By Harold Fuller
At the invitation of J.B. Scrimger, Superintendent of the Mineral Point Mines Co., a reporter of the Walker Lake Bulletin visited the mines of that company in Alum Creek situated about seven miles from Hawthorne. This was the reporter’s first visit to the Alum Creek area for several years and he was much surprised at the changes and improvement now in evidence.
At the entrance to the canyon a little town has been built, including several pretty cottages, a miner’s boarding house to feed twenty men, a blacksmith shop, an assay office and the usual garages and out buildings. Notably missing were the usual bars and saloons customary for such mining camps, of course this was due to the recent Federal Prohibition on liquor. They were fortunate to have a good road connecting Alum Creek with the county road.
The Queen Mine, one of the company’s most attractive holdings, shows a good development being opened with tunnels. Drifts and rises. At a very close estimate there is now blocked out at least 20,000 tons of favorable ore. It is the intention of the company to build a 50-ton plant to work this ore and ore from the adjoining mines. The installation of diamond drills, to prospect the company’s holdings at depth is also contemplated. When the mill is placed into operation it is the intention of the company to lease the King Claim, which has good ore showing, to leasers, in order to supple sufficient tonnage to keep the mill in constant operation.
Mr. Scimger has a large experience in practical mining, having been very successful in the production of copper during the war and the production of precious metals in Mexico and California. The milling and metallurgical branch of business will be under direction of A.J. Raggio, who has had extensive mining experience. There is a good flow of water in Alum Creek, but it cannot be used either for irrigation or milling purposes owing to its high content of deleterious minerals, but Mr. Scrimger is confident that plenty of water can be secured for milling purposes by sinking shallow wells in Alum Creek Canyon. Thore Lima, who is a pioneer of the Alum Creek district, has a number of mining claims there, on which excellent showing of good grade ore are exposed and with the advent of real mining by the Mineral Point Company, it is only a question of a short time before mining men will be attracted by the Lima holdings.
Just a little side note to this story: In the early 1960’s Mr. Lima lived right across the alley from me in Hawthorne, until his death. I will always regret not spending every available minute with him to learn more about his past life. At that time I just knew him as the old “One Armed Goat Man of Alum Creek”. He had lost an arm in a mining accident some years before. What an opportunity lost.