People who are interested in prospecting for gold often find mining history fascinating. There are many stories about old mines and the history of the towns that surrounded them. Even though many historic mines are abandoned, they still attract a lot of interest from mining historians. The Tonopah-Belmont mine was active when people were prospecting for gold in the area over 100 years ago.
People began migrating to the Tonopah area of Arizona in the early 19th active around the time of World War I as people began settling in the area. They weren’t attracted to prospecting for gold at the time. Most of the first settlers came for the climate. Many World War I veterans had breathing problems due to exposure to poisonous mustard gas during the war. Tonopah has a dry climate which eased the respiratory problems that plagued veterans.
Prospecting for gold began in the area around the mid-19th not just a boom for gold prospecting. In addition to gold, the mine produced lead, silver and copper. A permanent settlement developed in the area and was named Tonopah. The Tonopah-Belmont mine got its name from two different sources. It was named Tonopah after a famous mine in the state of Nevada. The mine was also named for its location in the Belmont mines of Arizona. The mine’s deepest shaft goes down to 500 feet with workings at 100, 250 and 400 feet.
Although first incidences of prospecting for gold in the area took place around 1860, the mine wasn’t active immediately. Its main activity took place sporadically from around 1860 through 1950. The mine has a special distinction. No miner was killed during the operation of the Tonopah-Belmont Mine. The mine was open to tourists until 1990. A man who may have been prospecting for gold entered the mine and fell to his death. After that time, the entrances were barricaded so that no tourists could enter. However, this historic site known for gold prospecting can be viewed from a distance. Visitors can see the mine by taking the Belmont Mountain Trail.