Thank you for your interest in Groom Mine!

The Historic Groom Mine & Residence has been owned and operated by us, the Sheahan family, since 1889. Rich in several precious metals including lead and silver, we diligently mined the land, paving our way in Nevada mining history. In time, the Groom Mine became our foundation, livelihood and home. 

In the 1950s, the U.S. Government set its sights on southern Nevada for an aircraft testing facility. Slowly, the U.S. Government drove every miner in the vicinity out- except for our family, who held and continues to hold six patented mining claims dating back to 1864 and 15 unpatented claims. 

 Our White Lake and Conception Patents were signed by Ulysses S. Grant and granted us the “exclusive right to enjoyment of all the lands within the boundaries, forever.” Therefore, our family was able to remain living on and continue mining our land, despite the Government’s efforts to run all the miners off.

On June 23, 1954 at approximately 12 p.m., the heart and soul of our mining operation, the mill, was bombed.  The destruction was devastating, as we watched decades of hard work, dedication and history burst into flames. The wreckage forced us to uproot our home, relocate and re-start our careers elsewhere.

Less than a year later, on the land just south of the Groom Mine, the Government, be it the CIA or the Air Force, started construction on an air base.  This air base today is known as Area 51.  Despite the construction of Area 51
the Air Force swore to Congress that it would take nothing from our property and the Air Force “guaranteed” that we would maintain full ownership of the Groom Mine Property without fear of restricted access.

 We’ve faced many challenges in trying to work with the USAF and other government entities. Such challenges can only be described as criminal acts by our government including:

• The bombing of the Groom Mine mill site.
• Shooting of the Groom Mine campsite by airplanes.
• Holding family members at gunpoint on numerous occasions. Family members have experienced fear and mental anguish from this.
• Nuclear fallout from the aboveground nuclear tests. These tests caused radiation burns and sickness among some family members.
• Invasion of privacy at Groom Mine and constant monitoring of our activities.
• Threatened use of deadly force by security forces.
• Causing lost opportunities for business dealings.
• Illegal and periodic searches of our vehicles and persons.
• Coerced signings of Inadvertent Disclosure Statements.

On August 14, 2015, the family received correspondence from the USAF, giving us an ultimatum: Sell our land to the U.S. Government for $5.2 million, an offer that doesn't even cover the mineral rights to the land, or they will seize it through condemnation. In other terms, the United States Government is going to seize our land with utter disregard for our private property we have had in our family for over 130 years- and without just compensation. With that, they will also take a history that cannot be replaced or replicated.

The Sheahan family consists of ardent patriots. Several of us have served in various branches of the U.S. Military, fighting for the rights and liberties we believe in. As Americans, we strongly support and believe the mission of our government is to protect its citizens and uphold the United States Constitution. By condemning our land and denying us just compensation, the USAF is disregarding our inherent rights defined in the Fifth Amendment, which states, “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Our family are patriots.  In return, we have received nothing but threats and indignant acts by our own government. The acts of the USAF are an abomination of the ideals on which this country was built: that every American has certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It’s time that the USAF upheld this notion.