Canyon - Page 2
The Techatticup Mine
remained active until about 1945, producing more than 2.5 million
dollars worth of gold, silver, copper, and lead, after which, it sat
abandoned for almost five decades. In no time, the town of Nelson
dwindled leaving little more than the remains of mine works and tailings
among the scorpions and rattle snakes.
Following the completion
of Davis Dam in the mid-1950s, Lake Mohave began to fill up, drowning
the old stamp-mill site, the steamboat landing and the remains of the
Nelson District yielded more that 500 million dollars in ore in its almost
100 years of mining.
A tour of
begins by accessing Nelson Road (Nevada
Highway 165) from I-95 south of Boulder City. Traveling southeast, the
highway gradually climbs through about 11 miles of desert hills before
reaching the old mining community of Nelson,
Nevada. During the spring, this part of the drive will provide numerous picturesque
views of desert wildflowers. Nelson is entirely surrounded by Bureau
of Land Management (BLM) property, where you might also see big horn sheep
and wild burros roaming among the hillsides.
This old barn across from the Techatticup Mine houses several of the props
in the movies filmed at the mine site. April, 2005, Kathy
Today, Nelson is all but a
with a population of just about twenty people. With no open
businesses, the town marks its past with a few weathered sheds, small shacks
with corrugated metal siding, and rusting machinery parts. Those few
residents that remain mostly live in a smattering of modern buildings and
mobile homes. On a hillside above Nelson is a small overgrown cemetery
and though it has some fairly recent graves, they can barely be seen through
the brush. Though itís hard to imagine today, in the 1880s Nelson and
Eldorado Canyon was called home to more people than the entire Las Vegas
As you leave Nelson, the road begins a twisting
drive through the canyon, providing dramatic views of rugged rock walls and
stone formations, pocked with holes and tailings from its old mining days.
Clearing the rubble from the mine tunnels,
stabilizing ramps and ladders, and installing electric lights and emergency
phones, the mine soon opened for guided tours. The above and below ground
guided mining tour lasts about one hour taking visitors 500 feet into the
mine. On this tour you will receive the history of the mine, Nelsonís
landing, and the areaís turbulent past. Mine tours require a minimum of four
people (which can be combined with another group) and reservations are
the last decade the couple has also restored and preserved a number of
buildings at the mine site. Across from the mine sits a historic 1861
building which serves as a museum to the area and to the Techatticup Mine.
Here, you will see a display of old photographs, tools and other mining
memorabilia. Tony and Bobbie also provide river tours and rent kayaks and
canoes for use on the nearby
River. Reservations for river tours are required.
The Techatticup Mine has been the set of two movies. The first,
Breakdown, with Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan, was released in
1997 and several artifacts from the movie can be seen at the site. Several years later, the movie 3000 Miles to Graceland, was
released in 2001, parts of which were filmed at the mine site. This movie, again with Kurt Russell, as well as an all star cast
including Kevin Costner, Courtney Cox, Christian Slater, and David Arquette, shot several scenes here including the scene where the Lucky
Strike gas station blows up . Props from the movie, including the
crashed airplane can still be seen at the site.
Within just a
few miles you will come to the infamous Techatticup Mine. After having
sat abandoned for five decades, Tony and Bobbie Werly purchased the mine and
51 acres of surrounding property. Prior to purchasing the mine acreage, the
pair operated a river adventure outfit in nearby Boulder City.
Techatticup, the road continues to wind its way to the
River where it opens up to panoramic views across Lake Mohave into
Arizona. On the river below once stood Nelsonís landing, long gone today. Numerous old roads angle down toward the lake where much of the area is
administered by the National Park Service. Be aware that
severe penalties can be levied for off-roading in National Park areas.
travel the outlying land, be cautious as there are many open mines and
ventilation shafts. Though most of the mines in the district are
no longer active, the majority are on private property and are so
posted. Respect these no-trespassing signs as reports have it that
local land owners are quick to prosecute trespassers.
To get to
follow I-95 south of Boulder City for 13 miles to SR 165. Turn
left on SR 165 (Nelson Road) for about 11 miles to Nelson. Continuing from Nelson, the Techatticup Mine is just a few more miles
down the winding road, and a few miles beyond that, is Lake Mohave.
During mining heydays, prospectors would build a
shack to live in with whatever was available. This old house
in Nelson, sided with corrugated metal still
stands the test of time. April, 2005, Kathy Weiser.
One of the many buildings restored by Tony and Bobbie Werly, that now serves as a museum, April, 2005, Kathy Weiser. This image available for
photographic prints and downloads
Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours
Highway 165 between Nelson,
and the Colorado River
Kathy Weiser/Legends of
America, updated November, 2010.
Dogs of Eldorado Canyon - Ghostly Canine Apparitions
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Western & Saloon Style
Decor - With Legends'
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Old West and all things historic, we love
decorating in a Western style and we know that many of you do too. To
help with providing the perfect ambiance, we carry a number of items
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