Groom Mining District Records

Identifier: 2007-16

Scope and Contents

Collection primarily consists of correspondence to an from William Wheatly, Patrick Sheahan, T. J. Osborne, C. N. Roberts, N. O. Bradley and E. C. Farnsworth (attorneys at law), and E. Richardson. Correspondence deals with operations, agreements, and the sale of mining claims. Many of the letters are individual sheets of tissue either removed from a letterpress copy book or created individually. These letters are extremely difficult to read and very fragile.

Also included are a small number of legal documents, deeds, agreements, and mine location notices. Only one document, a deed, is from 1873; all other documents date from the mid- to late-1890s.


  • 1873-1903

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.

Historical Note

Discovered in the late 1860s and located in Lincoln County, Nevada approximately 50 miles north of Indian Springs and 100 miles southwest of Pioche, the Groom Mining District was officially organized in 1869. The Conception Mines were the first worked in that area in about 1871 with production first reported in the 1869-1870 edition of Report of the State Mineralogist of Nevada, published in 1871. Wheeler’s 1871 Report accorded a lengthy article noting the large amount of low-grade ore present. The name “Groom” or “Groome” seems to have appeared in the early 1870s as the result of an English financing of the Conception mines by the name “Groome Lead Mines Limited.” Mines produced only silver and lead and did not contain any recoverable gold. The first significant work occurred in 1873-1874. Other nearby mines included the Willow, Maria, and White Lake.

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. T. J. Osborne visited his mines at least once a year in an effort to maintain his claims according to federal mining law. Interest in the Groom District renewed with the mining boom of Tonopah and Goldfield. L. L. Patrick, famous for his Goldfield promotion work, leased the mine for a year. In that year, he completed the first detailed report of the mine. He also paid for a report by a mining engineer who did not recommend the property.

For nearly each year thereafter, different operators leased the property, but it was not until about 1916 when Osborne leased the mine to McCormack that they began to see the fruits of regular production. In June 1916, the claims were incorporated as the Groom Nevada Lead Mines Company and as the Groom Southend Mining Company. In 1918, the death of T. J. Osborne caused the lessees to withdraw resulting in the closure of the mine. The mine briefly resumed operation after World War II following litigation with the federal government, but closed permanently in the early 1950s.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Groom Mining District is located in Lincoln County, Nevada and produced lead and silver from the early 1870s to 1916, then again after World War II to 1950. Collection primarily consists of correspondence and includes deeds and other legal documents. Materials between 1873-1903.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Correspondence, and 2) Agreements, Deeds, and Other Legal Documents

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Holabird-Kagin Americana in August 2007.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:

Groom Mining District Records (99-19)

Related archival materials held by other institutions:

J. B. Osborne Papers Related to Groom Mining District Mining Claims (BANC MSS 2011/226 University of California, Berkeley Bancroft Library)

Guide to the Groom Mining District Records
Jessica Maddox
November 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

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)