Treasure City

Silver was first discovered on Treasure Hill in 1867, leading to the creation of the White Pine district. Treasure City (briefly known as Tesora) and a few other small camps sprang up on the hill, but only Treasure City lasted. Within a year, Treasure City was home to 6000 residents, and the White Pine News reported that $8 million worth of ore was in sight - assaying as high as $15,000 per ton. By the end of 1869, nearly two hundred mines operated at Treasure City. Ore, initially shipped to mills at Monte Cristo, Newark, and Austin, was now being processed at ten newly completed local mills. On October 9, 1869, the White Pine Water Company began delivering water to two reservoirs with a capacity of 60,000 gallons.

At its peak in 1870, Treasure City's main street stretched nearly three quarters of a mile, lined with stone buildings to keep out the bitter cold at over 9100'. There were more than forty stores, a dozen saloons, Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, and even a stock exchange. Unfortunately, ore values soon dropped and the mines on Treasure Hill began to fail. Treasure City's population quickly left, dropping to only 500 by the end of 1870 (though some businesses stayed, supported by patrons from Hamilton and other nearby towns. In 1874, a fire destroyed much of what remained in the business district, and by 1880 only 24 people remained. Total production to that point was nearly $20 million.

Treasure Hill experienced a small revival in the early 1920s, when the Treasure Hill Deposits Mines Company produced $1.5 million, but this ended in 1927, and the mines have remained relatively quiet since. Stone ruins are scattered over much of Treasure Hill, marking not only the site of Treasure City, but also ethereal camps like Pogonip and Picotillo.

I Visited Treasure City
6.27.2020

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