"Six tall, upright rods of iron, as large as a man's ankle, and heavily shod with a mass of iron and steel at their lower ends.." So begins Mark Twain's description of a Nevada stamp mill.
"...These rose and fell, one after the other, in a ponderous dance, in an iron box called a battery." Each of the stamps weighed 600 pounds. "One of us stood by he battery all day long, breaking up masses of silver-bearing rock with a sledge and shoveling it in."
At the end of his brief stint shoveling ore into the Nevada stamp mill, Twain told his boss he though the $10 a week was not quite enough. He asked for a new wage of $400,000 a month. He didn't get it and had to become a newspaperman.
This ten stamp mill stands just two blocks from where it was manufactured at Miners Foundry in 1904. It operated at the Alpha mine in Sierra County from 1905 until 1931. Each stamp weighs 1,000 pounds and was used ot crush gold-bearing rock. Gary Cope recovered the stamp mill in 1975. It was bought and erected on this site, Native Sons Park, by Hydraulic Parlor No. 56 of the Native Sons of the Golden West with the help of the Historic Preservation Foundation of the N.S.G.W. in 2005.
Dedicated March 11, 2006
Native Sons of the Golden West
Thomas J. Sears, Grand President
In Memory of James D. Phelan, United States Senator