By Mary Sorenson 

Mineral City was the first town built in the Robinson Mining area which was named after Thomas Robinson around 1868. The Central Overland Stage station already had a stage stop there in 1860 which went from Utah to California.  The town started to grow and in its day it had a furnace and ten-stamp mill, mercantile stores, a post office, express office, six saloons, hotels, restaurants, livery stables, four boarding houses, a blacksmith shop and a population of 600 people.

The population dropped when they hit low grade ore in 1874 to only 300 people. However, Charles Lane bought the Chainman Mine and Mill in 1896/97 which helped the town to grow again. Mr. Lane invested a large amount of money back in that day to build a water ditch, power plant and a 100-ton cyanide mill. The Chainman’s power plant supplied Ely its first electricity to power electric lights in 1898.

The mill started up in March 1902, but not enough money was made because the low grade ore could not be processed by the cyanidation method. Due to Mr. Lane’s sons mismanagement of the mill, five years later Mr. Lane returned the property to the original owner, William McGill.