Lucky Boy

In summer 1906, Guy Pritchard and J.F. Clark discovered a ledge of silver-lead ore while working on washout repairs along the Bodie stage road. They located and worked their Lucky Boy mine for two years. Subsequent finds led to a new rush and the camp of Lucky Boy formed early in 1909 on a steep switchback on the stage road. Bunkhouses, saloons, restaurants, and stores were built, a telephone line strung to Hawthorne, and plans were made for a new electrical plant. By summer, the population skyrocketed to 800.

By the end of 1910, work was underway on a power line from the new plant at Jordan; unfortunately, a devastating avalanche destroyed the plant on March 7, 1911, killing seven. A new plant was built, but it wasn't until February 1912 that power finally reached Lucky Boy. During the delay, some mines flooded, and pumps that were installed were unable to remedy the situation. It was determined that the Miller Tunnel, below the townsite, should be extended to tap the lower levels of the mines for drainage. In October 1912, John H. Miller of the Lucky Boy Mining Company struck a deal with magnate Jesse Knight of Utah, and their merger formed the Lucky Boy Consolidated Mines Comopany. At this time, Lucky Boy moved 700' down the hill from its steep switchback location to a new, flatter home near the tunnel. Continued encounters with water intermittently ceased work, and in 1915 the Lucky Boy mines were opened to leasers.

In August 1923, Hawthorne Mines, Inc. took over the Consolidated Co.'s holdings, and in February 1925 plans to erect a new 200-ton flotation mill were announced. In addition, the Company also planned to grow grapes with the surplus of water at Lucky Boy; whether or not this came into fruition is unknown. The mill was completed and started up on February 1, 1926. Operations continued and the mines developed for over a year. Some minor work may have occurred thereafter, but activity was slim until 1939 when the tunnel and mill were rehabilitated, enlarged, and reopened by Champion City Mines. In 1942, the mill was closed due to World War II, but the mine was permitted to continue limited operation due to the lead it produced. In 1947, the mill was dismantled, and Lucky Boy has been mostly silent since.