to Point of Interest Road
collection of photos of road and trail signs. Click
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of sign - State Route 376, thirty-five miles south of the
junction with U.S. Highway 50.
taken October 2008
courtesy of Jimmy Wayne
Well up into the canyon
out yonder, one can still see the massive stone foundations of a
costly and splendid stamp mill, as well as
the stone walls of an
elegant office and mansion. Here was the scene of a once busy place,
now a ghost town.
Ore was discovered there
in 1865 by S. Boulerond and his compatriots. In 1864, the Murphy
mine was discovered and became
the leading producer; a
mining district was organized. During 1865, a 20-stamp mill was
completed costing over $200,000.
Connected with it was the
first experimental Stetefeldt furnace ever built. When the Murphy
mill was built, a town was started and
it grew to a population
of 400, but work in the mines declined in the 1870's, and Ophir
became almost deserted. In the 1880's, the
mines were reactivated,
and Ophir had another period of prosperity. By the 1890's the town
was deserted, but some mining activity
at the Murphy mine
continued sporadically into the 20th century.
Over $2 million worth of
gold and silver were mined from the Murphy vein and from surrounding
properties. Iron, copper and
arsenic were also found
in the area.
Ophir managed to have all
the accouterments of a large community--school, church, various
lodges and, of course, several saloons.
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