Documentary, exhibit cover story of American Flat Mill

The Bureau of Land Management, Carson City District released an American Flat Mill documentary and is continuing to host a mobile exhibit highlighting the history of the 1920s United Comstock Merger Mill at American Flat, also known as the American Flat Mill.

“The American Flat Mill will be missed by a number of people in the area. Thanks to all who participated in the documentary highlighting the history of this icon,” said Dan Erbes, BLM geologist. “While the mill may be gone, sharing a variety of media with the public ensures its story and relevance is not forgotten.”

The documentary is a historical biography of an iconic 1920s mill that was located at the American Flat south of Gold Hill. The mill used cyanide to leach gold and silver from local materials.

The documentary can be found at Capable of processing 2,000 tons of ore per day, the mill was reputed to be the largest cyanide mill in the world at the time of its operation.

Its concrete-and-steel construction was designed to be solid, stark, and functional. Over the years, the concrete structures gave in to decay, exposing twisted rebar and underground voids that filled with water.

The ruins became a serious safety risk to the public. The BLM contracted the demolition of the American Flat Mill for public safety reasons in 2014.

The American Flat Mill exhibit includes a diorama of the historic mill along with descriptions, photographs, and maps documenting the mill’s history.

The exhibit allows the viewer to imagine the scale and scope of the operation and the mining activities conducted at each of the eight mill buildings.

The exhibit is available for viewing from 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the BLM Carson City District Office public room, 5665 Morgan Mill Road.

A virtual reality tour of the mill buildings, as they were prior to demolition, is available at


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