Elizalde Cement Plant

The Carrara Portland Cement Company was incorporated in November 1940, with John Lewis of San Francisco as president. Angel M. Elizalde, president of Elizalde & Co, Ltd. and part of a reputable Spanish family in the Philippines, was director and a major investor. By May 1941, Elizalde was elected president and manager of the Company, and plans were underway to construct a large, advanced cement plant. Two types of cement were to be produced; standard gray Portland cement and a special white cement using crushed marble from the old Carrara quarry, just a few miles away.

By April 1941, construction was already begun on the plant. Forty-five men laid foundations in preparation for heavy machinery. An advanced process was to be used, with an estimated output of 80 tons (1000 barrels or 4000 sacks) of cement daily. Marble would be crushed at the quarry before passing through a 150'x10' rotary kiln, and then to another rotary cooling cylinder. From there, it would be passed on to a grinding mill to complete the product. The entire operation would be 1100 horsepower Diesel engine. Construction costs were estimated to be half a million dollars, with a completion date of August, 1941. A grand 'fiesta' was planned for its completion, with all of southern Nevada invited to attend.

In July, just one month before completion, a fire swept through the plant. The machine shop, blacksmith shop, storehouse, and a field office were completely destroyed. On August 27, 1941, it was announced that the Carrara Portland Cement Co. plant had closed down after experiencing difficulty finding replacement parts for those lost to the flames. Nevertheless, the Company still held an election for its officers in September; Angel Elizalde remained president. On September 5th, 1941, it was reported by the Nevada State Journal that construction would continue, with a greater capacity than before. In February 1942, the Company (which by now was a subsidiary of Elizalde, Ltd.) purchased 360 additional acres to secure their water rights.

Unfortunately, due to the impact of World War II, the plant would never actually see operation. Fuel rationing in May 1942 spelled the end of a plant that relied on diesel. The cement plant was abandoned, never to see use.

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