Teachatticup Mine: A Wild Remnant of the Old West

45 minutes from Las Vegas, a lawless mine that once teemed with profitable gold and silver lays dormant in the scorching Nevada sun. Teachatticup Mine was once one of the hottest spots in the gold rush of the 1800s. Spanish explorers who encountered the canyon where Teachatticup is located in the late 1700s named it Eldorado, because they believed that the precious gold that they discovered in the region rivaled anything a mythical city of untold wealth may contain.

Techatticup mine ghost town. Nelson, Nevada

Techatticup mine ghost town. Nelson, Nevada

In the mid-1800s, Union and Confederate soldiers seeking to escape from the horrors of the Civil War drifted west and began to filter into mining camps. Many miners who sought to profit from the gold rush were grizzled men with troubled pasts. The harsh desert climate—with its high temperatures and miles of infertile dust—offered anonymity and an escape from civilized society. It is not surprising that a popular mine like Teachatticup with rich veins of gold and silver devolved into one of the most dangerous spots in the Wild West. A team of disgruntled miners converged on Teachatticup and attempted to claim it as their own. A series of bloody murders failed to settle the question of who rightfully owned the Teachatticup Mine. The murder rate escalated to the point where local law enforcement found it hopeless to intervene and allowed the vagabonds of Teachatticup to settle their scores among themselves.

Techatticup Mine, Nevada

Today, the Teachtticup Mine is a sleepy tourist destination in the quiet town of Nelson, Nevada. The Werly family is working hard to restore the Teachatticup Mine to its former glory—minus the lawlessness and bloodshed. The Werlys love showing off newly renovated mining tunnels that they helped excavate with their own hands. Untapped veins of silver and gold that were abandoned after the gold rush bottomed out shimmer in the sun. There are no plans to resume mining operations any time soon. The most exciting thing that happens at Teachatticup these days is a pretend explosion that is an outtake from a scene from a movie that is using the legendary mine as a backdrop. If you feel a cold chill on the back of your neck when you’re deep in a dark Teachatticup Mine tunnel on a guided tour, there’s a good chance you’re in the presence of a disgruntled miner who still has a score to settle. The outer reaches of the desert are populated by many vengeful ghosts.

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  1. June 25, 2024

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