Old Gold Mine site: Techatticup Mine, Nelson, Nevada

One of the most interesting old mine sites I have kicked around is the Techatticup Mine area, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.  In current time it is host to endless settings of photo ops as well as a mine tour.

Prior to the late 1700’s this arid area near the Colorado River was home to several Native American tribes such as the Paiutes and Mojave.   In the late 1700’s the Spanish came through in search of gold.   The Spanish called the area Eldorado.  They never found the gold and moved on.

Prospectors again returned to the area.  Steamboat travel on the river had been established.  Nelsons Landing became a stopping point.  Nelsons Landing was a community on the Colorado River bank and would become one of the most active ports on the river.  Up the huge dry wash several miles from Nelsons Landing, somewhere around the year 1861, gold was discovered.   The Techatticup and Queen City mines sprung up.   These along with some others, formed one of the richest mining districts prior to Nevada even becoming a State.


As you wander through old rusting vehicles and weather worn wood buildings you would never image this area as being one of the wildest western towns to ever spring up in the search for gold.  Complete with double crossers, Civil War deserters, partner poisonings, gunfights, murder, and mayhem.

The area was also home to several notorious Native Americans that lived in this area.  They also dealt in trouble and death.  If interested, research Ahvote and Quehoe, or spelled Queho too.

There is a whole legend surrounding Queho.  Along with Sheriff Frank Wait and posse attempting to find and capture him.  The story would make a true western movie, but with a weird twisted ending.  He eluded everyone.  His mummified remains were to be found later by prospectors in 1940.  In this strange tale, his remains where then put on public display until the 1950’s.   He was finally laid to rest in 1975.

In today’s equivalent, billions of dollars’ worth of Gold, Silver, Copper, and lead were mined.  There are miles of existing tunnels in the mountain at this site.   Current owners, the Werly’s, purchased some of the area in 1994.  They have restored many of the buildings and lead tours into the mine.

The area has been used as the setting for several Hollywood movies and TV shows.

If you are in or visiting the Las Vegas, Nevada area be sure to take at least a half a day and explore this area.  If you have the time, follow the road down the hill to the gravel parking area at the base of the huge dry wash.  Then hike a few hundred yards to the bank of the Colorado River.

At this location on the river, five large dry wash channels converge into a final small outlet where Nelson’s Landing once stood.  In 1974 heavy downpours sent runoff water rushing down these channels.  Some reports say the wall of water was 40 ft high.  The entire landing and village were destroyed, washed into the river, killing 9 people.



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