The Carson City Historical Society presents a free lecture on "The Donovan Mill and the Comstock Foundation" by Steven Saylor, executive director of the Comstock Foundation, on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For information about attending, contact David Bugli at 775-883-4154 or send an email to Dcbugli@aol.com and he will provide you with a meeting link (or a meeting ID with passcode).
The Donovan Mill in Silver City is a gold and silver stamp mill that was critical in the development of the cyanide method for processing ore. The Comstock Foundation acquired the mill in 2014 to save it from being sold, dismantled, and leveled.
The mill is a significant landmark of Comstock history and is the largest historic stamp mill in the United States still standing. It represents an example of historical innovation and technology.
Ultimately, the complex will serve as an interpretive center, with a fully operational blacksmith shop, operating stamp mill, and the restoration of two historic Merrill Crowe presses; only three Merrill Crowe milling machines are known to still exist in the nation. The interpretive center will provide the public access to these significant environs, and the demonstration of historic methods and practices, through visitation and educational programming, and through collaborations to maintain the informational link to past knowledge and practices.
The restoration of the Donovan Mill will provide the Comstock Foundation with the first significant living historic environ and complete the preservation of one of the links in our historic landscape. The foundation has also engaged in restoration of the Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist, St. Mary's Art Center, Gold Hill Depot, the Fourth Ward School, the Dayton Consolidated Mine and Mill, Piper's Opera House, Comstock Fireman's Museum, the Crown Point Mill, and Sutro Tunnel Town site.
Saylor's lecture will include visuals of the Donovan Mill - both historical and before-and-after restoration work - and a nine-minute video tour of the Donovan Mill covering the process of ore processing from beginning to end.
Saylor has been executive director of the Comstock Foundation since January 2018, and has been successful in improving community outreach, membership, lecture series, special event production, volunteer engagement, donations, supporters, and more. Under his guidance the Comstock Foundation won the Northern Nevada Development Authority's Pioneer/Boundary Peak Award as best nonprofit in 2018.
He is second vice president of the Nevada Museums Association, and was awarded Virginia City businessperson of the year 2020-2021 by national organization Alignable.