Aurum

The first discoveries in what would become the Silver Canyon District were made in 1869 by Chisolm and Ramsdell, and the district was organized in 1871. Most of the new mines were controlled by the Grace Mining Company. By 1872 Silver Canyon had a population of 50, though it was abandoned the next year. New discoveries in 1878 prompted development of a new camp, this time called Aurum. Dr. Brooks, one of the discoverers from 1878, had a 10-stamp mill constructed at the mouth of Silver Canyon, and it went into operation at the start of 1881.

By summer 1881, Aurum had grown to boast a post office, saloon, store, blacksmith shop, and two boarding houses. In November, a school was even opened. A slowdown in 1882, however, left only eight men working in the camp. The post office subsequently left Aurum, and would move to multiple places in the Schell Creek Range and Spring Valley while retaining the name. A devastating snowslide on February 11, 1884 killed three men and leveled the Sadie L. mine and boarding house, furthering Aurum's decline.

Aurum's next revival began in 1887, when the Aurum Mine was located by Simon Davis and George Palmerton, producing values of $300 per ton. By 1888 Aurum once again grew to exceed 50 residents. During this time, manganese silver ore was discovered and shipped to Salt Lake, which returned $400-$500/ton. In addition, 300 tons of high-grade silver were shipped to Wells in 1889.

By 1906, Aurum was again abandoned. Only Simon Davis remained, continuing to prospect in Silver Canyon. In 1914 he organized the Lucky Deposit Mining Company, and in 1915 ten claims were purchased by the White Pine Copper Company. That company spent $50,000 to develop their holdings, but ultimately folded in 1920. Again Davis was the only one left at Aurum, but even he finally left in the mid-1920s.

I Visited Aurum
4.14.2020

See Also
SiegelCenterville

Bibliography