Chalk Wells

Chalk Wells' existence likely began around 1865 as a stop on the Mud Springs Freight Road between Westgate and Ione. It didn't gain any "prominence", however, until 1907 when W.A. Tucker arrived. Tucker, a black man, had seen success at Goldfield and his family (him, his wife, and baby boy) had become well-to-do citizens until they lost their life savings when banks failed. While his wife and son moved to California, Mr. Tucker relocated to about ½ mile south of old Chalk Wells Station and dug a well, which took on the name Tucker's Well or Nigger's Well. Here he eked out a living selling water to teamsters between Fallon and Ione at 10¢/head. He also located placers in his free time, but never produced much. Tucker's family made a visit to Chalk Wells once, but shortly after their departure he fell ill and unable to care for himself. Firmin Bruner, who delivered groceries from Fallon to outlying camps and routinely stopped at Chalk Wells, took the man to an old-folks home in that town, where he died shortly thereafter.

It is said that Tucker's possessions were sold, amounting to only about $100, which was sent to his wife. His claim was left to a local Indian, who supposedly made a small strike in 1923, but little else is known. Apparently in the 1930s, gold was also found in petrified logs nearby, but this venture too is poorly recorded. Faint rock ruins remain at the old Chalk Wells Station site, Tucker's cabin barely stands, and scattered remnants of a mining operation (1930s?) remain ¼ mile below at what is called the Tri-County Well.