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Welcome to Julia C Bulette 1864!

Our chapter is located in Virginia City, Nevada. This site contains all the information on our events, officers, and assorted happenings. Come visit our meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at the Clamper Hall in Virginia City, just down the street from Piper's Opera House.

Philip Deidesheimer – Father of the Square Set — by Johnny Gunn

Posted by Metric | Posted in History | Posted on 10-02-2018

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As an organization dedicated to the preservation of mining history in the west, we couldn’t be in a better place. The history of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode could

Philip Deidesheimer

keep an historian busy writing for ten years or more. Mining engineers around the world are taught techniques that were developed here because of the complexity of the ore, the size of the lode itself, and the geology of the Virginia Range.

When underground mining got underway back in 1859 the first thing the original miners discovered was how very loose the rock seemed and how very large the ore body was. The Ophir Mine was the first deep mine, the richest at the time, and the most dangerous. To take ore from underground and bring it to the surface leaves great caverns in the mountain called stopes, and technique of the time was to leave pillars of ore to hold the mountain open.
The Comstock Lode is broad and extensive, and the stopes with their supporting pillars became extremely dangerous with cave in after cave in, and the mine owners and miners knew something had to change. That ore was rich indeed, to the tune of thousands of dollars per ton in many cases. The owners of the Ophir learned of a German mining engineer who was preaching a new way.

Philip Deidesheimer was born in Darmstadt in 1832 and graduated from the Freiberg University of Mining, emigrated to California during the gold rush, arriving in Georgetown in 1852. The Ophir Mine brought him to Virginia City in 1860 to find a means of keeping these vast ore bodies available. One very nasty cave in took place at the Mexican Mine just north of the Ophir works. The remains of the wreck can be seen easily even today. On a south facing mountain side at the north end of town there is a great depression following the massive cave in that can be seen as you drive out of town.

Besides the loose ground predominant in the mines, there were great seams of clay that were under tremendous pressure. When the miners punched into one of the seams, the drift or shaft would close off within a matter of hours as the clay filled all open areas. It was a constant battle to keep those mines open and productive.
Deidesheimer is credited with creating what’s called square set timbering, which allowed the mines to fully develop the stopes. Large timbers, some as thick as twelve by twelve, most were ten by tens, were fitted into cubes and as the miners progressed, they would build another cube, eventually a stope would look more like a bee hive than a mine.

A few years ago, when I was working for Greg Hess, we opened a mine here on the Lode that had been closed since about 1900 or so, and got down into the lower levels. At about the 800 foot level we worked our way into a vast stope with the square sets still solidly in place. Since the mine had been sealed, the timber was just as good as the day it was brought underground. It was a hell of an experience.

Often the men would carve their initials on the timber with dates, and that was exciting to find. Deidesheimer could have made millions of dollars with his invention but refused to patent the idea, which allowed all the mines to begin using square sets in their operations. Like so many things that were discovered during the boom days of the Comstock, the use of square set timbering is of utmost importance in mining operations around the world today.

There has been speculation from many that Philip Deidesheimer got his ideas for square set timbering from honeycombs since that is what they most look like, but another speculation comes from the German salt mines which also had problems with cave ins. There was extensive timbering in the salt mines of the 1800s and that area is where Deidesheimer got his engineering degree.

Many believe he took the concept used in the salt mines and made adjustments so that the timbering would hold the tremendous weight and pressure of the Virginia Range rock. Deidesheimer was made superintendent of the Ophir Mine and worked for many years there. He moved on when the lode began to play out, ending his career in a California operation. He never made any extra money from his discovery that allowed these mines to prosper to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Philip Deidesheimer died in San Francisco on July 21st, 1916.

Among the many sources for this brief discussion are these web sites, a long association with the history of Virginia City, and personal knowledge gained from working with Greg Hess, working underground at the New Savage Mine, and sources at the Mackay School of Mines, UNR.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Deidesheimer
http://www.jmaw.org/deidesheimer-jewish-nevada/
http://nevadatrivia.com/nevada-history/philip-deidesheimer/
http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com/2016/08/philip-deidesheimer-miners-worst-fear.html
https://www.mininghalloffame.org/inductee/deidesheimer

Demotion Dinner 6023

Posted by Metric | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-01-2018

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Great Basin Alliance – 2018 schedule

Posted by Metric | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-11-2017

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Great Basin Alliance Meeting
11-14-17
Las Plumas Del Oro Presiding
Dignitaries:
Mike Milton from LPDO 8
Jeremy Wilson SST
Don Asher JCB
Vic Mena JCB
Fed Ex – Chief Truckee
Bodie ABSENT
Slim Princess ABSENT
Gunny – Copper Queen
Tonguepunch – 1422
Glitch – 1422/LJS
Winnemucca Bill – Sam Clemens Outpost
January:
Jan 13: SST Demotion Dinner
Jan 20: JCB Demotion Dinner

53rd Annual Nevada Day Ball

Posted by Metric | Posted in JCB 1864 Events | Posted on 11-10-2017

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NV ball flier

Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampout #38, Wonder, NV

Posted by Metric | Posted in History | Posted on 10-08-2017

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S L Y

Clamper year 6022

Brought to you by
Julia C. Bulette Chapter 1864, E Clampus Vitus

Envisioned by 
Noble Grand Humbug Reid Slayden

 Researched and interpreted by 
Jeffrey D. Johnson XNGH, Clamphistorian at Chapter 1864

Dedicated to
Rod Stock XSNGH, Jess Davis XNGH

2017 c.e.

Churchill County

Churchill County was established in 1861 and named after Fort Churchill (which is now in Lyon County), which was named after General Sylvester Churchill, a Mexican-American War hero who was Inspector General of the U.S. Army in 1861. Churchill County was not organized until 1864, and its county seats were Bucklands (1861–64) which is now in Lyon County, La Plata (1864–68), Stillwater (1868–1904) and Fallon (1904–present). In the 19th century there were several attempts to eliminate Churchill County because of its small population, but Assemblyman Lemuel Allen was able to stop it on all occasions including convincing the Governor to veto the bill after it had been passed by both houses in 1875.

William Morris Stewart – Nevada founding father

Posted by Metric | Posted in History | Posted on 05-06-2017

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William Morris Stewart had a lengthy and remarkable career. Extraordinarily capable and articulate, he was the most visible of nineteenth century Nevada senators. He was a skilled politician. Never beloved, he was respected for his intelligence and mastery of detail, and feared for his often ruthless determination and occasional lack of scruples in attaining his desired ends. His interests focused on national as well as local issues, and he fit in quite comfortably with the venal culture of his times.

Read More: 

http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/william-stewart

Nevada Historical Society Quarterly

 

Tile in the kitchen

Posted by Metric | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-03-2017

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Thanks, Tim! Looks great!

Kitchen remodel, February 11, 2017

Posted by Metric | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-02-2017

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Snow in Virginia City

Posted by Tim | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-01-2017

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It has been a combination of rain and snow in the first weeks of 2017, with the Truckee overflowing its banks and lots of snow in the hills.

20170110_135954 20170110_135959 20170110_13580220170110_135809

Then and Now, 1966

Posted by Metric | Posted in History | Posted on 22-12-2016

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An ECV history pamphlet from 1966. h/t Jim Cirner

then_and_now_1966

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