Combination Shaft

The Combination Shaft was started in 1875, when the owners of the Chollar-Potosi, Hale & Corcross, and Savage mines combined efforts to sink a deep shaft to explore greater depths of the Comstock Lode. At a depth of 3,250 feet, the Combination Shaft was the deepest shaft on the Comstock Lode, and at the time the second deepest in the world. Only low grade ore with little value was found at that depth, and temperatures reached as high as 130°. In addition, by the mid-1880s, flooding was so substantial that the two Cornish pumps, capable of removing about five million gallons of water each day, couldn't keep up. By October 1886, the Combination was too cost prohibitive to operate and the pumps were shut off; within 36 hours water had flooded up to the 2400 foot level. The shaft has sat dormant since, though a protective metal grate was placed over the entrance in 2012.

I Visited the Combination Shaft