I road Honda to Keno City today. Keno is 35 miles northeast of Mayo, at the end of a gravel and dirt road. The loose gravel road made it seem longer than 35 miles and it took me almost an hour to get there. I was bundled up in three jackets because the temperature was in the 60’s, but I kept warm by keeping my speed down. Whenever I met another vehicle I would have to stop until the dust settled.
Keno City was founded when silver was discovered in 1919. The silver ore was one of the richest deposits in the world, and the town of Keno and the town of Elsa nearby, grew with the mine. There is still some mining in the area but the town of Elsa didn’t survive the closure of the original mine.
There is a large and diverse museum in Keno, and that is what I went to see. It took me two hours to browse through all three buildings that house the museum. There were artifacts, photos, old mining equipment and everything else you can imagine.
Before silver was discovered in the area, gold prospectors took many ounces of gold in the rivers near Keno and Mayo, but the gold was small and not as rich as other areas so the miners moved on. I talked with the manager of the museum and asked if I would be able to pan for gold in the rivers. He said no one would care. He even told me of a guy that lives up the road that would let me pan in his stream and show me where some good places are. I didn’t have my gold pan so I thanked him anyway.