Please remember to exercise caution when exploring Nevada's Ghost Towns & Mining Camps. Open shafts, drifts going into mountainsides, and old buildings, are all DANGEROUS. Be aware of your surroundings, and let someone know where you are, especially if your plans change.


Cherry Creek

DIRECTIONS: From McGill, head north on U.S. 50 for 33.3 miles. Exit left on Nevada 489 and follow for 8.2 miles to Cherry Creek.

"Cherry Creek has been one of White Pine County's best-producing districts for well over 100 years. It all began on September 21, 1872, when Peter Corning and John Carpenter from nearby Egan Canyon located the Tea Cup claims. Within one year the list of mines included the Star Pacific, Exchequer, Flagstaff, Corey, Eagle, Mary Anne, Black Metals, Mother lode, and Bull Hill. The Cherry Creek boom was on. By spring 1873 the town had a population of 400. A 5-stamp, 25-ton mill, the Thompson, was constructed next to the Tea Cup Mine. Buildings, including a livery stable, a blacksmith shop, a $2,000 hotel, boardinghouses, restaurants, and-most important to many miners-more than twenty saloons, quickly sprang up in Cherry Creek as the boom gained momentum. Peter Newman constructed a brewery in Egan Canyon to supply the thirsty Cherry Creek saloons. Because of the booming Cherry Creek economy, Wells-Fargo opened a station in 1873. A post office also opened. Another small mill, the Flagstaff (Henry Lyons, superintendent), started on May 17. All this bustling mining activity began to fade in 1874. In the town's elections that year, more than 500 ballots were cast, but even then most of the mines and both mills were struggling. By 1875 most had closed and only limited production continued.

In 1880 Cherry Creek revived and began its biggest boom. Rich new finds were made in the Exchequer and Tea Cup mines. Soon after, additional veins were discovered in the Star Mine. By the end of 1881 the mines each employed close to 200 men. A 20-stamp, 100-ton amalgamation mill was moved from Hamilton (the Dayton Mill) to the Star Mine. The Star Mill was started in July 1882. Other mills put into operation included the 50-ton Exchequer and the 5-stamp Tea Cup.

Cherry Creek quickly became the largest voting precinct in White Pine County. The post office was reestablished and operated out of a mercantile store owned by D. H. Gray, a prominent White Pine politician, and Daniel Collins, who also acted as postmaster. At its peak in 1882 Cherry Creek had a transient population of 6,000 and about 1,800 permanent residents. The town now had an amazing 28 saloons, keeping the brewery running at capacity. In addition, a wide variety of mercantile stores were operating, and a Woodruff and Ennor stage to Toano (Elko County) was set up. By popular demand, a track for horse racing was built three miles south of town. The racetrack, a source of great civic pride, boasted a huge grandstand, stables, and a mile-long track. Horses came from as far away as Missouri to race here, and the track had a reputation of being the fastest in Nevada.

Literary enlightenment came to the town when the White Pine News was moved from Hamilton on January 1, 1881. By 1882, J. B. Williamson, owner of the Exchequer Mine, had shipped more than $1 million in bullion. Then the financial crash of 1883 stopped Cherry Creek's boom in its tracks. That, combined with poor management, forced the Star Mine and Mill to close in 1884. Soon after, the Tea Cup and the Exchequer also closed. Cherry Creek began a rapid decline. Despite its dwindling population, the town tried to challenge Hamilton for the county seat-but to no avail. A further blow occurred on July 24, 1884, when hoisting works at the Star Mine burned. By November only one saloon, Coqners and Boss, was still serving the shrinking populace. On August 15, 1885, the White Pine News left Cherry Creek and moved on to the boomtown of Taylor. While the major mines had closed, smaller ones were still producing. Cherry Creek continued to decline, however. A fire in August 1888 destroyed a section of the business district, causing $20,000 in damage. By 1890 Cherry Creek had a population of only 350. Three stages (to Wells, Aurum, and Ely), still ran from Cherry Creek, but another fire, in February 1901, further depressed the camp. The fire, started by a man named Abe Kooken as he tried to put gas into a hot lamp, destroyed a major section of downtown Cherry Creek. Yet another, smaller, fire occurred in 1904.

Then, beginning in 1905, Cherry Creek experienced a revival. The Tea Cup (renamed the Biscuit), Exchequer, and Star mines were reopened, and two new mines, the National and the New Century, were put into production. An additional boost to Cherry Creek occurred on July 17, 1906, when the Nevada Northern Railway arrived. The population grew to about 450 before the revival faded in 1910. During the next few years, only leaseholders were active in the district. The Cherry Creek Silver Dividend Mining Company worked the Mary Anne Mine from 1917 to 1923 and produced $35,000. From 1902 to 1922, $701,000 was produced from the Cherry Creek mines. Several small mining companies came into the district during the early 1920s. The Penn-Star Mining Company (J. M. Murdock, president) worked nine claims and built a 100-ton flotation mill that ran until August 1921. The Tea Cup Mining Company (George Granopolous, president) began work in the district during 1918 but didn't begin production until the summer of 1919. The company controlled 22 claims, the most prominent being the Tea Cup Mine. A 100-ton flotation and cyanide mill was built in 1919, and a 7,250-foot tramway was constructed to link the Tea Cup Mine with the mill. An assay office and a number of other buildings were constructed at the mill. In 1924, the United Imperial Mines Company was organized and obtained control of the Exchequer, Imperial, and Star Mines. These three mines contained over 18,500 feet of workings. The company also reopened the old Star Mill and converted it to a cyanide plant.

In 1927 the Nevada Standard Mining Company (J. Henry Goodman, president) entered the Cherry Creek District and began to purchase most of the district's claims. The company obtained the holdings of six companies active around Cherry Creek: Nevada British, Nevada Star, Glasgow, and Western Exploration, United Imperial, Cherry Silver Star, and Cherry Star. Nevada Standard controlled 41 claims and actively worked the Star, Gray Eagle, Imperial, and Exchequer mines. As many as 200 men were employed in the mines and mill during the 1920s and 1930s. The mines had workings of more than 40,000 feet and had produced more than $10 million. The company worked the mines off and on until 1940. When the company folded, it had produced close to $2 million.

Since that time, leaseholders have always been active in the district. Even today, mining activity lingers in the Cherry Creek area and accounts for an increase in the town's population. Total production for the district is somewhere between $15 million and $20 million (estimates vary dramatically). Cherry Creek is definitely one of the best ghost towns in Nevada. Many buildings remain, including the school, several old saloons, and a couple of falsefronts. Until recently, the old Nevada Northern Railway station was located just east of town. The depot, which retained a rare and complete water tower, was moved to the White Pine Museum in Ely. The water tower has now collapsed and remains at the depot site. Cherry Creek has a fascinating cemetery, which contains many old wooden markers. Unfortunately the cemetery has been vandalized, and many markers were broken and scattered. About 20 residents live in the town, and one of the saloons is in operation. A fire a few years ago destroyed a group of beautiful old falsefronts, located in what used to be downtown Cherry Creek. Plenty of mine and mill ruins are located further up the canyon. Cherry Creek is a must for the interested visitor; plan to take more than a day to enjoy and explore the town's many and varied points of interest."


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