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Virginia City in Storey County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill

Upper end of Six Mile Canyon (Mill Street), Virginia City

— Comstock Historical Marker No. 12 —

 
 
Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, October 25, 2011
1. Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1874, the mill went into operation in January of 1975, and was destroyed later that year in the great fire of October 25th, but was quickly rebuilt at a cost of $350,000. The Con Virginia Pan Mill was built by Pacific Mill and Mining Company, whose owners were the Bonanza firm of Mackay, Fair, Flood and O’Brien. Located by the Virginia & Truckee Railroad yard, the mill has 60 stamps, 40 pans, 20 settlers and four agitators; and could process 250 tons of Bonanza ore a day. As ore volume increased in the Con Virginia & California mines, the mill proved inadequate and the Bonanza Firm was compelled to build a second mill called the California Pan Mill at a cost of $500,000.

The California Pan Mill was the largest mill ever built on the Comstock and consisted of 80 stamps, 46 pans, 20 settlers and 4 agitators with a capacity of processing 380 tons of ore a day. The Con Virginia & California Pan Mills worked the ore by a method known as the Washoe Pan Process. An amalgam of ore, salt, copper sulfate and mercury were used to separate the gold and silver from worthless pulp. Heat was later applied to cook off the mercury. The process did not always collect all the gold and silver, and up to 15 and 20 percent of the values remained in the pans that went into the coffers of the Bonanza Firm.

[Photo captions:]
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Consolidated Virginia Pan Mill, [Right] Inside the California Pan Mill.
 
Erected 2009 by Marshall Earth Resources, Hugh Marshall, Virginia City, Nevada. (Marker Number 12.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural Resources. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1975.
 
Location. 39° 18.73′ N, 119° 38.843′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Nevada, in Storey County. Marker is on E Street. This marker is in or near the Silverland Inn and Suites parking lot on E Street, between Union and Sutton Streets. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia City NV 89440, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. V & T, 1869 - 1950 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Big Bonanza (within shouting distance of this marker); C & C Mining Works (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia and Truckee Railroad (about 500 feet away); Ships of the Nevada Desert (about 500 feet away); Chinatown (about 500 feet away); St. Mary Louise Hospital (about 500 feet away); Red Dog Saloon (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, October 25, 2011
2. Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker
Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, October 25, 2011
3. Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill Marker
The marker is to the right of the gazebo.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 692 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 2, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2024