Belmont Mill – Hamilton, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

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Belmont Mill

Hamilton, Nevada

One of the best-preserved early 20th-century ore-processing mills in Nevada is maintained in a state of arrested decay. 


After the swift exhaustion of the bonanza ores at Hamilton, there was only desultory activity in the White Pine Mining District for some decades.

Base metals occur in a wide zone around the precious metal deposits, however, and by the early 20th century they were becoming of interest. The Tonopah-Belmont Development Company built the (then) state-of-the-art Belmont Mill in 1926 to process lead-silver ores brought down by tramway. Ore-processing mills like this are traditionally built on a slope so that ore can be moved through the operations by gravity. The mill became the first to operate in the district since 1892, but shut down in January 1927 due to falling prices and unexpected difficulties in the ore processing.

Over the next decades, several attempts were made to re-activate the mine, but they were mostly unsuccessful with the exception of production during World War II. By the mid-1960s, the operation was abandoned. The US Forest Service acquired the property in the early 2000s and began managing it as a historic site. By this time, the structure was at the point of collapse, so one of the first priorities was to stabilize it by installing diagonal bracing. This took place in 2012 and has so far been successful.

Know Before You Go

Turn south on White Pine Co. Rd. 5 off US 50. The intersection is at 39.394300 N, 115.525837 W, and should be signed for Belmont Mill. Follow this road for 3.4 miles, where you then bear left at a shallow intersection onto County Rd. 9.

About 2.2 miles along with Co. Rd. 9 there will be a signed intersection for "Hamilton" on the left. Do NOT turn here but continue straight on Co. Rd. 9 (which becomes USFS 623 at the National Forest boundary). About 5.8 miles from the shallow intersection the Belmont Mill will appear on the right.

There are no fences or entry fees, but please be respectful. Despite the new bracing, too, it's not advisable to enter the structure.

Belmont Mill should not be confused with the town of Belmont which is about 85 miles southwest.

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March 2, 2023

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