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Nevada \ Yellow Pine Mining Co.

Yellow Pine Mining Company.

By Andrew Brandon.

T he Yellow Pine Mining Company was founded in 1901 by J. F. Kent, combining a majority of the mining claims in Porphyry Gulch to the north of Goodsprings. He acquired and refurbished the former German-American copper leeching mill, converting it into a gravity concentrator. In 1904 the Salt Lake Route opened the station of Goodsprings Junction (renamed Jean in 1905). The benefit of a standard gauge connection meant reduced shipping costs for goods destined to Goodsprings, and allowing the smelter to ship copper by rail beginning in 1906.

Increasing production prompted Kent to build a railroad and in 1909 he purchased the rails from recently closed Quartette Mine railroad near Searchlight. After facing delivery delays, rails were finally laid between Jean and Goodsprings in June 1911. An additional 4.5 miles was added in August of that year, connecting the mines north of Goodsprings with the mill. At the expense of sharp curves, the track was laid up steeper grades of a maximum of 4-5% on the section between Jean and Goodsprings, the grade from there to the mines reached 12% in some short sections.

The first locomotive on the line was a primative gasoline locomotive that would prove it was ill suited for the steep grades on the line. At the end of it's first few months in operation, the locomotive had been involved in three wrecks, in response a Shay was purchased early in 1912. Between 1915 and 1925 the railroad operated a profitable business and the surrounding area grew. In 1916 Goodsprings was able to boast a population of 800 people. On September 19, 1924 the original mill in Goodsprings burned down.

In 1925 the company came under the management of Jesse Knight and would remain so until 1930. In the summer of 1927 a severe flood damaged the roadbed delaying shipments. Later in the year an engineer lost control of shay #2, thankfully he was able to jump to safety, but the ensuing wreck left the locomotive destroyed. As a result the line did not operate again until the spring of 1928 when a new Whitcomb locomotive was purchased and only then operated in supply trains to the mine. The next year a Plymouth locomotive was added and ores again moved down the mountain.

1929 would prove to be the final year of ore shipments. Operations ceased in 1930 and the line was abandoned in 1934. Two years later mining activity resumed on a limited basis and the mines would reopen fully during the early 1940s to produce lead and zinc. In 1942 the Coronado Copper and Zinc company purchased the mines in 1942. The mines were operated sporatically in the decades following with minimal output, today the mines are dormant and a portion of the former railroad right of way may soon become a hiking trail.

Revised: December 21, 2014.
Myrick, David F. Railroads Of Nevada and Eastern California: Volume II. Berkeley: Howell-North Books, 1962. ISBN 978-0874171938.
Hewett, D. F. "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Goodsprings Quadrangle, Nevada." USGS Professional Paper #162, 1931.

Reference Material Available Online:


Collected Yellow Pine Mining Company Photographs.
Images collected from private collections, libraries and historical societies.


Equipment Roster, Compiled by Randy Hees, January 2014.


The Route of the Yellow Pine Mining Company for Google Earth.
by Andrew Brandon


Description of Goodsprings Smelting & Development Co. from The Copper Handbook Vol. VI [1906]
Courtesy Google Books

Passing mention of first Gasoline locomotive. from The History of Nevada Vol 1. 1913.
Courtesy Google Books

Statement of Net Proceeds Of Mines. Report of the Nevada Tax Commission
Provides Total Tonnage Hauled for the year ending September 1915.
Courtesy Google Books

Ore Deposits of the Yellow Pine Mining District by Fred A Hale Jr.
Engineering and Mining Journal March 9, 1918.
Courtesy Google Books.

Yellow Pine Mine Co. from The Mines Handbook Vol. XIV [1920]
Courtesy Google Books

Recent Developments at Yellow Pine Property by Percy M Cropper.
The Salt Lake Mining Review May 20, 1920.
Courtesy Google Books.

Yellow Pine and Prairie Flower Mines. by Claude C Albritton Jr. and John A Reinemund.
Geologic Controls of Lead and Zinc Deposits in Goodspring (Yellow Pine) District, Nevada.
Geologic Survey Bulletin 1010 : 1954.
Courtesy Google Books.


Goodsprings Historical Society.

Nevada \ Yellow Pine Mining Co.
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