Directly south of this point and across the valley floor are the remains of a short-lived 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 complete with the fossil oils of that day.
Easily 50 years ahead of his time, Catlin gave Elkoans and Nevadans a dream and the community an oil boom in the Roaring Twenties.