Heizer Nevada Mining Archive (106458)

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Mining Start Price:750.00 USD Estimated At:1,500.00 - 3,000.00 USD
Heizer Nevada Mining Archive   (106458)
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This item SOLD at 2019 Jul 13 @ 16:46UTC-7 : PDT/MST
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The Ott and John Heizer Nevada Mining Archive

Ott Heizer came west from West Virginia to find work. Instead he was reportedly in the first graduating class of Mackay School of Mines and went on to a long career in mining in Nevada. His son John took a bit of a different path, first attending the college of the Pacific, then taking a stab at the Hotel business after being turned down to work in his dream job of overseas work. Failing to graduate, the young John took a verbal beating from his father before settling in at Stanford. Both had very successful mining careers in Nevada, and John was best friends with John Livermore, the “father” of the Carlin trend and modern open pit, heap leach mining.

This archive follows parts of Ott’s career, then John’s after he began work with his father. Ott worked in Fairview, Seven Troughs, and other places before settling in working on Tungsten and other producing mines and mills in north-central Nevada. Ott’s experience quickly resulted in his rise to mine and mill manager of major producing mines. Ott was backed by Sonora, California banker and financier Charles Segerstrom. Ott managed the Nevada-Massachusetts Mining Co. at Mill City and the mill at Sulfur, Nevada.

The archive contains an excellent run of photographs, both single shots and panoramas of the mines and mills where he worked, particularly Mill City and Sulfur. Additionally, the run of correspondence is among the best in-house correspondence I’ve ever seen for any mine, with many letters of point-blank comments about running a mine and mill and the exploration work and development necessary for a successful operation. Of particular interest are some letters re Paul F. Kerr, a mineralogy professor at Columbia in New York (while my Great Aunt Belle Northrup was teaching art there). Kerr, with absolutely no practical mining experience whatsoever, was trying to tell the company what to do and how to do it. These sorts of problems have plagued the industry for more than a hundred years. About the same time, the same thing was happening to Homestake in South Dakota, and it ultimately set the company back about a decade. There is a major archive from one of the early geologists there before 1930 that is now housed at CSM, showing the open bickering between professional mining geologists and engineers and an argumentative consultant, who ultimately became president of the company.

There are approximately 40 black & white photos from the 1930’s, perhaps 100pp of letters, along with some personal photos.

The lot also contains about half a cubic foot of correspondence, scrap book, hotel stationery and photos from the early life of John Heizer, Mining Engineer. Heizer was the son of Nevada Mining Engineer Ott Heizer, manager of the Nevada-Massachusetts Tungsten operation at Mill City. Young Heizer tried his hand at College of the Pacific, accepted in 1929, but soon got the "wanderlust". He tried his hand at the hotel business, ending up in San Francisco. The archive contains a number of letters regarding his job search during a very difficult economic time (market crash and Depression). There are many letters to the young John from Ott trying to encourage his son to "get it together" (writer's interpretation).

State/Country: Nevada
City/County: Mill City and More