Mazuma was founded in 1907, during the Seven Troughs Canyon gold rush. By the summer of 1908, it was the districts largest camp. The town was comprised of a newspaper (The Seven Troughs District News), a post office, a bank, a hotel, several stores, professional services offices, stage service to Lovelock, and a fire department. In 1909, a ten-stamp mill was built, and the town prospered for the next three years.
If one looks at the first photo below, you might get a hint of what happened to Mazuma in 1912 - especially, if you know anything about the desert. You do not build a town in a wash! On July 19, 1912, a wall of water from a summer cloudburst up above seven Troughs Canyon came down through Mazuma. Eleven people were killed, four from one family. Many buildings were completely washed away, and others washed off their foundations. The property loss was estimated in the neighborhood of $100,000.
From the Reno Evening Gazette Nevada 1912-07-20 edition, a P. E. Groesbeck of the undertaking firm of Groesbeck and O'Brien of Reno returned from the scene of the flood-stricken Mazuma district this morning in which he described what he saw.
"The condition of all these bodies was terrible to behold. They were bruised from head to foot and were almost completely beyond recognition. The bodies were entirely denuded when found. They were covered with debris, dirt and sand. some of the bodies, were picked up several miles from the place of residence."
"Many of the escapes from death were miraculous. The flood apparently came without warning and swept down on the victims in a moment. Many of the survivors had to be held back from rushing into the flood in an effort to rescue minor effects."
"Michael Kehoe had just retired when the flood struck the building. He jumped from his bed and ran to the door. He saw the body of the smallest Kehoe boy float by him on the crest of the flood and lost his life trying to save the lad."
"The entire town, with the exception of one or two buildings located high on the hill, was wiped out. The Coalition Mining company lost nearly its entire plant and its big vault where in the neighborhood of $20,000 worth of bullion was stored. The bullion was all lost."