Thompson Smelter

Following the development of copper mines west of Yerington, the Mason Valley Mines Company began construction on a large smelting complex at the north end of the valley. The first smelter, which was served by the newly completed Nevada Copper Belt Railroad (of which Thompson was the northern terminus), went to work in 1912, and was capable of treating 700-1000 tons of copper each day. A small two-block townsite, known as Thompson, was created to house workers. In 1913 or 14, a second furnace was added to the smelter and the Thompson townsite grew to nearly 350, with several residential blocks, stores, saloons, and an auto repair shop. Workers also lived in nearby Wabuska and further down in Mason Valley. This prosperity was short lived, however, and the smelter closed in late 1914. It reopened in 1917, lasting only until 1919. It opened one final time at a reduced capacity from 1926 until 1928.

Nevada Copper Belt Railroad

Mason Valley
YeringtonSage Crest Drive-In
MasonBluestone MineNordyke