A Guide to the Records of
The Groom Mining District
Collection No. 99-19

The Groom Mining District

The Groom Mining District is located in Lincoln County, Nevada, about 50 miles north of Indian Springs and 100 miles southwest of Pioche. The Conception Mines were the first worked in that area, in about 1871. The name "Groom" appeared in the early 1870s as a result of an English financing of the Conception Mines by the "Groome Lead Mines Limited." The area contained mostly low grade ores of silver and lead - no gold. Other claims in the vicinity of the Conception included the Willow, Maria, and White Lake (sometimes referred to in these records as Whitelake).

J.B. Osborne and his partners acquired the claims at Groom and patented them in 1876. Osborne's son, T.J., acquired these interests in the 1890s. In June, 1916 these claims were incorporated as the Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company and as the Groom Southend Mining Company. As records in this collection indicate, Osborne worked the mines yearly to maintain his claims according to federal mining law. Reports by mining engineers gave enough promise of possible discoveries to maintain interest over a long period of time. The property was leased to several operators, including L.L. Patrick and Tom McCormac but after Osborne's death in 1918 the lessees withdrew and the mine was closed. Production resumed after World War II but closed permanently in the early 1950s.

Sources: Fred Holabird; Mining Engineering Reports in the collection; Humphrey, Fred L. "Geology of the Groom District, Lincoln County, Nevada" (thesis, UNR, 1945)

Scope and Content

The Groom Mining District Collection was acquired by the Special Collections Department in 1999. It consists of two cubic feet of material, dating from 1871-1930, with bulk dates of 1900-1920. There are no restrictions on use of the collection.

The collection, when acquired, was arranged in no particular order - any indication of the original arrangement was lost over the years as the collection traded hands. The types of materials were clear; what was not clear was whether there had once been a collection of Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company records and a separate collection for the Groom Southend Mining Company. The ultimate decision was to arrange all records by type of material, and then chronologically within each series. Individual folders were labeled as being either Groom Mines or Groom Southend in origin but otherwise they were interfiled.

The bulk of the collection consists of land records: title abstracts, deeds, agreements, leases, etc. These items and reports by mining engineers can be used to piece together a history of the district. Sadly, few records exist prior to 1900, although title abstracts and patents can provide some information.

The collection contains about 50-100 photographs, most of which date from about 1916, when Tom McCormac leased and operated the claims. These images document the site, mining operations, and the surrounding area. There is a small number of photos showing an attempt to use a gasoline powered engine to haul materials from Big Cottonwood Canyon. Photos have been transferred to the photographic archives of the Special Collections Department except for those inserted into the Eugene Higginson report in Series III (III/9).

Processed by: Susan Searcy
Date: August 12, 1999

 

The records of the Groom Mining District have been divided into the following series:

  1. Legal
  2. Correspondence
  3. Reports
  4. Land Records
  5. Maps
  6. Financial
  7. Miscellaneous

 

Series I. Legal. 1898-1916. 3 folders.

This series consists of records documenting the incorporation of the company and a few court records for a case in which the company's owners were involved.

Box 1

I/1 Groom Lead Mines Company. Articles of incorporation. July 1908.
I/2 Groom Southend Mining Company. Articles of incorporation, bylaws, minutes of first board meeting. 1916.
I/3 Court degree and agreement, William Wheatley and T.J. Osborne vs J.B. Osborne, J.C. Russel et al regarding ownership of the Willow and the Maria mining claims. 1898.

 

Series II. Correspondence. 1901-1926.   .3 cu. ft.

The correspondence series is by no means complete and includes only a small portion of correspondence which would have been sent or received by the company. Some of the letters are very routine, others discuss management of the company with executors of the T.J. Osborne estate, still others discuss everyday operations. Arranged chronologically.

Box 1

II/1 Groom correspondence from T.J. Osborne. 1901-1906
II/2 Groom Southend correspondence regarding mineral survey #39. 1916.
II/3 Groom Southend correspondence regarding stock certificates. 1916-1918.
II/4-5 Correspondence between mine owners and executors of the T.J. Osborne estate. 1918-1919.
II/6 Correspondence. 1920-1921.
II/7 Correspondence regarding contracts. 1921, 1927.
II/8 Correspondence. 1922.
II/9 Correspondence. 1923.
II/10 Correspondence. 1924.
II/11 Correspondence. 1925-1926.

 

Series III. Reports. 1871-1916.   .3 cu. ft.

This series contains reports from mining consultants about the geological status of the region, history of Groom mining operations, current status, future prospects. One report contains an audit of the operations of a lessee, Tom McCormac. Some reports contain notes added by mine owners or operators. Arranged chronologically.

Box 1

III/1 Groom Mine. Reports of condition. 1871.
III/2 Groom Mines. Report covering period 1871-1876.
III/3 Groom Mines. Report of Conception and Whitelake Mining Claims by A. Cadwalader. 1872.
III/4 Groom Mines. Concerning the Conception Mines. Statement of the Owners. J.B. Osborne, J.H. Baker, C.X. Hobbs, R.M. Russell. Confirmatory Remarks, J.J. Goodfellow, Cornelius Reilly. 1874.
III/5 Groom Mines. John Hays Hammond report. n.d. [ca 1875].
III/6 Groom Lead Mines. Extracts from the "Groome Company, Ltd. Articles on file in Recorder's Office, Lincoln County." Filed April 14, 1877.
III/7 Groom Lead Mines. Notes on Whitelake and Conception Mines of Groom Lead Mines. 1899.
III/8 Groom Mines. Survey of Site Conditions. 1900.
III/9 Groom Mines. Eugene Higginson Report on Groom, with photos. 1907.
III/10 Groom Mines. R.M. Jones Report on Groom Mines. Original and copies. 1909.
III/11 Groom Mines. R.M. Jones Report on Groom Mines. 1909. With notes on Jones Report by T.J. Osborne. 1915.
III/12 Groom Mines. Llewe E. Humphries and W.C. Browning Report on Properties of the Groom Mining Company. 1912.
III/13 Southend Mines. Notes on Southend Lode Claim. 1914.
III/14 Groom Mines. R.M. Jones Report on Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company. 1914.
III/15 Groom Mines. W.D. Gossard report on audit of accounts of lessee, Tom McCormac. 1916.

 

Series IV. Land Records. 1873-1926. 1 cu. ft.

This, the largest series of the collection, includes records of land transactions: deeds, agreements, leases, contracts, memorandum of agreement, patents, reports of title searches, location notices, and affidavits of assessment work. Some of these pertain to the Groom Lead Mines and others to the Southend Mines. Arranged chronologically.

Box 1

IV/1 List of patented mines, Lincoln County Recorders Office. Jan. 13, 1873 - Nov. 26, 1905.
IV/2 Groom. Notes on chain of title. 1874, 1876.
IV/3 Groom. Patents, White Lake, Conception Claims. Patent lot 37. 1876.
IV/4 Groom. Patents, White Lake #1, Conception #2 Claims. Patent lot 38. 1876.
IV/5-6 Groom Mines. Patents, deeds, location notices, court records. 1893-1912.
IV/7 Groom Mines. Location notices, Maria, Willow claims. 1894.
IV/8 Groom Mines. Correspondence, maps, memorandum of agreement, power of attorney. 1897-1898.
IV/9 Groom Mines. Articles of agreement, deed, stipulation for agreement. 1898.
IV/10 Groom Mines. Affidavits of assessment work. 1898-1916.
IV/11 Correspondence, memorandum of agreement. 1899.
IV/12 Groom Mines. Agreements, deeds. 1899.
IV/13 Groom Southend Mines. Memorandum of agreement, articles of incorporation, reports of operations, supply requisitions, correspondence, ledger. 1899-1916.
IV/14 Groom Mine. Correspondence, ore contracts, misc. financial. ca 1899-1921.
IV/15 Groom. Purchase and lease. 1901.
IV/16 Groom. Declarations of work, correspondence. 1906.
IV/17 Notes on claims. 1906; 1910.
IV/18 Groom. Location notice. 1907.
IV/19 Groom. Title abstract to 1907.
IV/20a Groom. Charles B. Higgenson deeds and option on Groom Lead Mines. 1907-1908.
IV/20b Groom. Correspondence, option notice, labor statements. 1909.

Box 2

IV/21 Groom. L.L. Patrick lease and deed, Groom Lead Mining Co. 1909.
IV/22 Groom. Abstract of title, White Lake and Conception Mines. To 1910.
IV/23-24 Groom. Abstract of title to 1910.
IV/25 Groom. T.J. Osborne declaration of trust notes. 1910. Abstract showing status of interest of various owners, maps. 1900.
IV/26 Southend Mines. Location notices, Southend lode claim. 1911-1915.
IV/27 Groom. Patents, Whitelake #2 and Conception #2 lode claims. Jan. 5 & 12, 1912.
IV/28 Groom. Eastside claims. 1912-1915.
IV/29 Groom. Minnie Thompson mortgage. 1914.
IV/30 Groom. Location notices, East Side #1 and #2, Southern Groom #1, Bridesmaid, West Side. 1914-1920.
IV/31 Leases. 1915.
IV/32 Tom McCormac lease. 1915.
IV/33 Tom McCormac lease agreement, power of attorney. 1915.
IV/34 Groom. Ore contract, correspondence regarding payments. 1915-1916.
IV/35 Groom. Tom McCormac lease, other legal and financial. 1915-1917.
IV/36 Southend Mining Claims. Location notices, power of attorney, correspondence. 1915-1917.
IV/37 Groom. Groom District East Side claims, location notices. 1915-1917.
IV/38 Groom Southend Mining. Co. Deeds, location notices, affidavits of labor. 1916-1919.
IV/39 Groom Mine lease. 1917.
IV/40 Groom Southend Mining Co. Correspondence, ledger sheets, invoices, semi-monthly reports, location notices, map. 1917.
IV/41 Groom and Westside mining claim deeds, claims notices, mine option. 1917-1919.
IV/42 Groom Mine. Purchase agreement. 1926.

 

Series V. Maps. 1900-1917. 5 folders.

This series of maps illustrates the Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company properties in varying detail. Some are simple sketch maps of the workings, while others are detailed maps of the individual claims and their dimensions, including the original White lake, Conception, and Maria claims. Arranged chronologically.

Box 2

V/1 Groom sketch map. [ca 1900].
V/2 Property of Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company. 1907.
V/3 Property of Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company. 1908.
V/4 Sketch Map of Claims at Groom District. 1914.
V/5 Map of Groom Mining District. 1917.

 

Series VI. Financial. 1897-1930.   .3 cu. ft.

This series of financial records includes invoices, ledgers, account lists, assay reports, tax assessments, statements of ore shipments, and smelter returns. Some related materials may also be found in Series IV, Land Records. Arranged chronologically.

Box 2

VI/1 Invoices. 1897-1915.
VI/2 Groom. Account lists. 1900, 1903.
VI/3 Groom. Assay report. 1901.
VI/4 Groom. Tax correspondence, indenture, invoices. 1907.
VI/5 Groom. Financial. 1907-1908.
VI/6 Groom. Correspondence, assessments, invoices, assay report. 1908.
VI/7 Groom. Tax statement, assessment. 1910.
VI/8 Groom. Tax assessments, invoices. 1911.
VI/9 Groom. Assessment work. 1912.
VI/10 Groom. Statements of ore shipments from Groom Mine. 1915-1917.
VI/11 Groom Southend Mining Co. Invoices. 1916.
VI/12 Groom Southend Mining Co. Invoices. 1916-1918.
VI/13 Groom Southend Mining Company. Cash ledger. 1916-1918.
VI/14 Groom Southend. Banking: canceled checks, deposit record. 1916-1919.
VI/15 Groom Southend. Invoices. 1917.
VI/16 Groom Southend. Invoices. 1918.
VI/17 Groom. Smelter returns. 1918-1923.
VI/18 Account ledger, Osborne family and estate. 1918-1937; 1945-1958.
VI/19 Groom. Tax bill. 1930.
VI/20 Groom. Tonnage report. n.d.

 

Series VII. Miscellaneous. 1916. 1 folder. Box 2

This series contains only one folder which pertains to hauling operations from a mine in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The contents consist of newspaper articles about an experiment to haul ore with a truck, as opposed to the old method of using animal power. Photographs which were included with this material have been transferred to the Special Collections photographic archives.