Tonopah Belmont Mine Fire Letter

Identifier: NC1365

Scope and Contents

The collection contains one letter written by an unknown individual to George Wingfield from Goldfield, Nevada on February 27, 1911, just days after the Tonopah Belmont Mine fire took place. In it, he discusses the threat of violence by the miners and the general bitterness toward the company. The author also writes of the Coroner's Jury and inquest into the fire and deaths of the miners, the Goldfield Tribune's coverage of the accident, and general mine safety.

Additionally, the collection contains a notice, printed on linen, that outlines the rules, regulations, and pay for miners working at a mine. This poster does not including any information regarding which mine it may have been created or posted by, nor a date for which it was used.


  • 1911 February 27

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

In the early hours of February 23, 1911, a fire broke out at the 1,166-foot level of the Belmont Mine in Tonopah, Nevada. A series of miscalculations and mistakes by senior mine officials, including Superintendent T. F. M. Fitzgerald, led to the deaths of seventeen miners. Anger at the accident and the attempted coverup of the extent of the death toll led to worries of violence by other miners and family of the men killed. Although no formal charges were ever filed, an official inquest into the actions taken that day occurred soon after; 70 individuals were interviewed.

[Summary taken from: Zanjani, Sally Springmeyer. "The Fire in the Tonopah Belmont Mine" in Journal of the West, 20(2), April 1981.]


0.4 Linear Feet (4 leaves)

Language of Materials



The Tonopah Belmont Mine fire took place in Tonopah, Nevada on February 23, 1911 and killed seventeen miners. The collection contains one letter, dated February 27, 1911, written to George Wingfield about the reaction to the Belmont Mine fire in the days following the disaster.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Holabird-Kagin Americana 2012 Hot August Auction in August 2012.


Guide to the Tonopah Belmont Mine Fire Letter
Jessica Maddox
April 2019
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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)