Recent rumors circulating that the old Pioche Mill, a relic from the town’s historic mining days, is to be dismantled and shipped away, are just that, rumors.
Residents expressed concerns that the mill would be relocated to the Castle Dome City Ghost Town and Museum near Yuma, Arizona. But Lincoln County Planning and Building Director Cory Lytle spoke with the Record this week and said the rumors are incorrect. “Some of the contents have been purchased by the museum, some of the old machinery and parts, tools, and other similar items, but not the building as a whole,” Lytle said.
Castle Dome Museum is a non-profit museum/ghost town dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Castle Dome City, Arizona.
The Pioche Consolidated smelter (Godbe Mill) was built in 1891 just to the east of Pioche, at a place called West Point, to process the ores mined in the area. The original mill burned in 1893 and was subsequently rebuilt.
Pioche Consolidated mill was served by both the Hill Line, and the Jackrabbit line of the Pioche Pacific Railroad.
An aerial tramway on Treasure Hill during the 1920s and 1930s was used for the transportation of silver and nickel ore from the mines to the smelter mill in the valley. The tramway was largely gravity powered, with the aid of a five-horsepower motor, and used cables which still stretch over parts of Pioche with some original ore buckets intact.
The ore in the full buckets rolled toward the mill and provided momentum to return the empty buckets to the loading bin.
Just exactly when the mill closed permanently could not be fully determined for this article, but it may have been in the late 1950s.