Candelaria Pipeline, Western Nevada

Explorer 1

Explorer
Came across an old 4wd exploring pamplet listing what appeared to be "forgotten" places to explore in Western Nevada. One such place was the old Candelaria Pipeline. While much can be found about the town of Caldelaria, little seems to be written about the 27 mile pipeline that laid from the While Mountains to the town.

Back in 1881 the booming silver town of Candallaria had a problem in that the nearest water was 7 miles away and besides being hard to bring in over a bumpy road hauled in barrels, it was also poor quality as it had a high salt content. Once it arrived in Caldallaria it was so expensive it cost $2.50 for enough water to take a bath. Now to give you some idea what that would be in today's dollars, I found a web site that only went back to 1913 and had it calculate what 2.50 in 1913 would be worth in today's dollars, it came out to $57.18!!!

So the Nevada Governor went back to New York and found some investors to finance a pipeline from the nearest source of reliable good water, the White mountains to Candallera, 27 miles. It took almost 1 1/2 years to complete the 4 inch pipeline which was buried 4 feet underground. Twelve years later in the severe winter of 1894 parts of the pipeline froze and burst. It then took 2 years to fully repair the line but by then over $20,000,000 (Twenty Million) of silver had been taken out of Caldallaria and the mines shut down shortly thereafter. Using the same inflation calculator for this value of silver from 1913 in today's dollars that was $457,416,161!

I had a hard time finding the trail along the old pipeline and after a few false starts we found the two track trail and started making our way up in into Pinchot Canyon. Near the top we read that parts of the old pipeline were exposed and could be found. The trail up the beginning of the canyon progressively deteriorated, to the point that I choose compound low and at one point had to use the rear locker. The book describes the trail at this point at three difficult staircases. The first staircase was described as "Not Bad" the second, "considerably worse" and the third, "In less than 0.3 miles this road climbs only 400 feet, but that 400' can best be described as a giant stone staircase. It is one of the two roughest jeep trails described in this book." ( WHERE IS MY CHEROKEE WHEN I NEED IT!)

Over the past 25 years it looks like things have even become worse. Here is a picture of what I believe is the FIRST Staircase, you can see just how steep it is. Besides steep, the spring runoff has removed just about every bit of soil and all that remains is loose sharp large rocks.




At this point we hiked up and found the remnants of the old pipeline. Interesting that it was a spiral wrap pipe held together by rivets





The pipeline continues up the hill where it then traveled down to the small reservoir. Water costs dropped to pennys a gallons at this point. Shortly after the pipeline was repaired though, the mines started shutting down.

It appears the road is impossible to follow once on top. Maybe some day with a 4wd ATV I might see if I can follow it to the old ghost town.

Lots of unanswered questions as to how they made and installed this pipeline, Seem so very little is recoreded about it.

Thanks,
Fred
Explorer 1
 
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locrwln

Expedition Leader
Very cool.

I have done some exploring around that area, but never knew about the pipeline. I know on my last drive down to Las Vegas, I was eyeballing some roads in that area. Now I have another reason to go looking.

Jack
 

Fredee48

New member
Been There Done That in about 1977.

SLIDES0062.jpg

The first staircase is right. It hasn't changed much. Hope to go back there this fall sometime.
We made it to the top but not down the other side to Candalaria. That is closed and accessable from the bottom of the other side.
There was a small cabin and 3 hole outhouse at the top among the pinion pines. Great place for a picnic lunch.
[SLIDES0058.jpgSLIDES0061.jpg
 
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Foy

Explorer
Gotta LOVE the Scout!

SWEET 800 pictured! Must be a '70 with the nice headlight and grille trim. Gotta '67 800 and a '65 80 percolating, myself.

Foy
 

Fredee48

New member
Yes. That was my first 4WD. It had a 304 V8 and auto trans with factory limited slip. It served us real well.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Very cool history lesson and great pics.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane as it reminds us that Expo is that the first of the "go out and play" concepts....just the most fun one :)
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
I was just out in that area and found a section of the pipeline that had portions of the original spiral wrapped pipe, cast pipe and something more modern, possibly galvanized steel pipe.
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
Mine

Elevation: 6,004 Feet (1,830 Meters)

Primary Mineral: Silver

Lat, Long: 38.15, -118.08333

Town was at 5714'

I recently returned from some exploration of Nevada and found a segment of the pipeline, became curious and started researching. I'll post up a few pictures soon. I've not found any maps of the route the pipeline took. The pipe I found was made of thin sheet steel, probably with pre-punched holes for riveting the sheets into a spiral wrapped configuration. Joints appeared to be slip-on sleeves filled with some sort of sealant.

From the internet -

Candelaria is situated between Tonopah and Hawthorne on the very edge of Mineral County, and with it, an hour and a half drive from either community. Look for signs pointing to "Candelaria, Marietta" from US 95 about a 1/2 mile north of the Esmeralda County line. The road has been paved over the years to accommodate Kinross mining company trucks. Don't forget to stop at the lone historic marker honoring this lonely camp on the way.

History
Mexican prospectors first settled there on Christmas Day, 1864 and named the mine and town accordingly after the Catholic (Candlemass) Mass day. Unlike the typical rush, word of the find at Candelaria was slow to spread. Candelaria wasn't truly a town (or even a camp) until a group of European prospectors, mainly German and Slovakian, came into the area in 1879 and established a camp, which soon became a boom town. Beginning in 1880, the big producer of the town was a mine called the Northern Belle that produced $15 million in silver. As the population grew, the beginnings of what became one of Candelaria's greatest difficulties became all too apparent.

The dismal water supply there couldn't support any significant permanent population. Candelaria became what was known as a "dry camp." A larger spring in the next valley over, nine miles away, supplied water to Candelaria, but the costs for transporting it to the camp drove the price to the princely sum of one dollar per gallon. The nearby spring was only sufficient to supply the water needs of the town's populace and little to nothing could be spared for the use of milling and processing the ore from the mines. The stamp mill in Candelaria had to operate as a dry mill resulting in toxic dust that spread throughout the area. Consequently this dust settled in the lungs of the miners and caused many to die of "miners consumption."

Difficulties aside, Candelaria continued to flourish. By 1882, Candelaria boomed with a dependable water supply brought on by a 27 mile pipeline that was built to the White Mountains. In its heyday Candelaria would boast of two hotels, five stores, three lawyer offices, three doctor offices, and over twenty five saloons. The completion of a spur of the Carson and Colorado Railroad in 1882 allowed the construction of large tanks for water storage and helped alleviate the town's water problem. With the water shortage partially resolved, the town boomed for ten years, until the financial panic of 1893 dried up capital almost overnight. Sadly, development of the mines ceased almost immediately. Every mine was closed and soon the town was drained of people - many of whom moved on to other areas where work could be found under better conditions.

Even though a few die-hard souls remained, bigger finds and its desolate location all ensured that Candelaria never regained what it had once had. Occasional bursts of activity increased population there a bit, but mostly it was wildcat speculation, and the people left as quickly as they came. By the early 1920s the number of people living in the area could be counted on two hands. In 1939 the post office was finally shuttered and by 1941 Candelaria became a true ghost town. Candelaria has gone down in history as one of the most inhospitable places in the state. Unbearably hot and dry in the summer, bitterly cold in the winter, wind-swept, dry and desolate: all definitions that described the lonely town of Candelaria.

How to Get There:
Town site and current mining operation in southern Mineral County, 55 miles south of Hawthorne.

- Much of Candelaria has remained somewhat undisturbed for many years thanks to its remote setting. Although not completely immune to vandalism, much of the damage to remaining buildings was a result of the area's harsh environment. Things changed in the mid to late 1980s when an open-pit mine was opened on the south side of Mt. Diablo. As the mine expanded, the town site of Candelaria came under close guardianship of the the mine's operators -- the Kinross Gold Mining Company.

Almost immediately, visitors to Candelaria were turned away by security guards from the mine and signs were posted religiously along the road through the town stating that it was private property, and that trespassing was strictly prohibited. Unfortunately, this is the scene today. The entire townsite of Candelaria is dominated by Kinross Mining and security guards religiously enforce a "No Trespassing" policy on the town site.

Ironically, because of Kinross policies, Candelaria was spared much of the destruction suffered by other ghost towns, and even today the remains of many of its buildings are easily seen and recognizable. In fact, it's one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state, and it's a true shame the entire site is off-limits to the public. If you could somehow obtain permission to walk the old town, you would be rewarded to one of the finest ghost towns in Nevada. The only such part of Candelaria accessible to the public is the distinct cemetery that was somehow placed outside the confines of Kinross. Park there and enjoy, but don't be surprised if you are watched carefully.​
 

Bbokoski

New member
Very cool.

I have done some exploring around that area, but never knew about the pipeline. I know on my last drive down to Las Vegas, I was eyeballing some roads in that area. Now I have another reason to go looking.

Jack
Where exactly can I find the pipeline? I was to Candelaria yesterday and would like to go back and do more discovery especially regarding the pipeline. Thank you.
 

Bbokoski

New member
Came across an old 4wd exploring pamplet listing what appeared to be "forgotten" places to explore in Western Nevada. One such place was the old Candelaria Pipeline. While much can be found about the town of Caldelaria, little seems to be written about the 27 mile pipeline that laid from the While Mountains to the town.

Back in 1881 the booming silver town of Candallaria had a problem in that the nearest water was 7 miles away and besides being hard to bring in over a bumpy road hauled in barrels, it was also poor quality as it had a high salt content. Once it arrived in Caldallaria it was so expensive it cost $2.50 for enough water to take a bath. Now to give you some idea what that would be in today's dollars, I found a web site that only went back to 1913 and had it calculate what 2.50 in 1913 would be worth in today's dollars, it came out to $57.18!!!

So the Nevada Governor went back to New York and found some investors to finance a pipeline from the nearest source of reliable good water, the White mountains to Candallera, 27 miles. It took almost 1 1/2 years to complete the 4 inch pipeline which was buried 4 feet underground. Twelve years later in the severe winter of 1894 parts of the pipeline froze and burst. It then took 2 years to fully repair the line but by then over $20,000,000 (Twenty Million) of silver had been taken out of Caldallaria and the mines shut down shortly thereafter. Using the same inflation calculator for this value of silver from 1913 in today's dollars that was $457,416,161!

I had a hard time finding the trail along the old pipeline and after a few false starts we found the two track trail and started making our way up in into Pinchot Canyon. Near the top we read that parts of the old pipeline were exposed and could be found. The trail up the beginning of the canyon progressively deteriorated, to the point that I choose compound low and at one point had to use the rear locker. The book describes the trail at this point at three difficult staircases. The first staircase was described as "Not Bad" the second, "considerably worse" and the third, "In less than 0.3 miles this road climbs only 400 feet, but that 400' can best be described as a giant stone staircase. It is one of the two roughest jeep trails described in this book." ( WHERE IS MY CHEROKEE WHEN I NEED IT!)

Over the past 25 years it looks like things have even become worse. Here is a picture of what I believe is the FIRST Staircase, you can see just how steep it is. Besides steep, the spring runoff has removed just about every bit of soil and all that remains is loose sharp large rocks.




At this point we hiked up and found the remnants of the old pipeline. Interesting that it was a spiral wrap pipe held together by rivets





The pipeline continues up the hill where it then traveled down to the small reservoir. Water costs dropped to pennys a gallons at this point. Shortly after the pipeline was repaired though, the mines started shutting down.

It appears the road is impossible to follow once on top. Maybe some day with a 4wd ATV I might see if I can follow it to the old ghost town.

Lots of unanswered questions as to how they made and installed this pipeline, Seem so very little is recoreded about it.

Thanks,
Fred
Explorer 1
 

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