Our Rochester mine site has a rich history of its own, but if you take a step back you may be amazed at the Rochester mining district’s humble beginnings. With the help of Brandon MacDougall, Rochester’s in-house historian, we’ve put together this list of fun facts about the Rochester mining district.
How it all began:
The Rochester district is located within the Humboldt Range of west-central Nevada.
The area of Rochester was named by a group of prospectors from Rochester, New York who came through the area in the 1860’s. Though the area was prospected off and on after the initial discovery, it wasn’t until 1911 that the area’s potential was fully understood.
Historic production from the Rochester district totals 8,769,000 silver ounces and 81,343 gold ounces, the majority of which was mined between 1912 and 1924.
The silver vein that started the great Rochester boom was discovered on June 23, 1912 by Joseph Nenzel. The discovery of this vein created a massive influx of people to the area.
The massive population increase lead to the creation of several townsites, including Rochester, East Rochester, Central Rochester, Rochester Heights, Panama, and Packard. The Nevada Packard Mines Company also had its own company town near the Packard mines.
At its peak, the Rochester district had a population of 2,000-3,000 people.
A district full of amenities:
The Rochester district had a long list of amenities for its time, which included: a short-line railroad, two telephone companies, electric power from Lahontan Dam, a newspaper, two U.S. post offices, three grammar schools, two baseball teams, a race track, a gun club, a mining stock exchange, a commercial club, and a cemetery.
Rochester’s Nevada Short-Line Railroad was the very last of the independent railroads built in Nevada. The Nevada Short Line’s engine #1 can still be seen in the collection of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.
The Whiskey Boom:
During Rochester’s so-called “whiskey boom,” the district claimed to have 51 saloons that operated 24 hours a day between all the mining camps. The County Commissioners, apparently aghast at the scandalous tales brought forth from the camps, voted not to renew any liquor licenses for Rochester saloons after December 31st, 1917. This effectively made Rochester the first community in Nevada to fall under mandated prohibition.
With just over 300 employees, Coeur Rochester is the largest employer in Pershing County.
Since starting operations in 1986, Coeur Rochester has moved almost 500 million tons of rock. That’s enough rock to build a 16-foot-tall, three-foot-thick wall around the equator.
Coeur Rochester has been an important contributor to the Pershing County economy and community for over 30 years, generating over $14 million annually in taxes, employment, and labor-related income revenue to the County.
Coeur Rochester is fully supported with electricity supplied by a local power company on its public grid, telephone and radio communications, production water wells, and processing, maintenance, warehouse and office facilities.
For more information about Coeur Rochester, visit their operations page here.