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Gold was the first discovery here in 1867, but the lack of water prevented serious placer mining.

The camp was named after a Union warship of the Civil War. In 1871 rich silver veins were discovered on the east side of Mount Blitzen, and the camp was moved to its present site. The old town site was left to the Chinese, and it is claimed that it was the second largest Chinatown east of San Francisco. At the peak of Tuscarora's prosperity, it had about 3300 inhabitants, 1800 of which were on the payrolls of the mines; there were two large boarding houses in the place, two good-sized hotels, several general stores, saloons, a drug store, a jewelry store, a gun shop, and enough houses to comfortably care for the population. There were enough mills to take care of the ore mined, the largest of which was the Union Mill built in 1883, and which, because wood was scarce, used sage brush for fuel to fire its huge boilers and develop steam and power.

During the mid 1880s, the big mines of the 1870s began to play out and the population had slipped to less than 1,000. The town continued to suffer and many businesses closed their doors. The stagecoaches were full leaving town and empty upon their return. During the ensuing years there were many attempts at revival but none succeeded in returning the town to its previous glory. It is estimated that the mines of Tuscarora have produced about $40 million in bullion.

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The Independence Mill

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Masonic Lodge

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Zweifel Rooming House. This building was moved from Cornucopia NV to its present site in 1877. In 1881 it was purchased by Elizabeth Zweifel. Through the years it has served as a rooming house, post office, telephone office, justice court, law office, and school house. The first man buried in Tuscarora is believed to have been murdered in this house. In 1972 the Parks family purchased the building. It serves today as a dormitory and gallery for their world famous Tuscarora Pottery School.

 

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Tuscarora has a yacht club?

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