processing issues with porous ore. A 1900 era revival brought a little life back to the actual Sprucemont area of Spruce Mountain. But it didn't last long. The best activity was occurring elsewhere in the district. Most Sprucemont residents moved to Jasper. Seeing as this was a huge district with many different camps. It's hard not to separate the camps when writing about the district. For this type of website, I think that they need to be separated for photographic reasons, as well as for the short write-ups that I include. Mining operations continued in the Spruce Mountain District for many more decades. It was not until 1929 that I could find other prominence for the specific camp of Sprucemont. The post office reopened here in November of 1929. This was followed by the opening of a school as well. As was seen in previous years, most of the quality mining was occurring on the eastern slope and Sprucemont was dying by 1935. The post office also closed that year. Spruce Mountain area mines produced ore every year, all the way into the 1950's. There is no argument that Spruce Mountain can be claimed as one of the longest and most continuously producing mining districts in Nevada.

Post Office (Sprucemont): April 29, 1872 to January 13, 1880; February 13, 1880 to April 15, 1884 (Sprucemount); September 10, 1886 to June 26, 1895 (Sprucemont); June 26, 1895 to August 31, 1896; August 17, 1901 to November 29, 1902; November 1, 1929 to October 17, 1935 (Spruce).

In the first photograph, you can see the remains of the Standard Mine and Mill on the right- hand side.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: July 2021. We had a plan to cover the entire Spruce Mountain area. However, my brand new truck broke down with about 1,400 miles on it and ended up in the shop for a month and a half. The lemon law involved here is a different story. The dealer gave us a four-wheel drive rental, but I was responsible for scratches, etc. This limited what we were able to do. We tried going beyond these points on the northern loop, but it started getting rough and overgrown. I wasn't comfortable going any farther in a rental that would cost me money if I brought it back with Nevada pinstriping. Therefore, we only saw Sprucemont, the Ada H Mine and the Standard Mine/ Mill before going home. Beyond these points, I would highly consider having the proper, four-wheel drive vehicle.