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The Town And Mines Of Bannock Nevada

It was back in the spring of 1909 that a couple of prospectors, Alex Walker and Sherman Whilhem discovered some gold in an area known as Philadelphia canyon. This discovery actually turned out to be very lucrative and became known as the Limelite mine. Once word got out about this find, there was a small gold rush to the area. It didn't take long and ground was staked up real fast and soon there was a couple of small mines working in the area. Because most of the good ground was staked up, some of the new comers resorted to claim jumping.

Some of these mines had really high grade gold that was being mined. One mine. the Pussin Ken mine was recorded to have assays at high as $180,000 per ton. That would have been ore that was almost pure gold. It is also said that a miner hand cobbed about 300 pounds of high grade gold ore and it assayed over $2,000. A couple of other mines most noteably the Reno mine had ore grading close to $200 per ton. Then a short while later, placer gold was discovered also.

Word of a new discovery had people coming into the area in droves and so at that time work commenced on getting a town built. By the fall of that same year there were several houses, northern saloon, a hotel and brothel, a cafe and of course a post office. Population by this time was around 200 people. Water was scarce in Bannock and cost 2 bits for a bucket as this water had to be hauled from a creek that was quite aways from the town. However a pump and water line were soon run to the Reno mine where water was then stored in a tank.

Walker ended up selling the Limelite mine and the claims to his partner Sherman Wilhelm and he eventually formed the Nevada Onmaha Mining and Milling company. He of course had little money and needed finacial backing but because the gold grades were so good he was able to get investors interested. The plan was to mine and mill the ore right in the town of Bannock. However by the following year in the fall of 1910, the ore had already started to run out and the mines shut down. Before the year was out the town of Bannock was almost a ghost town. The following year the post office closed and Bannock was abandoned. It was high grade gold but very little of it.

Over the years there have been several attempts at trying to mine the placer gold and prospecting continued but no deposits of economical value have ever been found. Today nothing remains of the old town of Bannock other than old placer workings.