Electrifying Independence Valley: Waterpower and Mining in Nevada’s Northeastern Frontier.

Author(s): Jacob N. Pollock; Christopher Merritt

Year: 2013


In 1896, mine interests revived Tuscarora, a struggling busted silver town in Northeastern Nevada. With the incorporation of a new mining company, the consolidation of existing claims, and the construction of a technologically forward-thinking stamp mill, Tuscarora was primed for resurgence.  Like other mining districts in Nevada, the newly formed company needed energy to power its stamp mill, surface and underground lights and other mining ephemera, but they were faced with the remarkable lack of  fuel required for steam boilers.  To solve this problem, the company undertook a heavily capitalized venture to harness the power of the area’s second-most available resource, water.  In a parched and arid landscape, hydroelectric power served the needs of Elko County’s leading gold producers between 1899 and 1920.  Archaeological survey and historical research has reconstructed the fascinating story of Independence Valley’s hydroelectric plants and power line, and its impact on Tuscarora’s third mining boom.

Cite this Record

Electrifying Independence Valley: Waterpower and Mining in Nevada’s Northeastern Frontier.. Jacob N. Pollock, Christopher Merritt. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428728)


Temporal Keywords
1890 - 1920

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 112