Belleville

The Northern Belle Mining Company of Candelaria established the camp of Belleville in 1873 as it began construction on a 20-stamp mill. Prior to that year, the only milling in the region was in Columbus, which proved insufficient. The mill started operation March 15, 1875, and nearly immediately the Company found it necessary for an additional mill to be erected. That second 20-stamp 'Upper' mill began operating on August 30, 1876; just 16 months after the 'Lower' mill.

By the time the second mill started up, Belleville had hotels, saloons, restaurants, stables, blacksmith shops, a newsstand, a jockey club which hosted horse races, and even an amateur magicians' club. A semi-weekly newspaper, the Belleville Times, went into publication during Fall 1877. The town eventually also became home to a sporting district, with a brewery and a number gambling establishments which served Candelaria. Shootouts were frequent. The Carson & Colorado Railroad reached Belleville in 1882, and that year was the town's peak year; its population had risen to right around 500.

Both the Upper and Lower mills continued to run up until December 1, 1883, when they were shut down following a lawsuit filed against the Northern Belle Mining Company by the Holmes Mining Company (in which Holmes won). By September 1884, all of Northern Belle's interests had passed into control of the Holmes Company. By 1885 the mills were placed back into operation. In September 1886, the mill in Candelaria started running, and in April 1887, the Mount Diablo Mining Company (which had been leasing the Lower Mill) began running its own mill in Sodaville. That year, both of the mills in Belleville fell silent. By 1892, Belleville was virtually deserted.

Belleville had its final breath in 1914. F.C. Biddle, of San Francisco, constructed a 115-ton cyanide plant to re-treat the old tailings. Biddle's Belleville Tailings Association operated through 1917, and possibly into 1918. In the end, the Association produced $162,824.

I Visited Belleville
5.25.2012

See Also
CandelariaCarson & Colorado Railroad