Sprucemont

Silver lead ore was discovered on Spruce Mountain in 1869, and by the early 1870's a rush was on. Initially, three separate mining districts were formed: the Latham, Johnson, and Steptoe, but on September 26, 1871 they were consolidated to create the Spruce Mountain district. Around this time, two townsites came into being; Starr King on the eastern slope, and Sprucemont on the western. By 1872, Sprucemont had a population of nearly 200, a hotel, four saloons, and a toll road to Humboldt Wells. That year, Sprucemont's Ingot Mining Company constructed an $80,000, twenty-five ton smelter. Unfortunately, it proved unsuccessful before the close of the year and bankrupted the Company early in 1873. As a result, Sprucemont experienced a steep decline, holding on primarily as a supply point for Starr King (it is worth noting that despite it's diminished state, Sprucemont continued to hold a post office for many years as it was the only one in the district).

Despite growth in other areas of the district, Sprucemont didn't experience a revival until 1886 when the Ada H. mine was developed. Sprucemont stayed fairly small through the rest of the century, while most work was done closer to Jasper. After 1901, development started in nearby Black Forest, and by 1905 buildings from Sprucemont were sold and relocated to the new camp. Sprucemont was all but a ghost, though work continued at the Ada H. mine into at least the mid-1920s.

During the 1930s, Sprucemont had one final revival. New mining companies were working in the district, and businesses and a school reopened in the old camp. Most mining at this time was to the east at Black Forest and Jasper, and Sprucemont soon faded for the final time.

I Visited Sprucemont
5.9.2020

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