TONOPAH NEVADAS 51st ANNUAL

JIM BUTLER DAYS & NEVADA STATE MINING CHAMPIONSHIPS

MAY 22nd THROUGH MAY 30th 2022

This Year’s Theme:
Celebrating our Serbian Heritage

Thousands of Serbians arrived during the peak period of immigration to America (1880 to 1914).

Although the majority of Serbian immigrants were uneducated, unskilled men in their prime working years—mostly peasants from the countryside—they did not come to America to farm, which most of them did in Serbia. Instead, they wanted to remain in the United States long enough to earn the money needed to allow them to return home and improve the lives of their families.  Many of them settled however, and stayed, in the mining areas of the west where they became an important part of their communities.

Pictured are Petar (Pete) Beko and Saveta Radovich.  It was taken on their wedding day, December 21, 1913, in Tonopah.

Jim Butler – As the Story Goes…

Jim Butler was camping around Tonopah Springs, the spring of 1900 when his burro wandered off.

While chasing it, Jim picked up a rock to throw at it & discovered some promising looking ore. He continued his journey and showed the samples to others, who showed little interest. After returning to his home in Belmont, Butler told a young attorney named Tasker Oddie about his discovery. Tasker had a friend who taught chemistry in Austin, and he enlisted the teacher’s help in assaying the sample. The ore valued at more than $200 a ton.

History tells us that the mines in this district produced in excess of five million tons of ore. At today’s market the precious metals produced would be valued in excess of $1,200,000,000.