A native of Missouri, Albert A. Bass, and generally then known as A. A. Bass, arrived in Nevada sometime around 1890. In 1900, he was mining at Pine Grove, then in Esmeralda County. A few months later, James L. Butler and his wife, Belle, discovered the prospects that resulted in the boom town of Tonopah, which kick-started the mining industry at the turn of the 20th century. Bass, according to one report, was the “35th man to arrive in Tonopah in February of 1901.”
Bass took a lease on Butler’s Valley View ledge in 1901 and in the summer of 1902 was successful enough in that mining venture to open a new hotel in Tonopah with his partner, James Breen. Known as the Palace Hotel, it had a bar and sleeping apartments in the substantial stone building Bass built with another partner, Zeb Kendall. Today it is known as the “Bass Building” and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
About 1906 Bass was married in Bishop, Calif. to his wife, Anna Meagher, and two years after this he made a strike “about ten miles west of the old camp of Belleville in Esmeralda county.” Two month later, reports of the “new camp of Ibex” were being made in the local and Reno newspapers. Its location was variously described and one account indicates the “new town” was to have at one time been named “Buckeye.”
From 1908 to 1930, A. A. and Anna Bass continued to reside in their cabin home they had built near Marietta. Four years earlier Bass had filed an application for a military pension from his service in the Spanish-American War which cited he was an invalid. He had served as a Private for six months in Company A, 1st Battalion, Nevada Infantry, before being discharged.
In June of 1930 Mrs. Anna Bass died at the Mineral County Hospital in Hawthorne. She was buried in the cemetery at Mina, the nearest active cemetery to her home.
Four years later, Albert A. Bass died on March 11, 1934 at Hawthorne having been brought from his home near Marietta the week prior. He was buried with military honors at the Mina Cemetery. His only surviving relative was his nephew, Howard Pressley, who had been his companion at Marietta “for some years.”
While A. A. and Anna Bass have been gone for over 80 years, their legacy in Mineral County is kept alive by the survival of their little mountain home, now known as the “Cabin under the Rock.”
The Mineral County Museum is grateful for the donation of this beautiful photograph of one of our county’s early pioneer citizen by Mr. and Mrs. Edison and the story of its discovery by Swede Edison of Mina.
The museum is also seeking any photographs that local residents may have taken of Bass’s cabin under the rock that may help to show the how the cabin has been vandalized and damaged over the years. If you would care to contribute a photo, the museum will scan your photograph and return the original to you.
For more information, please call the Museum at 775-945-5142 or bring your photo in during business hours – Tuesday-Saturday, Noon to 4 pm.