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The townsite of Sylvania was formed around 1872, three years after lead-silver ores were discovered in the local mountains. Stone and log buildings were erected, along with a general store that is thought to have been operated by the famous Death Valley borax miner Chris Zabriskie.  A thirty ton smelter was erected in 1875, which ran for three to four years before shutting down.  By 1880, only sporadic mining was taking place in the area.  Newer mill operations and buildings erected in 1976 are mixed with older buildings and stone ruins in the area.

 

 

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A mobile mercury retort (see glossary).

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The walls and ceiling of one of the buildings were covered with old newspaper and magazine ads - some were from The Saturday Evening Post April 18, 1936.

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