Cherry Creek

Silver was discovered in September 1872 by Peter Corning and John Carpenter (who located the Tea Cup mine), bringing prospectors from the White Pine district to the mouth of Cherry Creek Canyon. In less than a year, numerous other mines were located and in spring 1873, the town of 400 was officially organized and platted. The first mill, the Thompson with five stamps and a capacity of 25 tons, was erected at the Tea Cup mine, and several other buildings were constructed throughout the town; this included over 20 saloons. By May, the Flagstaff mill was placed into operation. Cherry Creek's initial prosperity was brief, but mining activity soon declined, virtually ending by 1875.

Starting in 1880, Cherry Creek experienced a revival. Rich new veins were uncovered at the Tea Cup and Exchequer mines, soon followed by another finding at the Star mine. Cherry Creek quickly experienced renewed growth, and a new 20-stamp, 100-ton amalgamation mill was moved from Hamilton to the Star mine; it was started up in July 1882. Before long, a 50-ton mill was built at the Exchequer mine and the 5-stamp mill at the Tea Cup was reopened. Soon several businesses and the White Pine News relocated to Cherry Creek from Hamilton, and as the population soared to 1800, the town even attempted (unsuccessfully) to procure the county seat.

Unfortunately, the financial crash of 1883 brought operations at Cherry Creek to a close. In 1884, the Star Mine experienced a fire, and the following year the White Pine News moved to Taylor. A fire in August 1888 destroyed much of the business district, and by the end of the decade only 350 remained in town. Two more fires in 1901 and 1904 caused further damage.

Another revival began in 1905, when the Tea Cup (now Biscuit), Exchequer, and Star mines were reopened in addition to new mines. Aided by the arrival of the Nevada Northern Railway on July 17, 1906, Cherry Creek grew to 450 before again fading after 1910. Other revivals have occurred from 1917-23 (with a new 100-ton flotation mill erected in 1919) and 1924-40. Total production for the district to that point is estimated between $15 and $20 million, though leaseholders have been active in the decades since and Cherry Creek has never been fully abandoned. Today, a few dozen people live in town and a handful of original buildings remain (though a picturesque row of the business district was destroyed by fire in the 1980s).

I Visited Cherry Creek
6.28.2005 & 4.14.2020

Bibliography