(Taken From The State of Nevada Historical Marker At
(Click to enlarge)
The following photographs were taken August 13, 2001 on the southern
outskirts of Elko (0.8 mile south of the end of Morris Lane off Bullion
Road). They show the "remains of a short-lived oil extraction plant, which reached the peak of
its productive capacity in the early twenties. Driving of the main shaft
began in 1916. Of several tries at extracting oil from shale, this was
the only successful operation in Nevada.
Robert M. Catlin, Sr. spent many years experimenting on the
extraction of crude oil from these beds before beginning the commercial
production of oil. After a production period of less than two years, the
plant was closed in the fall of 1924. Hi-power Catlin oil was too
expensive to compete with the fossil oils of that day.
Easily 50 years ahead of his time, Catlin did, for a few years, give
Elkoans and Nevadans, a dream and the community an oil boom in the
The mine tunnels have been closed.