Latham (Killie) Mine

The first discovery of silver lead ore on Spruce Mountain was made in 1869 by W.B. Latham, whose Latham Mine was located on a high saddle below the peak. Other mines were located nearby, leading to the creation of three mining districts: the Latham, Steptoe, and Johnson. The three were soon consolidated to form the Spruce Mountain Mining District. In August 1871, the Latham Mine was sold to Crawford & Co. of Philadelphia, and in October to the Ingot Company (which erected a smelter at Sprucemont to treat the ore). Unfortunately, the Ingot Company folded in 1873 leading to the closure of the mine until after the turn of the century.

In April 1901, the Four Metals Mining Company reopened the Latham, which in July was taken over by the Latham Mining Company. A concentrator was built shortly thereafter. That company was absorbed by the Ohio Lead Mining & Smelting Company in August 1905, around which time the Latham was renamed the Killie or Kille mine. Ownership changed a couple more times before the Financial Panic of 1907 forced its closure. It was the location of another discovery in April 1911, which renewed interest in the district.

By August 1924, the Killie and neighboring Black Forest mine were taken over by the Spruce Mountain Monarch Company and reopened. At the Killie, a camp developed with half a dozen buildings. In May 1927, a 6800-foot tramway was completed connecting the Killie to the Black Forest and a truck loading platform in the canyon below. By 1929, the Killie was owned by the Nevada Lead & Zinc Co., and was the largest producer in the district. That company folded the following year due to a decline in lead prices, and while work continued inconsistently in the Spruce Mountain district until 1961, it appears that the Killie has remained idle since.

I Visited the Latham (Killie) Mine
5.9.2020

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