Groom Mining District Records

Identifier: 99-19

Scope and Contents

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 3 (99-19_3_9).


  • 1871-1930
  • Majority of material found within 1900-1920

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative History

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).

Jonas Brown (J. B.) Osborne and his partners acquired the claims at Groom and patented them in 1876. Thomas James (T. J.) Osborne, of no relation to J. B., 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).


2 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Includes records of the Groom Nevada Lead Mining Company and the Groom Southend Mining Company: incorporation documents, correspondence, land records, maps, financial records, and photographs. Activities of T. J. (Thomas J.) Osborne and J. B. Osborne are documented as are those of several leasers.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Legal; 2) Correspondence; 3) Reports; 4) Land records; 5) Maps; 6) Financial; 7) Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired in 1999.

Separated Materials

Photos have been transferred to the photographic archives of the Special Collections Department except for those inserted into the Eugene Higginson report in Series 3 (99-19_3_9) as collection number UNRS-P2003-02.

Guide to the Groom Mining District Records
Susan Searcy
August 12, 1999
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)