To explore the Techatticup Mine is to explore a parcel of the Wild West without the spectacle of noontime gunfights and bordello fashion. Desert explorers, photographers, adventurers, and curious visitors can wander the seasoned buildings of the private property, and there are also underground mine tours. The Techatticup Mine lies in a tucked away corner of Southern Nevada, spitting distance from Arizona. Eldorado Canyon is a corridor spilling to the Colorado River that was once known for its rich gold veins. Surrounded by the charming rust and perfectly silvered timber of the Techatticup Mine, it’s difficult to tell that this place has an unruly history of civil war deserters, claim jumpers, bloody mining feuds, renegade Indians, and Prohibition-era bootleggers.
The area surrounding Nelson and Eldorado Canyon was first home to the ancient Puebloan Indians, and later the Paiutes and Mojave tribes. Both tribes lived peacefully for hundreds of years, then the Indians were intruded upon in 1775, when the Spaniards arrived in the canyon in their constant quest for gold.They founded a small settlement at the mouth of the Colorado River and called it Eldorado. Ironically, these early Spaniards somehow missed the rich gold veins just beneath the canyon’s flanks, finding silver instead – which they soon found out that the silver was not in high enough quantities to justify their mining operations and in turn moved on.
In the 1850s, a new breed of prospectors began sluicing the many streams feeding into the Colorado River. For a few years, the miners were able to keep their gold find a relative secret due to the remoteness of the area. However, this all changed in 1858 when the first steamboats began to make their way up the Colorado River from Yuma, Arizona. Before long, word spread and miners began to flood the area. As news got out miners flooded the area. The Techatticup and Queen City mines were discovered in 1861. In an area dotted with mines, the Techatticup would turn out to be one of the richest in pre-Nevada.
The name Techatticup was derived from two Paiute words meaning “hungry” and “bread,” as many Paiutes in the surrounding barren hills are reported to have frequented the mining camps begging for food. The Techatticup Mine remained active until the mid-1940s, yielding millions of dollars in precious metals during its productive years. Ten years later after the completion of the Davis Dam, the rising water levels and subsequent creation of Lake Mojave meant some changes to the region were due. Today the Techatticup Mine is ghost town, open-air museum, and roadside attraction all rolled into one. Take a step back in history and plan your visit to the Techatticup Mine today!