%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads

The Grosh Brothers

Ethan Allen and Hosea Ballou Grosh were brothers who mined in both California and Nevada.  They worked in California in the winter then crossed the Sierra to Carson Valley in the summer.  They made their way to Gold Canyon and, along with many other hopeful prospectors, searched for the claim that would make them rich.

The Grosh brothers were a bit different in their approach to mining.  Unlike most miners, who looked only for gold, Ethan and Hosea were also looking for silver.  They found silver, a strike they described as the "monster ledge," in the Silver City area, but did not live to develop their discovery.  In late summer of 1857, Hosea had an accident with a pick, and died after his foot became badly infected.  His brother also came to a tragic end: his feet were frozen when he and a friend were caught in a snowstorm trying to cross the Sierra.  He did not want his legs amputated and died in December, 1857.

The names of the Grosh brothers have been remembered in history because they came so close to finding the fabulous wealth of the Comstock Lode.  But in truth they were like so many other miners of the West, who toiled in harsh conditions and searched for the ore that would make them wealthy, but who never found the one big strike.  It could be a dangerous way to live, and many, like Ethan and Hosea Grosh, died in the cold of snowy mountains or the heat of the dry dusty desert.

Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society