Historic Groom Mine, Area 51, Nevada

groom-mine-groom-lake-area-51-nevada(Author unknown; image via Air-Attack)

The western United States is famous for abandoned mines and ghost towns from the 19th century gold rush.  But this slice of Old West history is notable for a number of reasons: firstly, it continues to operate when so many of its contemporaries have closed; secondly, it overlooks the top secret Groom Lake test site, known to the world as Area 51.

(Images: Doc Searls, cc-3.0; inset: X51, cc-sa-3.0)

Despite the fame and notoriety associated with the nearby military installation, Groom Mine occupied the land generations before, and has been owned and operated by the Sheahan family since 1885.  (Groom mine can be found north east of the dry lake.)

(Images: jamesdale10, cc-3.0; US Federal Government, public domain)

Groom Lake in its secret military capacity was founded in April 1955 when test pilot Tony LeVier – who was scouting the region from the air in a bid to find a secure location to test the Lockheed U-2 spyplane – brought it to the attention of Skunk Works boss “Kelly” Johnson.  Since then, the Groom Lake region of Area 51 has become the US Air Force and DARPA‘s most highly classified test site for top secret aircraft and weapons systems.

Next: Ghost Towns & Abandoned Mines in Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas

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  • Martha Sheahan

    This mine is not now nor has it ever been abondened. It is owned and kept up by the Sheahan family. Unfortunately we were unable to actually mine our property for over 50 yrs. We are now blasting and hope to be in the big ore body soon. Our cabins and water supply are in great shape. S0…. I think our mine doesn’t belong in this categuory although it certainley should be in some historical place. Martha Sheahan

 
 
 
 
 

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