Headframe of the Combination Shaft

Headframe of the Combination Shaft

This headframe, once hidden within a complex of buildings (see below), served the Combination Shaft of the Chollar-Potosi/Savage/Hale & Norcross Mines beginning in 1875. With a depth of 3,250 feet, this was the deepest shaft of the Comstock. It also served part of the Sutro Tunnel. As the miners reached the limits of the shaft however, flooding became an insurmountable problem. Even the two Cornish pumps, lifting more than five millions gallons a day, could not handle the flow. In October 1886 the owners gave in to the inevitable and shut down the pumps. During the next 36 hours the water rose 850 feet, completely filling the lower tunnels of the mines. After flooding, the shaft passively drained at the 1600 foot level, the height of the Sutro Tunnel, which drains the deep Comstock mines to this day.
At the base of the cliff below the headframe, where the mine opening still leads deep into the earth, a steel safety grating installed by the BLM has openings sized to permit the resident bats to pass through. At the left of the panorama may be noted the shop and yards of the V&T Railroad. A hotspot link at the right of the panorama leads to another viewpoint of the headframe.


Click and drag to explore the headframe of the Combination Shaft.

The headframe may be located in a satellite view here.


The Combination Shaft in the early 1880s.
(Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno Library)
See more here.


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