Nevada is known for its rich mining history (its nickname is the Silver State!), so it is only fitting that our first post for our new segment, “On This Day” deals with an exciting mining discovery! On this day exactly 100 years ago, a report of two men who accidentally discovered a deposit of cinnabar in the Pilot mountains of western Nevada, later known as Cinnabar Mountain, was published. Known for its unique red color, cinnabar is a toxic mercury sulfide mineral that was once used as a pigment for jewelry and pottery. Cinnabar is a mineral that is found within thin veinlets that traverse the limestone. It is found at a shallow depth, which is how the two men discovered it.
Charles Keough and Thomas Pepper stumbled upon the red mineral after tracking two steers. They later returned to Cinnabar Mountain and spent 10 days and located 17 claims. The claims of the two men and others in the district are described in the “Some Cinnabar Deposits in Western Nevada”, a report by Adolph Knopf of the United States Geologic Survey. The report explains, in detail, the discovery made by Pepper and Keough can be read here: USGS Report.
You can read the entire Tonopah Daily Bonanza, October 5, 1915 issue and more on Chronicling America!