Alpine, Churchill County

Photo by Pam Nelson

The remains of the old barn at the Alpine Ranch.

On the eastern slopes of the Clan Alpine Mountains in Churchill County, mining began in earnest as early as 1864. The Clan Alpine Mountain Range runs north to south. Its east facing slopes descend into Edwards Creek Valley and run parallel to U.S. Highway 50. Mining records indicate that several silver claims were filed in Florence Canyon and a "ten stamp" mill was built at the mouth of Cherry Creek.

By 1866 the small camp of Alpine, consisting of a post office, several rock cabins, and the mill and office of the Silver Lode Mining Company, had sprung up around the mill site. However, as the ore turned out to be of low grade and the veins narrow, operations were stopped and the mill's machinery was moved to White Pine County by 1869. The Alpine site is located approximately seventy-five miles east of Fallon, off of U.S. Highway 50, just west of Old Overland Road. Several partial rock walls are still visible at this site.

In the years between the close of the mill and the turn of the century, a small ranching and agriculture community grew in the district. Alpine village–or current day Alpine Ranch–eventually had its own post office, store, doctor, one-room school, and stage service to Stillwater, Nevada. The Alpine Ranch and a small community of buildings still sit astride Old Overland Road, a few miles southwest of the original Alpine site at Cherry Creek.

The most prominent features of the ranch are two large barns, one on either side of the road, that were constructed of hand-cut stone and mud and had roofs of willow supported by large hand-hewn logs. In addition to the barns and attached corrals, a blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, cabins, main ranch house, and several other buildings from that era still stand. This site is located approximately seven miles north and east of the junction of Old Overland Road and U.S. Highway 50.

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