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All sites listed in the Elko
County list have been personally visited!
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directions are available in my book
"Old Heart of Nevada: Ghost
Towns and Mining Camps of Elko County, Nevada."
Served as a stop for a number of stage companies beginning in
1869. With the establishment of Eight-Mile Station on an alternative route, Adobe
Station's importance dropped. While stage travel pretty much had ended by 1900, a ranch
continued to operate there. Only crumbled buildings and scattered debris are left.
AFTON (Taber City)
Afton came into being as part of the large Mormon dry farming
experiment that started in nearby Metropolis. The first arrived in 1910 and by 1914, 50
homesteaders were in the area. A post office operated from 1914 to 1918. Drought and
rabbits drove many settlers away and by 1917, only half of the original settlers were
left. A few stuck it out and the area is still used for farming and raising livestock.
Most of the ranches in the area are still owned by descendants of the original settlers.
The site of Afton is marked by foundations, scattered wood, and a new well.
Southern Pacific signal station, first east of Montello. Only a
small section house was built at the site and it is now long gone.
ALABAMA MINING DISTRICT Photos
District established in 1871. District around Blanchard Mountain.
During next 20 years, many small mines were worked. Eventually the district was absorbed
by the Contact district. Mine ruins abound in the district and are scattered within a six
square mile area. Remnants include headframes, collapsed buildings, stone ruins, and mine
dumps. Very fascinating exploration.
Alazon was established in 1909 after the Southern Pacific
Railroad straightened out its tracks between Deeth and Wells. It also served as the
junction of the Western and Southern Pacific Railroads. As many as 20 lived at Alazon at
times. A school operated until 1938. In 1956, Southern Pacific moved their Alazon offices
to Wells and Alazon ceased to exist. Nothing is left today.
Placer deposits were discovered along Young American Creek in
1869 and a small camp formed but only limited production took place. Alder was abandoned
by the mid-1870s. During the 1890s, activity returned, spearheaded by Emanuel Penrod. A
new townsite, Delores, was platted and had a population of 30. However, by 1898, Delores
was abandoned. Limited activity took place from 1916 to 1939 but only 53 ounces of gold
and 1219 ounces of silver were produced. A tungsten mine was active from 1970 to 1977 and
produced 6000 units. Today, only sunken cellars and the ruins of Penrod's mill mark the
site. the scenery, however, is spectacular and a campground is located nearby.
A post office named Alexander opened at the ranch of Charles
Alexander in 1895. In 1900, the office was moved five miles east to a ranch on Pole Creek
but closed in 1901. A ranch continues to operate at the site of the Alexander post office
and a couple turn of the century buildings remain.
ANNAVILLE (Goose Creek
Settlement)(Ashbrook Mining District)
Small settlement with a trading post and lodging house served
early day emigrants travelling this portion of the California Trail. Some mining took
place during the 1870s but the area was and still is primarily a ranching area. However,
many failed before the turn of the century and old abandoned homesteads are scattered
throughout the Goose Creek area.
Served as a horse exchange stop on the Tuscarora to Battle
Mountain road during the 1870s and 1880s. The stageline folded in 1882. The station was
torn down later that year and nothing remains.
Signal station on the Southern Pacific. Only a signal shack and
small sectionhouse were built and both are gone now. Only a concrete foundation marks the
The Arthur area was first settled in 1868. A ranching community
developed and by 1881, 50 people were living in the area. The Arthur post office opened
that year at the Gedney ranch. A school was built in 1884 but due to demand, a larger one
was constructed in 1886. The Arthur post office continued to operate until 1951. A number
of ranches continue to be active in the area.
Formed in 1905 after strikes at nearby Bull Run. Primarily supply
center for nearby mining districts. Peaked around 1915. Population was as high as 150.
Post office from 1906 to 1927. Only stone ruins of Aura saloon remain.
Siding on the Southern Pacific. Nothing more than a switching
shed was constructed and nothing is left today.
BATTLE CREEK (Ruby Valley
Mining District) Photos
First ore discoveries were made in 1903 here. A number of
companies produced small amounts before the district was abandoned in 1910. Only
occasional activity took place until 1942. Tungsten and scheelite were discovered at the
Battle Creek mine. The mine was active until 1950. In 1951, operations began on the
Noonday mine. The company built a number of buildings and moved the old Western Pacific
Tobar depot here to use as a boardinghouse. The company folded in 1956. Not much else has
been done since. My efforts to save the Tobar station (the last wood WP station left in
Nevada) seemed successful and it was slated to be moved to Elko to serve as the chamber of
commerce's new office. But a brush fire in August of 1995 burned the station to the ground
only a week after receiving grants to complete the move. Further up the canyon, there
remains evidence of the mining activity.
BAUVARD (Banvard)(Old Montello)
Bauvard was established in 1904 by the Southern Pacific Railroad.
However, within two years, the railroad relocated its depot, section house, and water
tanks to Montello. No buildings, only foundations, are left at Bauvard.
BEAVER (Devil's Gate Ranch)
Beaver was the name of a post office that served ranches in the
Devil's Gate area. It opened at the Bello Ranch in 1896. The post office remained open
until 1908. The North Humboldt School was built in 1903 and was used until the late teens.
Many re-turn of the century buildings remain on area ranches. One near the Bello Ranch
appears to be the old schoolhouse but this could not be verified.
BEAVER MINING DISTRICT (Lake Mountain)
Placer gold was discovered in 1872. Later turquoise. $100K
produced during next fifteen years. Turquoise produced intermittenly until the 1960s.
Total production 500K. Open pits and trenches mark the site.
Bishops was one of the original construction camps for the
Central Pacific Railroad. A sectionhouse and boardinghouse were built in 1869. Once
construction was completed through Bishops, though, it was relegated to siding status
although its population during the early 1880s was around 35. A school opened around the
turn of the century at the Franklin Ranch. School was used until 1920s when it was
consolidated with Wells. Ranches are still active in the area but the Bishops railroad
siding was destroyed when the rails were realigned.
Blackhawk was a stop and horse exchange station on the Elko-White
Pine tollarod in the early 1870s. Once Shepherd's Station became established, Blackhawk
was abandoned. Only a couple of rotted logs mark the site.
Only activity here took place in 1907 and 1908 when James Cord
worked a couple of claims and removed small amounts of lead, silver and gold. Only a small
collapsed shaft and mine dumps remain.
BLUE JACKET (Blythe
Discovered in 1869. Active until 1885. Numerous stamp mills built. Revived from 1903 to
1917. Extensive ruins abound in canyon and numerous buildings still survive.Good camping
and fishing too. Well worth the trip.
BLUE POINT SPRING
Originally a small ranch that was incorporated into the Wells-Spruce Mountain stage
route as a stop during the 1870s. The stage folded in the late 1870s and the ranch was
abandoned in the 1890s. Only a couple log buildings remain.
Signal station on Western Pacific. In 1910, during railroad's construction, Boaz served
as the main shipping point for Clover Valley. A couple of buildings were built to house a
section crew. By the late 1940s, Boaz had been phased out and the buildings were moved or
torn down. Not much remains today.
BOOTSTRAP (Boulder Creek)
Discovered in 1940. In 1949, Getchell Mines took over. Real boom began when Newmont
Mining bought property in 1967 and the site now produces more than 3 million ounces of
gold a year. Still an active mine.
Short-lived post office which opened in 1904 at the SN Ranch. Meant to serve local
ranchers, it didn't generate enough revenue and closed in 1906.
BRUNO CITY (Bruneau City)(Wyoming District) Photos
Bruno City formed in July 1869 when the Young America Mine was discovered. By 1870, the
census recorded 122 residents and the town contained a couple of saloons, stores, and a
two story hotel. A 10 stamp mill was moved here in 1875 but by then, ore values had
fallen. The camp faded and by 1880 only 20 remained. Only occasional activity took place
after. Total production through the 1950s was around $100K. The Diamond Jim Mine was
active from 1954 to 1982 and produced 1.6 million pounds of lead, 120K ounces of silver
and 83K pounds of zinc. Not much remains at Bruno City. The mill foundations remain and a
couple of foundations below mark the townsite. The huge head gates for the main water
ditch are located further up the canyon.
BUEL (Buell)(Lucin)(Tuttle) Photos
Initially discovered in 1868, small town formed during 1870. Post office opened in
1871. Buel, named for David Buel of Austin fame, peaked in 1874. One 40 ton shipment
yielded $16K. However, the mines started closing one by one. Population went from a peak
of 200 to less than 50 by 1876. A 30 year revival began in 1885. Copper, the primary
mineral of Buel, became a more valuable commodity. During the 1880s and 1890s, about 50
people called Buel home. In 1907, the Union Pacific Railroad built a spur to the town to
transport ore. From 1906 to 1912, $1.7 million worth of copper was shipped. From 1906
until the mines closed in 1917, population of Buel was steady around 200. After the mines
closed, Buel emptied. The unused railroad spur was finally officially abandoned in 1940.
Total production for the district is around $5 million, including 20 million pounds of
copper. There is much to see at Buel. The Tuttle townsite (terminus of the spur) a couple
of buildings remain on a private ranch. A few collapsing log cabins mark the Buel
townsite. On the mountain, there are numerous buildings, ore bins, foundations, and other
mining related artifacts. Most of the tramline from the top of the mountain is still
intact except for the wires. Plan to spend a full day here, bring your camera, and enjoy.
This place is one of great exploratory potential.
BULLION (Bullion City)(Railroad
City)(Highland)(Empire City)(Bunker Hill)(Railroad Mining District) Photos
Silver was discovered in 1869. By the spring of 1870, a full scale boom was on and two
townsites platted: Highland and Bullion City. However, the difficult ore always hindered
Bullion. The 1870 census has Bullion's population at 110. Bullion peaked in 1874 but the
next year, the mining companies folded one by one. However, production focused on copper
and by 1880, Bullion had revived to have a population of 150. But by the late 1880s,
things around Bullion were pretty dead. All the mills and smelters were closed. Population
was only about 20 through the turn of the century. 1916 was the biggest production year
for Bullion when more than 1 million pounds of copper were removed, but any hopes of a
permanent revival faded and by 1918, all activity was at a standstill. Bullion was
basically a ghost town after that. Although some mining has taken place since, it did
nothing to revive the town. Total production for the district is close to $5 million. Not
much is left in Bullion today. Large slag heaps, smelter foundations, stone ruins and a
small cemetery are the only markers.
BULL RUN Photos
Small camp formed in 1869. Tough location at close to 10,000 feet. Wasn't until 1896
that real development took place. Mill built in 1899. Population rose to a high of 125.
Most activity stopped by 1910. A revival took place in the late 1930s. Total production is
around 500K. Today, the ghost town has one of the most spectacular views of any in Elko
County. A couple of bunkhouses still stand. There are also remnants of the wood water
pipeline. Also mill ruins. The whole camp is perched on a cliff that quickly drops off at
least 1000 feet. Well worth the difficult hike to get there.
BULL RUN STATION (Golden City)
Served as a station and horse changing stop on the Mountain City branch of the Northern
Stage Company during the 1870s. A small hotel was also built. The formation of Bull Run
led to Bull Run Station becoming the drop off point for supplies at the new camp. When
Bull Run faded in 1908, the need for the station and the fancy new townsite of Golden City
ended. Only a couple of cabin logs mark the site.
BURNER (Burner Hills)(Elite Mining District) Photos
First discovered by the Burner brothers in 1876. Ore shipped to Cornucopia. Most active
during 1884 and 1885. From 1877 to 1893, 30K produced. Small revival during 1930s but less
than 20K produced. Mill foundations and a cabin remain.
CAVE CREEK (Cave City)(Shantytown)
A small camp formed at Cave Creek in 1867 because of its proximity to Fort Ruby. A
distillery, saloon, restaurant, and saw mill were active. However, once Fort Ruby closed
down, the businesses at Cave Creek closed. Since then, the Cave Creek Ranch has been
active. Also, the Gallagher Fish Hatchery is active. Remaining buildings from the Cave
Creek Ranch have been incorporated into the base for the Ruby Lake National Wildlife
Refuge. A campground is located nearby.
Small depot and signal station on first the Central Pacific and later Southern Pacific.
Served primarily as a wood station. A small store and Wells Fargo office operated during
the 1870s. Once the businesses had closed in the 1880s, Cedar served as a water stop and
not much else. The station was abandoned in 1948 and dismantled. Only scattered rubble and
a couple old woodcutter dugouts mark the site.
CHARLESTON (Mardis)(Bayard)(Union Gulch)(Cornwall)(Copper
First named Mardis after George Washington Mardis, Charleston formed in 1876 as a
result of placer gold discoveries. Mardis was murdered in 1880 while carrying miners gold
to Elko for deposit. The town faded after his death. By 1883, only a handful remained.
Activity rebounded slightly in the late 1880s and by 1890, population was a little more
than 40. The town was renamed Charleston after the new postmaster. Many different
companies came and went, mines opened and closed, but some production always was taking
place. The discovery of Jarbidge helped the town and it became a shipping point for the
new gold camp. However, the area was evolving from mining to ranching. The actual town of
Charleston slowly faded and the post office closed in 1951. Today, the town of Charleston
has virtually disappeared except for some faint foundations. Most of the buildings were
moved to nearby ranches. The school house still stands nearby as does an old mill.
Small station on Western Pacific. It saw little use and was later demoted to signal
station status. The small platform and house that served as the station was dismantled in
the 1920s. Nothing of interest remains.
COAL CANYON Photos
As early as 1876, a coal deposit is noted here on maps but nothing took place until
1932 when a lead mine, the Garamendi, began production. But not a lot was produced and all
activity had ceased by 1940. Little besides shafts, tunnels, mine dumps, and one crumbling
COBRE (Omar) Photos
Omar was the original site, located a short distance away, which served as a station on
the Southern Pacific Railroad. When Cobre was established as the northern terminus of the
Nevada Northern Railway, all the buildings were moved from Omar to Cobre. Cobre boomed in
1906 as construction on the railroad continued. By 1910, Cobre had a population of 60.
However, as the automobile became prominent, passenger traffic on the railroad declined
and was primarily used for shipping the huge amounts of ore being produced from the copper
mines near Ely. By the 1930s, only a handful of people still lived in Cobre. Daily
passenger service to Ely stopped in 1938 and Cobre was pretty much a ghost town after
that. While the Nevada Northern Railway continued using Cobre as a shipping point for ore,
the trains came to a dead town. Only foundations remain today next to a cinder block
engine house built during the 1960s.
Side track and signal station for Western Pacific and Southern Pacific. Originally
served as a temporary construction camp for Central Pacific in 1869. Nothing permanent was
constructed and nothing is left today.
COLUMBIA (Van Duzer)(Marseilles)(Pennsylvania Hill) Photos
Columbia was discovered in 1868 by Jesse Cope who also discovered mines at Mountain
City. By 1870, 25K had been produced and 25 mines were active. 20-stamp mill built in
1871. By the end of 1871, population stood at 1871. During the 1870s and 1880s, as many as
200 Chinese worked the nearby Van Duzer placers. However, all faded by 1900 and even
nearby discoveries in Bull Run and Blue Jacket could save the town. From 1868 to 1902, the
mines produced 60k ounces of gold and 4 million ounces of silver. Mill foundations, stone
ruins and a couple of buildings remain near the Columbia Ranch.
CONTACT (Contact City)(Salmon City)(Salmon
River)(Kit Carson)(Porter)(Portis)(Alabama) Photos
While discoveries were made and developed on nearby China and Blanchard Mountains
during the 1870s, Contact itself didn't come into being until 1887. By 1895, there were 70
miners living in the small camp. By 1897, that number had risen to 200. But mine closures
led to the virtual abandonment of Contact and by 1905, there were only 5 residents. But a
revival began in 1907 when the United States Mining and Smelting Company arrived. By the
next year, Contact had a population of 300. As a result, three different rival townsites
were platted. The mines were so productive that ore was produced every year until 1958.
The 1920s was the decade that put Contact on the map. Many large buildings were
constructed, including a number of elegant hotels. In 1925, the Oregon Shortline arrived
here. By 1930, however, the boom was fading although the town still had a population of
260. By 1935, it was down to 100. The 1940s were lean years and even though production
continued, it was a far cry from the early years. The Oregon Shortline closed its Contact
depot in 1952. Mining essentially ceased in 1958 after producing 5.8 million pounds of
copper, 360K pounds of lead, 127K ounces of silver, 18K pounds of zinc, and 1200 ounces of
gold. A few residents still live here, working mainly for the highway department. At the
old Contact site, the rock walls of one of the first stores remain. In the main town, old
homes stand alongside new trailers. An impressive concrete building dominates the site.
The old school still stands and a cemetery is located nearby.
Short existence but prosperous during its time. First ore discovered in 1872. By
beginning of 1873, 70 miners living here. By summer, 50 people arriving by the many stages
each day. Population was more than 1000 by end of 1873. Peak years were 1874 and 1875. By
1876, most mines began to close as veins faded and disappeared. Only 75 left in town by
end of 1876. Small revival in 1880 brought population up to 113. All stages and the post
office ceased operations in 1883. Only three residents were left. The last resident left
in early 1884. Some sporadic activity took place in the teens and 1930s but the town never
revived. Total production of the district is a little more than 1 million, and only $100K
of that was produced after 1882. The site is a spectacular one to visit. A few stone
cabins and numerous ruins remain at the Cornucopia townsite, along with the remains of one
of the mills higher on the hill. Just north of town are the remains of Milltown, which
feature mill walls and numerous stone cabins in various stages of decay. A small cemetery
remains but is extremely difficult to locate. Only two graves remain, the others having
been moved after Cornucopia folded. Well worth the trip and fun to explore.
Cottonwood was a post office on Billy Clendenning's ranch which opened in 1869. It only
remained open until 1870. The ranch has continued to operate.
COTTONWOOD TOLL STATION (Golconda)
Horse exchange and fare collection point on the Cornucopia toll road beginning in 1873.
It was purchased by Woodruff and Ennor in 1874 and renamed Golconda. After the Cornucopia
collapse in the late 1870s, the station was never used again. Stone walls of the station
and horse barn mark the site.
CURRIE (Bellinger's Spring) Photos
Bellinger's Spring was original a stop on the Toano and Cherry Creek road. The town of
Currie, named for Joseph Currie who had been ranching here since the 1880s, formed in 1906
when the Nevada Northern Railway established a stop here. The first substantial building
built was the two-story Currie Hotel. A post office and school opened. By 1910, Currie was
at its peak. Weekend railroad excursions from Ely brought as many as 100 people up for
recreational hunting and rattlesnake drives. In 1941, passenger and mail service to Currie
was discontinued due to slumping business. The post office remained open until 1971.
Today, the original depot and Currie Hotel remain, among other original buildings. A gas
station and store is open.
Decoy came into existence with the construction of the Nevada Northern Railway in 1906.
It was only a siding until the Decoy Mining District was organized and began shipping
manganese through the siding. Decoy was also the site of an ill-fated dry farming
experiment. By 1915, as many as 20 dry farms had been established but a combination of
drought and rabbits led to the abandonment of all by 1917. Only ruins of the loading ramps
and section house mark the Decoy siding. A number of old homesteads are scattered to the
area west of the tracks.
DEEP CREEK Photos
Served as stage station from the 1870s to 1890s. After the need for the station was
gone, a couple of small ranches operated along Deep Creek. A school was built in the 1920s
but closed in 1935. One old ranch house and some foundations are left at the station site.
First called Death by emigrants travelling the California Trail in the 1840s. A small
store and trading post operated during this period a couple of miles from the future Deeth
townsite. Deeth formed in 1869 when the Central Pacific Railroad was completed through the
area. A box car served as the railroad depot and post office. By 1880, Deeth had a
population of 30. A nice hotel was built and a number of other business opened during the
next 20 years. New strikes in Jarbidge brought Deeth to its peak around 1910. Most of the
stages and freight lines heading to the big strike were based in Deeth. Center pieces of
the town were the Mayer Hotel and the Bradley Opera House. A large fire in 1915 destroyed
two thirds of the business district and crippled Deeth. The town never really recovered.
The arrival of the automobile lessened even further the need for Deeth. Another fire in
the 1930s destroyed the opera house. The school closed in 1957 and the Western Pacific
depot was moved to Crested Acres. The town still has a population of around 20. Two Nevada
governors came from the town. A number of original buildings still survive.
DELANO (Delno)(Goose Creek Mining District)(New
York Mining District) Photos
First disoveries were made in 1872 but only limited mining took place during the 1870s
and 1880s. While a camp did slowly form, it was kind of scattered and the only business
was a saloon. By 1890, the population of the dispersed camp was around 30. The Cleveland
Mine began production in 1908 and that led to the period of most sustained activity. Three
mines produced the lion share of production: Cleveland, Net and Gold Note. By the 1920s,
population was around 50. A mill was built about 10 miles away at Rock Springs but was
dismantled in 1934 because it was cheaper to ship the ore to Tecoma. The best years for
the district were between 1946 and 1950 when a little more than $1 million was mined. By
the 1960s, little activity was taking place and only a handful of people remained. Until
recently, Delano was one of the best ghost towns in Nevada with a multitude of buildings,
headframes, and mining artifacts. However, a huge fire in August of 1996 destroyed all but
a couple of the buildings. One of Elko County's best ghost towns is virtually gone.
Station on the Union Pacific's Oregon Shortline. A small depot was built along with a
boardinghouse for section crews. A school was built in 1927. Delaplain was never a
prominent station on the line and the buildings were dismantled long before the trains
stopped running in 1978. Once concrete foundations are left today.
DELKER (Delcer)(Locust Spring)
Discovered in 1890, only the Delker and Emma mines were ever worked. The district's
only recorded production was from 1916 to 1917 when 98K pounds of copper were shipped.
Only a shallow shaft and ore dumps mark the site.
Prominent stop on the Elko - Tuscarora stage road. First station house built by Alex
Coryell in the 1860s to serve Hill Beachey's Elko-Idaho route. During the Tuscarora boom,
numerous stagelines came through Dinner Station. The station continued to be prominent for
many years. Even in 1905, as many as 75 travelers a day were passing through. The advent
of the automobile ended the need for Dinner Station but over the years, a prosperous ranch
had developed. Dinner Station has remained an active ranch to this day. The old stone
station burned in 1991 but was completely restored by the current owners and visitors can
once again see the beautiful station house.
Discovered by W.C. Davis and J.L. Workman in 1915. By August, 75 miners had flocked to
area. Barney Horn opened first business, saloon and general store. However, veins were
short and the camp was abandoned by 1918 after only producing 1300 ounces of silver. Some
mining took place during 1928 but that was the last activity at Divide. One building, a
collapsed cabin and a couple of shallow shafts mark the site.
DOLLY VARDEN (Mizpah)(Victoria)(Moores
Camp)(Last Chance)(Granite Mountain)(Watson Spring) Photos
Dolly Varden was a camp for housing miners working eight miles to the west at the
Mizpah (or Victoria) mine and other mines in the Dolly Varden mining district. All the
activity began in 1872 and two camps formed, Dolly Varden at Dolly Varden Spring, and
Moores Camp, at Watson Spring. The two camps had a population of 50 by the end of 1872.
While production wasn't large, it was consistent and the two rival camps continued to
slowly grow. By 1880, there were 87 residents and a school. However, a drastic drop in
copper prices in the mid-1880s closed up the district. It wasn't until 1905 that new
activity started. A new camp called Mizpah formed and had a post office. The Victoria Mine
was again the main producer. Another copper price dropped closed the mines again in 1912.
Other revivals took place in the mid-1920s and from 1941 to 1947. In the mid-1970s,
Anaconda reopened the Victoria mine, built a 1000 ton concentrator and produced 24 million
pounds of copper before final closure in 1981. As part of an agreement of reclamation, all
buildings at the mine site were razed, including some from the early days. Only a couple
of collapsing buildings mark the Mizpah townsite, Moore's Camp is buried under a tailings
pile, and foundations, rubble and two railroad cars mark Dolly Varden.
Duck creek Station was a stop on the Wells to Hamilton stage road beginning in the late
1860s. After the Hamilton boom faded, the station closed in 1879. Only a stone foundation
marks the site.
Horse changing stop on the Bullion road. Served a couple of stage lines in the early
1870s but was abandoned by 1875. Nothing remains of the station.
Name of a post office located on a ranch near Midas. Opened in 1907 and closed in 1913.
With growth of Midas, office wasn't needed anymore.
EAGLE ROCK STATION
Stop on the Elko to Tuscarora stageline built in 1875. Served as an overnight and meal
stop. The station continued to operate until the arrival of the automobile in the 1920s
made it obsolete. The station fell into disuse and only a foundation marks the site.
While mining took place in the area beginning in the 1870s, the town of Edgemont didn't
form until 1900. The discovery of the Lucky Girl Mine in 1898 was the beginning of
Edgemont. A 20-stamp mill was built in 1901 and the town had a population of 150.
Avalanches were a constant plague on Edgemont, one in 1904 destroyed the hoisting works at
the mine and severely damaged the mill. Another in 1906 swept away the wood frame of the
mill. The mine and mill closed in 1909 due to legal challenge to ownership, after
producing $745K. By 1915, Edgemont was a ghost town. The post office, in name only,
remained open until 1918. Some occasional work took place after that but the only
producing activity took place from 1938 to 1942 when 16K ounces of gold and 3K ounces of
silver were produced. Total production from Edgemont is just under $1 million. Buildings
remained until recently when they were bulldozed due to liability concerns. Mill
foundations remain. Site is located on private property.
EIGHT MILE STATION (The Barrels)(Pudjeau's)
Horse changing stop used sparingly when the alternate route over Adobe Summit was
snowed in during winter. Only the springs remain today.
Stop on the Wells to Sprucemont stageline during the 1870s and 1880s. A short lived
post office operated in 1880. The stage stopped running after Sprucemont collapsed in the
1880s. Only scattered debris marks the site.
ELBURZ (Peko) Photos
Peko was the original name when the Central Pacific came through here in 1869. In the
1870s, Mathias Glaser settled here and the ranch is still active today. Many original
buildings, including Glaser's home, survive. In addition, railroad building foundations
and other equipment remains.
First discoveries were made in 1882 but abandoned by 1883. The only period of
recordable production took place from 1954 to 1958 when the Pyramid Mine yielded a small
amount of tungsten. The Robinette mill began operation in 1957 but closed the next year.
Today, the mill, which is completely intact, still stands but the Forest Service is
planning on razing the structure because of a new wilderness area they just established.
Short-lived post office that operated from 1871 to 1872. It was located on White Rock
Creek, just north of Edgemont. A small camp of 20 formed around the mines but only a
couple of frame buildings were built before it was abandoned. Only a couple collapsed
dugouts mark the site.
FALCON (Rock Creek) Photos
First settled in 1870 as a ranch, mining arrived in 1876. During 1877, small company
camp of Falcon formed. By 1878, post office opened, many mines were active, a toll road
was in operation to Battle Mountain, and the population stood at 80. The Falcon Mine
suddenly closed in late 1878 and the camp died. The mine was finally reopened in 1881 and
a mill was built. However, the mill never produced a single bar of silver and was
dismantled in 1884. The only activity after took place in the late 1920s and from 1937 to
1942 but only 23K ounces of silver was produced from that activity. A number of cabins
still stand. The Falcon mine has a number of shacks and equipment left. A few stone ruins
and foundations mark the old Falcon townsite.
FENELON (Otego) Photos
Fenelon was a water stop and signal station, first on the Central Pacific and then the
Southern Pacific. While part of the Central Pacific, the stop was known as Otego. A small
station and a couple of buildings for housing were built in 1869. By the turn of the
century, a camp of 20 formed and a half dozen buildings built. Once a phase of new
railroad construction was completed in 1903, Fenelon ceased to exist. All buildings were
removed and only foundations, including the brick water tank holder, remain.
In 1880, the Ferber brothers discovered the Big Chief Mine, however its ore had little
value. While a lot of exploration took place and many mining claims were filed, littlerything shut down, however, in 1918. Only minor activity has taken place
since. Ferber is an interesting place to explore, even though a town never formed. There
are many mines, gallows frames and cabins scattered throughout the district.
FERGUSON SPRINGS (Allegheny)(Mountain) Photos
George Washington Mardis, of Charleston fame, first discovered copper and silver here
in 1880. After his murder in Gold Creek, little interest was shown in the district until
after the turn of the century. In 1904, the Ferguson Springs mining district was
established, a number of miners moved in, and a school, which operated until 1933, opened.
However, only limited amounts of ore were produced. Most of the production came from the
Dead Cedar Mine from 1937 to 1939. Little has occurred since. Total production stands at
45K pounds of copper, 8K pounds of lead and 1K ounces of silver. An ore chut, mine shaft,
and a couple of buildings mark the Dead Cedar mine.
FORT HALLECK (Camp Halleck) Photos
Established by the federal government in July 1867. In May 1868, Fort Churchill closed
and all personnel were transferred here. Quality of life at the fort was poor until the
Central Pacific Railroad was completed nearby. In 1870, the population of the Fort stood
at 145. Nearby ranches opened their own little saloons to cater to the soldiers. The fort
outlived its usefulness and was closed in 1886. The buildings were both pilfered and moved
to other locations. Only the schoolhouse remained and was used for years, standing amid
the rubble of what used to be Fort Halleck. Only foundations of the fort remain today
along with a small cemetery. Some buildings do still exist on some of the nearby ranches.
FOX SPRINGS (Oldham Station)(Fox Station)
Established as an overnight and meal stop on the Elko to Tuscarora stageline in the
1870s. Used until the 1920s, the arrival of the automobile ended the station's usefulness.
The Fox Springs Ranch has continued to operate and is still in the Oldham family. Original
buildings remain amid newer structures. Site is on fenced private property.
Established in 1869 as stop on the Elko and Idaho toll road. Also served as terminus
for the short-lived Johnson toll road which ran to Bruno City. A large barn was built that
held 30 horses. It burned in 1875 and Friend's Station ceased to exist. Nothing is left to
mark the station site.
GOLD CREEK (Island Mountain)(Penrod)(Goldfield)(Wyoming
First discoveries were made in 1869 on Island Mountain. Camp was initially called
Penrod, after Emmanuel Penrod. By 1875, the camp had a population of 103. Success was
fleeting though and by 1880, only 71 were left, and 54 of those were Chinese. The
Chinatown actually was more bustling than the town. In 1894, the Gold Creek Mining Co.
formed and began a big promotional campaign. A large hotel, store and saloon was built.
The next year, the Gold Creek Hotel, a three-story building, was completed. By the end of
1896, 150 miners were employed. Within months, the boom was in full swing and population
rose to more than 500. Electric lights, a town water system and telephones, rare amenities
in a town, were added. However, the mining end was starting to fail. The company closed
down in June 1898 and the town emptied as fast as it had filled. By 1900, Gold Creek was
dead. Only sporadic mining has taken place since. At Gold Creek today, only a historical
marker and a concrete sidewalk are left among some foundations. The old Island Mountain
townsite is off limits due to some mining activity, although one can see Penrod's old
concrete vault still standing. Higher up the canyon are the remains of Chinatown which
contains about 10 old dugouts.. Nearby, a number of old buildings, stone mill foundations
and other ruins remain. Only one headstone marks the site of the Gold Creek cemetery.
While not a lot of buildings still stand, it is still a fascinating area to explore and
well worth the trip.
GOOD HOPE (Aurora)(Amazon)(Walker City) Photos
Initial silver discoveries at Good Hope occurred in 1873. Four different camps and
mining districts formed, which led to confusion. All districts were consolidated as the
Good Hope Mining District in 1879. By 1880, Good Hope had a population of 36. Two
stagelines, two saloons, and a boardinghouse were operating. A post office opened in 1884
but the mines failed later that year after producing $100K from 1882 to 1884. The camp
quickly emptied and the post office closed in early 1887. Mining revived in 1918 and was
active until 1923 when lightning hit the mill and it was destroyed. Very little activity
has taken place since. The camp of Good Hope is marked by two mill foundations, sitting
side by side. There are also a couple of stone foundations. Remains at the Buckeye and
Ohio Mine, located just to the south of the townsite, are the best in the area. A gallows
frame marks the Good Hope Mine. Only mine dumps and dwelling depressions mark the
short-lived camps of Aurora (Amazon).
Stop and siding on the Nevada Northern Railway. A small stationhouse and boardinghouse
were built. A post office opened in 1907 but only lasted a year. Only a couple of
foundations are left today.
Formed in 1869 with the completion of the Central Pacific. Served as a shipping point
for nearby Fort Halleck. By 1870, population of 35 and two hotels. By 1880, 97 people and
1900, 126. Slowly, after the fort shut down, people left. The post office still operates
today amid the few buildings left at the site.
Hall Station was a stage station located just south of Mountain City before the turn of
the century. The station was run by Joe Hall, who also owned a store in Mountain City.
Nothing remains of the station today.
HARRISON PASS Photos
Established in 1865 as a ranch, mining began in 1897. Mines operated off and on through
the 1940s. Mill foundations, dumps and a number of occupied cabins remain.
Haystack Station was one of the original stops on Hill Beachey's Elko-Idaho Tollroad.
The station was an overnight and dinner stop. A small stationhouse was built along with a
stable which housed up to 20 horses. However, when Beachey's empire collapsed and the
tollroad closed, the station was abandoned. A ranch was founded at the site in 1873 and
became part of the extensive Morgan Hill holdings. The ranch is still active today. While
a couple of old buildings remain, the stationhouse has long since disappeared.
Henry was a depot and water station on the Oregon Short Line. The station came into
being in late 1925 and was named after Henry Harris, a popular negro foreman for the
Sparks-Harrell cattle empire. Harris had come from Texas and served as a cook for Nevada
Governor John Sparks. After moving to Elko County, he became respected and admired for his
knowledge of the cattle industry. A couple of ranches operated near Henry and utilized the
depot for shipping cattle. Because of the number of children on the nearby ranches, a
school operated at Henry during the 1930s and 1940s. By time the Oregon Shortline ended
operations and pulled up its rails in 1978, the area was empty. The small depot, adjoined
by the water pump and tower, remain today amid a stand of trees.
Herrell was a signal station and switching yard for the Oregon Shortline. The station
was named for Jasper and Hardy Harrell, two partners in the Sparks-Harrell cattle outfit.
Jasper Harrell sold his partnership in 1883 and purchased mining property at Spruce
Mountain, which see. However, because of a typographical error made by map and schedule
makers for the railroad, the station has always appeared as Herrell. The station was
established in 1925 and besides the normal railroad buildings, a triangular side-track was
built for the extra engines needed to pull the train up from the valley below. The
remaining buildings were dismantled when the railroad closed in 1978. Concrete foundations
and the side-track railbed mark Herrell's location.
Hogan is a siding on the Western Pacific Railroad, located east of Ventosa and south of
HOLBORN (Independence) Photos
Holborn, a signal station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, came into existence during
the redesigning of the old Central Pacific Railroad bed during the early 1900s. Before
Holborn was constructed, Independence, located a couple of miles to the south, was a water
stop on the Central Pacific. A couple of buildings were built at Independence to house a
section crew. Scattered debris and broken glass mark the Independence site. Just past
Independence, on the old railroad bed, is an excellent example of the meticulous work the
Chinese workers did in constructing the railroad. A water passageway under the railroad
bed is carefully constructed, with square-head nails. Only the concrete foundations of the
sectionhouse are left at Holborn.
HOOTENS (Mound Valley)
Hootens was a stage station, located just north of present day Jiggs, on the
Elko-Hamilton tollroad. David Hooten, a former Virginia City miner, built a 10-room log
hotel in 1869. During those early years, Mound Valley tended to be a lawless place and
Hootens tended to be the center of this activity. A post office, named Mound Valley,
opened on March 26, 1879, with Hooten as postmaster. However, the office didn't last long
and closed on March 17, 1881.By this time, travel to Hamilton had vanished and the stages
had stopped running. Zane Grey, famous western author, having heard stories about the
area's wild days, made Mound Valley the headquarters for his character, King Fisher. While
the original buildings are long gone, the site is still an active ranch.
Hubbard was a stop and signal station on the Oregon Shortline Railroad beginning in
1925. During 1933, Camp Hubbard, a CCC camp, was built. By 1938, 15 buildings had been
constructed including a large mess hall that seated the over 200 men, aged 18 to 23,
assigned to the camp. The buildings were removed after the camp closed in the early 1940s.
The Hubbard railroad stop was abandoned when the Oregon Shortline folded in 1978.
Foundations mark the railroad stop and CCC camp. Hubbard Ranch is still operating and is
owned by the Boies family
Hunter has been a ranch since the 1870s when Thomas and William Hunter built a large
ranching empire which controlled 26 irons, the first of which was registered in 1873. The
area was where the California, or Emigrant, Trail was joined by the infamous Hastings
Cutoff. During the 1840s and 1850s, over 200,000 emigrants travelled these two emigrant
trails. Wagon ruts are still visible around the Hunter area. Around 1910, the Western
Pacific was constructed and the Hunter siding was established. This provided an easy
shipping point for their cattle. The ranch has seen many owners over the years and
continues to operate today. The most recognizable building at the ranch is the old
Hunter-Banks barn. There is an interpretive center for the emigrant trail located at the
Hunter exit off of Interstate 80.
HUNTINGTON VALLEY (HUNTINGTON)(ROBINSON
STATION)(TAFT STATION)(HARDY STATION)(SADLER RANCH)(DUTCHMAN'S) Photos
Huntington Valley was first settled during the 1860s. The Hastings Cutoff traversed the
valley and the Donner Party passed through in 1846 on their way to doom in the Sierras.
With the establishment of the Hill Beachey and George Shepherd stage roads to Hamilton, a
number of stations were setup in the valley. Robinson Station was the break off point for
a branch of the stageline that went to Eureka via Red Rock Pass. Taft Station, also known
as Hardy Station, was a diversion point for Beachey's line to Eureka which went through
Railroad Canyon. The Sadler Ranch, named for Nevada Governor Reinhold Sadler, was the
juncture for both the Beachey and Shepherd roads. The 1880 census listed the valley's
population as 101. The post office closed in July 1904. Many ranches still are active in
Huntington Valley and most have pre-1900 buildings left. The quarried stone building built
at the Sadler Ranch remains. While the Porch homestead is long gone, foundations are left
as is the small family cemetery containing a few graves. The old stage roads and wagon
ruts of the Hastings Cutoff emigrants are also visible.
Icarus was a signal station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, located 10 miles west of
Cobre. Railroad officials named the station for the imaginary country where perfect
communism existed and not after the famous Greek fable of the same name. In February,
1903, a train wreck killed well-known engineer Fred Stokes. A train struck a broken rail.
All but the last two cars passed safely. However, the next train slammed into the derailed
cars. Two engines, a dynamo, and two mailcars were thrown into the ditch. Stokes body was
found crushed under the tender. Nothing was ever built at Icarus and, therefore, nothing
INDEPENDENCE VALLEY Photos
Independence Valley, from which the headwaters of the Owyhee River flow, was named by a
group of soldiers who passed through the fertile valley on July 4th. The valley has been a
prosperous place for farmers and ranchers for over 125 years. By 1871, five ranches were
in operation and many more continued to start during the ensuing years. The largest was
the Spanish Ranch. The boom at Tuscarora helped accelerate farming and ranching growth in
the valley. A school opened at the Byrne Ranch in the mid-1870s. Independence Valley
continues to be a prosperous ranching area. In addition, many crystal clear creeks tumble
down from the surrounding mountains to flow into the Owyhee River. In days past, before
the advent of downstream dams, it was a common sight to see spawning salmon swimming
through the valley. A drive up the valley provides not only historic sites but many scenic
IVADA (TAYLOR'S POCKET)(GOLD BASIN MINING DISTRICT)
Ivada flamed briefly after the turn of the century. Initially called Taylor's Pocket,
the camp was renamed Ivada by promoters because of its proximity to Idaho and Nevada.
During the summer of 1907, John Blosser and Matt Graham discovered a silver deposit along
Taylor Creek. The remoteness of the discoveries, however, made growth difficult. Supplies
had to be hauled in by mules. Only the highest grade ore was shipped out because of the
high cost. Supplies for Ivada were brought from Mountain Home, Idaho, and Elko, to the
Scott Ranch. From there, pack animals carried the supplies to the camp. By 1909, the tent
town of Ivada had grown to 250. In May, 1910, there was a flurry of claim sales in the
camp. But it was all a smokescreen, the rush was on to Jarbidge, and the tents at Ivada
folded up quickly. By the end of summer, everyone was gone and the townsite had vanished
into the sagebrush. Since no permanent structures were ever built, not much marks the site
except levelled tent pads. Some small dumps are scattered throughout Taylor Basin.
IVANHOE MINING DISTRICT Photos
Before 1900, cinnbar ore was discovered and 125 claims filed but no further development
was made. The first mercury discoveries to be developed in the Ivanhoe district were made
by W.F. Roseberry and W.C. Davis in 1915. During the 1930s, small but steady production
continued. However, the war led to a slowdown in mining and finally, in 1944, all
operations had ceased. From 1927 to 1944, 2,136 flasks were produced, 1,032 from the Butte
Mine.After 1944, only small amounts of mercury were produced. There are mine dumps and
roaster ruins at the Governor (three miles west of the Hollister pit), Colemen (three
miles west), and Silver Cloud (five miles southwest). Dumps and workings remain at the Fox
and Sheep Corral Mines.
JACK CREEK (Anderson)(Jackson) Photos
Jack Creek was named in honor of its original settler, Jack Harrington. Harrington
homesteaded the area in 1868 and spent the rest of his life ranching at Jack Creek. Jack
Creek was soon added as a stop on the Northern Stage Company's line from Tuscarora to
Mountain City. In June 1879, the Jack Creek School District was organized. A small
settlement of about 20 had formed at Jack Creek and a few other ranches were homesteaded
in Jack Creek Canyon and nearby areas to the north and south. Because of the number of
families in the area and the lack of a proper gathering place, Harrington built the Jack
Creek Opera House, which was completed in November 1880. Harrington died in 1886. Many
citizens from Tuscarora and Elko came to Jack Creek to spend weekends fishing and hunting.
During August of 1898, the Tuscarora based Dexter Mining Company began construction of a
large power plant on Jack Creek. Power lines were strung to the 40-stamp Dexter Mill in
Tuscarora. The plant was completed in January, 1899. Jack Creek continued to be a local
sportsmen's mecca. A number of ranches still operate in the area. The "resort"
is still closed but could be reopened in the future. Foundations mark the site of the
power plant. Some parts of the flume are also still visible.
JACK'S STATION (Vega Ranch)
Jack's Station was established as a stop on the Hill-Beachey stageline in the 1870s.
Later, the station was used as a stop for the North Fork-Gold Creek Stage Company. Jack's
Station was purchased by Manuel Vegas in 1903 and has been known as the Vega Ranch ever
since. The ranch is still in the Vega family and a number of original buildings remain.
JARBIDGE (Jahabich)(Pavlak) Photos
Jarbidge was the last big boomtown in Nevada. The first major discovery was made by
David Bourne on August 19, 1909. The Jarbidge Mining District was organized in October and
at least 50 men were living in tents on the canyon floor. Harsh winters plagued Jarbidge
throughout its history and it was common for the town to be completely shut off from the
outside for weeks at a time. By April 1910, 1,500 people had flocked to Jarbidge and a
city of 500 tents sprang up. During 1911, mining activity occurred throughout the canyon.
Despite the promising mining activity, there were only a limited amount of jobs and
production was limited and sporadic. By the end of 1911, many of Jarbidge's residents left
for good, leaving a steady population of about 300. In 1915, thanks to the Bluster,
$105,000 was produced. 1917 was the beginning of the true mining boom at Jarbidge. After
almost a year of exploration work, the Elkoro Mining Company finally reached a rich
orebody in the Long Hike Mine. Construction immediately began on a 100-ton mill. Over
$570,000 was produced in 1917, making Jarbidge the largest gold producer in Elko County, a
rank it would hold until 1933. Only sporadic and minor production occurred afterward.
Total production for the Jarbidge mines is realistically about $10 million, although some
reports claim it is as high as $50 to $60 million. The town of Jarbidge has survived and
is now a popular hunting, fishing, and camping place. The scenery in and around Jarbidge
is a big draw. Many original buildings, including the jail and recently restored Jarbidge
Commercial Club, remain amid newer homes. A gas station, stores, saloons, and bed and
breakfast cater to the many tourists. The huge foundations of the Elkoro Mill are located
just off of main street. The Bluster Mill, located south of Jarbidge, was virtually
complete until partially collapsing a couple of years ago. A cemetery is just north of
town. At Pavlak, only foundations and a historic marker show the location of the old
townsite. Jarbidge is one of this author's favorite places to visit, not only for the
great historic sites but also for the fantastic scenery which makes it one of the most
beautiful areas in Nevada.
Jasper was established in 1910 as a signal station on the Western Pacific Railroad. The
station served for many years as a shipping point for Spruce Mountain ore. A couple of
small houses were built for the railroad employees. When the Spruce Mountain revival faded
in the late 1930s, the Western Pacific closed the telegraph office and warehouse. All of
the buildings were dismantled. When the Western Pacific rebuilt its rails recently, the
Jasper siding was eliminated. Concrete foundations mark the Jasper site.
Creek)(Mound Valley)(Skelton)(Hylton) Photos
Jiggs, while never a large town, has many unique facets to its history. During its
lifetime, the town has been served by six different post offices and achieved national
prominence when Volkswagen put the entire population of the town in one of its vans for a
nationwide advertising promotion. The first settler in Mound Valley was W.M. Kennedy who
arrived in 1866. By the late 1860s, quite a few homesteads had been located in the valley.
By the turn of the century, the town of Skelton consisted of a post office, dance hall,
hotel, restaurant, store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. Electricity finally arrived in
Jiggs in 1963. The same year, the whole town became nationally known when all of Jiggs'
nine residents were loaded into a "roomy" Volkswagen van as part of a
promotional campaign. A few people still call Jiggs home. The bar is still open and a
small school is in operation. The community hall, brick hotel, and school/post office are
among the other remaining buildings. The two-story brick hotel, even after all of these
years, is still one of the most impressive buildings in Elko County.
Johnson Station was first a way station on the Cope Road and then a stop on the North
Fork-Gold Creek Stageline, run by Will Martin of North Fork. Today, the original station
site on Walker Creek is part of an active ranch but nothing remains to mark the site.
Jude was a signal station located between Deeth and Wells and served the Southern
Kaw, located between Wells and Cedar, served both the Southern Pacific and Western
Pacific Railroads as a signal station.
KINGSLEY (Kinsley)(Antelope) Photos
In December, 1862, Felix O'Neil discovered the first lode of ore found in Elko County.
In 1865, George Kingsley, a former soldier at Fort Ruby, rediscovered O'Neil's claims. By
1867, enough interest was roused that a dozen men were working 30 claims. While some minor
production did take place, the remoteness of the location and costs of shipping ore to
proper treatment facilities proved prohibitive. Kingsley was abandoned by 1874. Some
activity returned during the late 1870s and 1880s. However, all of these operations were
doomed to failure by 1882. Tungsten discoveries in 1944 led to sporadic mining through
1956 that saw 127 units produced. In July, 1994, Alta Gold Company broke ground for a heap
leach mine at Kinsley. The first shipment of gold was made in January, 1995. Four open pit
mines have been established and predicted production of about 44,000 ounces per year.
Total production before exhaustion is estimated at 157,000 ounces. While total production
for the Kinsley distrist is relatively low at 25,000 pounds of copper, 65,000 pounds of
lead and 5,800 ounces of silver, there is a lot to see. At the Phalen Mine, a couple
cabins remain. Nearby are a couple of other mines which also have a couple of buildings.
In the canyon to the south are the remains of the concentration mill. The Kinsley district
is quite remote and far away from a gas station. Make sure you have plenty of gas before
LAFAYETTE MINING DISTRICT
The Lafayette Mining District, located four miles north of Tobar, was organized after
silver-lead ore was discovered in 1925. The 700 pounds of ore shipped that year was the
only production ever recorded. While there are active claims in the district, no
exploration has taken place. Only a small ore dump and collapsed shaft mark the site.
Lake, listed as Luke on some maps, was located between Shafter and Hogan on the Western
Pacific Railroad and served as a siding. The siding was eliminated when the Western
Pacific reconstructed their line during the 1980s.
LAMOILLE (The Crossroads)(Walker Station)
While most people recognize the name Lamoille because of the popularity of nearby
Lamoille Canyon, few visitors realize the rich history of the town of Lamoille. The area
was first settled in 1865 by two of the original incorporators of Austin, Thomas Waterman
and John Walker. In 1869, the town of Lamoille began to form after Walker built a store,
saloon, blacksmith shop, and the Cottonwood Hotel. The complex, called Walker Station, was
located at was known as the Crossroads, where the Fort Halleck Road met another road which
ran down the valley. By 1880, Lamoille Valley had a population of 207. By 1900, Lamoille's
population stood at 147. A unique part of Elko County's history was the flume and power
plant built in Lamoille Canyon during 1912. The wood flume down the canyon was 15,000 feet
long and started at a place called Pete's Cabin. When the power plant burned in 1971, it
was not rebuilt. Over the years, Lamoille has remained a tight-knit ranching community.
Old buildings have disappeared and new ones have been built. One of the buildings from the
Tonopah Air Base was moved to Lamoille after World War II and serves the Lamoille Women's
Club. Lamoille and Lamoille Canyon remain a great draw not only for local residents but
also for tourists from all over the country. It is truely one of the most beautiful areas
in Nevada. Lamoille remains much as it was a hundred years ago and don't be surprised to
see deer still grazing in The Grove in the middle of town.
LARRABEE MINING DISTRICT
As a result of mining activity at nearby Mineral Hill, a number of prospectors explored
the adjoining area. During the early 1880s, many claims were staked and a mining district,
Larrabee, was established. As many as 50 miners were in the district during the summer but
despite all of the activity, hardly any rich ore was found. By the next year, everyone was
gone. There wasn't any mining again in Larrabee until the 1970s when the Jay Mine produced
about 1,000 tons of barite. Only small ore dumps from the 1880s mark the site.
Lee was named for Robert E. Lee by J.L. Martin, a native of Maine, who settled in the
South Fork Valley in 1869. However, a real community was slow to develop. A number of
ranches were homesteaded during the next decade. As a result of the construction of a
flour mill in 1881, the small town of Lee soon had a population of about 50. However,
World War I and the resultant war rationing ended the usefulness of the mill, and it soon
closed. The mill stood until the 1930s, being used as a recreation hall, until it burned
down. Once the flour mill had shut down, the small town of Lee survived as a social center
for South Fork Valley families, but its population shrank over the years. Beginning in
1935, Lee and the South Fork Valley began a slow transformation into the present day
Temoke Tribe of the Shoshone Reservation. Very few ranches, independent of the
reservation, still exist in the valley. Today, Lee is a quiet town with a population of
about 50. A number of old buildings, including the school and creamery, still remain. The
Oregon Shortline Railroad's Contact depot was moved here. It still stands and is the only
true depot of the line left in Nevada.
Leffingwell Station, located two miles from Taylors on Trail Creek, served as the
northern terminus for the Elko and Independence Tollroad, which was built in 1873. The
road originated from just north of Dinner Station. The Elko and Independence road ended at
the Carlin and Idaho Tollroad. Leffingwell Station served both roads for only a couple of
years. When both tollroads folded, the station was abandoned. Nothing is left at
LIME MOUNTAIN (Independence Mining
District)(Grand Junction Mining District)
Initial discoveries on Lime Mountain were made in the late 1870s by prospectors from
Cornucopia. However, little production took place. The first significant discoveries were
made in March, 1897. After the turn of the century, activity picked up throughout the
district. By 1910, almost 40 miners were working around Lime Mountain. However, this
activity had faded by the early teens. The main period of production on Lime Mountain
began in 1928 when the Elko-Lime Mountain Gold Mines Company was formed. However, the
company ended up folding in 1930. Most of the total production for Lime Mountain took
place from 1937 to 1940. From 1937 to 1940, the company enjoyed more than $260,000 in
production. Since then, there has been no production and only occasional exploration has
taken place. Approximate value of the ore was $325,000. Today, mining remnants mark the
site of the Lime Mountain mines.
LONE MOUNTAIN (Merrimac)(Rip Van
First discoveries on Lone Mountain were made as early as 1866. By 1871, a number of
mines were producing. While a town didn't develop, miners were scattered all over the
mountain. Henry Miller, who ran the Cornucopia stage road, built the Lone Mountain Station
in the early 1870s which was used by miners to ship ore and receive goods. The year 1897
proved to be the best to date in the district. In February, long-time local prospector
John Yore discovered the Rip Van Winkle Mine, destined to be far and away the most
productive mine on Lone Mountain. A strong earthquake in 1917 shifted parts of the
mountain and most of the springs on the mountain were slowed or shut off. In addition,
extensive damage occurred in the deeper mines, in particular the Rip Van Winkle. It was
the Rip Van Winkle property that really boomed. In January, 1938, construction started on
a 100-ton mill. By January, 1939, tent houses for a crew of 32 had been built. By spring,
the number had risen to 70. More than $152,000 was produced from the Rip Van Winkle Mine
in 1941. The mine was the second largest producer of lead and zinc in Nevada, ranking only
behind Pioche. A drop to less than $144,000 in 1943 signalled the quick end of the Rip Van
Winkle's productive years. During the summer of 1944, most residents living near the mine
moved away. By November, the mill and mine were forced to close due to a lack of labor.
Only small production has taken place since 1951. The Lone Mountain area still ranks as
the largest producer of zinc in Elko County with 3.3 million pounds. In addition, 5.5
million pounds of lead, 728,640 ounces of silver, and 223,449 pounds of copper have been
produced. Much remains to be seen although a large fire in 1994 destroyed many of the
buildings left on the east slope. However, there are still three groups of buildings at
three different mines on the east slope. The Rip Van Winkle Mine, on the west slope,
offers the most substantial remains on Lone Mountain. The site is dominated by the mill
ruins and settling ponds. A few buildings are left, struggling to stand against the
elements. The cookhouse has recently collapsed and lies across the main road. The school,
which closed in 1944, was located on the flat above the mine. This is also where many of
the miners' cabins and trailers were located in the 1930s and 1940s. A trip to Lone
Mountain offers much, and with so many scattered mine sites to explore, plan a full day to
enjoy all that Lone Mountain has to offer.
Loray was first a station on the Central Pacific Railroad and later served the Southern
Pacific Railroad. The station had few passengers but was used primarily to ship wood cut
nearby for railroad use. Wood crews lived in housing next to the tracks. Some copper ore
was discovered in the early 1880s about three miles south of the railroad. However, only
intermitten production was made from the district's mines throughout the years of activity
which extended until 1958. During the mining during the 1930s and 1940s, most of the
miners lived at the Loray railroad siding. Total value of mining in the Loray district is
$191,000. Mining remnants abound on both sides of the mountain east of Loray, including
gallows frames, shafts, and even a converted Model-T used as a hoist. At the Loray siding,
not much is left. At one time about a dozen buildings stood. Now only foundations and
scattered debris mark the site.
Marshall Station served during the 1870s as a stage station and was located on Willow
Creek. It was a stop on the Charles Haines stage to Battle Mountain. No other information
is known about the station and it was most likely abandoned in the early 1880s when most
of the Tuscarora stage lines stopped running. Nothing is left of the station today.
McPheters' Station was a stop on the old White Pine Road and was located on Frank
McPheters' ranch. A fire destroyed the property in September, 1870. McPheters never
rebuilt the station and it faded into history. Nothing at all remains of McPheters'
Melandco was a stop and signal station on the Oregon Short Line, run by the Union
Pacific Railroad, beginning in 1925. The name was a corruption of the Metropolis Land
Company and was so named because it was the siding nearest to the Bishop Creek Reservoir,
part of the company's gradiose plans. All buildings left at the site were removed when the
railroad's operations were curtailed in the 1978. Concrete foundations mark the site.
Metropolis was a planned town that was supposed to be the center of a huge farming
district. The promotional campaign attracted many young families who really weren't
prepared for the hardships that were to come. The first phase of development was the
construction of the Bishop Creek Dam, which would provide a plentiful source of water for
the town and farms. With the dam completed, promotion efforts doubled and a steady flow of
people began coming to Metropolis during the summer of 1911. A townsite was laid out and
construction on many buildings was initiated. The centerpiece of the new town was the
50-room Metropolis Hotel. 1912 proved to be the biggest boom year for Metropolis. Regular
service on the railroad spur, including a daily train to Wells, began on February 18. The
growing town gave all outward appearances of becoming a permanent city.However, even as
the future looked so promising, the bottom was beginning to drop out. In June, 1912, a
group of Lovelock farmers filed suit against the Pacific Reclamation Company claiming that
the Bishop Creek Dam impeded their downstream water rights. This prevented the reservoir
from being filled which greatly reduced the number of acres that could be irrigated. This
forced the Pacific Reclamation Company into receivership in 1913 and signalled the
downslide of Metropolis. The wet years that the Metropolis farmers had enjoyed ended in
1914. During the mid-teens, most of Metropolis' businesses and residents left. By 1920,
less than 100 people remained in the town and on the surrounding homesteads. While some
farming was still going on in the 1930s, Metropolis was basically dead. On September 11,
1936, the hotel, now an empty shell serving as a home for vagrants, caught fire. The
hotel, once the pride of Metropolis, was gone. The last vestige of the town, the grammar
school, closed in March, 1949, when the school consolidated with Wells. The once great
town of Metropolis had become Nevada's only true agricultural ghost town. Over the years,
the abandoned buildings in Metropolis either succumbed to the elements or were removed to
other locations. The Bishop Creek Dam still stands proudly but the creek flows through an
open gate. At the town of Metropolis, there are no buildings left but many ruins remain to
tell the town's story. The basement and arch of the school are intact. The bank vault sits
in the middle of the huge hotel foundations. Many other foundations show the layout of the
town. Large sections of the concrete sidewalks are left. Foundations of the railroad depot
are located south of town. A small cemetery is located on a hill to the east and contains
six graves of the Rice family. The Metropolis (Valley View) Cemetery, west of the school,
is extensive and offers mute testimony to the hardships endured by hearty Mormon settlers,
who were drawn to the area by great promises in what amounted to a promotional scheme, but
still managed to scratch a living out of a harsh environment.
Originally called Rosebud, then Gold Circle, Midas became, with Jarbidge, the biggest
20th century gold town in Elko County. The first gold ore was discovered by James McDuffy
during July, 1907. Needless to say, a rush quickly developed to Gold Circle. The
Elko-Tuscarora stageline immediately extended a branch to the camp and within one month,
150 people were already at Gold Circle. By the beginning of 1908, the Midas boom was on.
By March, Midas had a population of 350. By the end of April, population of Midas was
estimated at 1,100, and continued to go up, reaching a high of about 1,500 by summer.
However, only 250 residents were left by the end of the year. Midas had entered the
dreaded boom and bust cycle that plagued many mining towns. While Midas mines produced
every year from 1908 to 1943, the amount mined varied dramatically. By 1950, there were
only nine residents living at Midas. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, Midas slowly
revitalized, not because of mining but rather as a recreational community. A couple of
saloons and a store cater to the sportsmen, hunters, and permanent residents. Also, in the
1990s, a large gold mine has opened. Plans are in motion to create a Midas Historical
Society to help preserve the heritage and original buildings left in Midas. Some partial
restoration has been done at the long neglected Midas Cemetery. Midas is a fascinating
place to visit. Remnants of the prominent mining industry that produced $4.1 million gold
and silver are scattered over a wide area. Mill foundations abound. In the town of Midas,
many old buildings are intermixed with newer homes. The school still stands at the lower
edge of town. There is so much to see at Midas that it ranks very high but please respect
the fact that the town is private property.
Millers was a stop on the Elko-Hamilton Road and was located two miles south of
Blackhawk. Used primarily as a horse-changing stop during the late 1860s and early 1870s,
Millers was abandoned once use of the road to Hamilton diminished. Only a depression marks
the site, located on a private ranch. Millers was also the name of a stop on the
short-lived Railroad Canyon Tollroad run by J.F. Ray. The road opened in 1870 but was
abandoned a couple of years later. Only a cabin and small corrals were built and nothing
is left at that site.
Moleen was first a sidetrack and signal station on the Central Pacific Railroad and now
on the Southern Pacific Railroad. All of the buildings at Moleen have long ago
disappeared. Only concrete foundations are left.
MONTELLO (Bauvard) Photos
Present Montello was created in 1904 when the Southern Pacific Railroad built the Lucin
cutoff across the salt flats of Utah. Earlier, Montello was the name of a siding located a
couple of miles to the west. The original name of the old siding was Bauvard. The town of
Montello was later created in 1904 by the Southern Pacific Railroad during the
construction of the Lucin cut-off. During Montello's early years, from 1904 to 1929,
population ranged as high as 800. The town also served as a supply point for the mining
camp of Delano, located to the north. The railroad payroll reached as high as $1 million a
month in 1915. During the 1920s, however, Montello began to decline. When diesel engines
were introduced in the 1950s, it spelled the end of Montello's importance to the railroad.
Soon after, the roundhouses and shops were removed. Only the huge water tower was left
behind. Today, Montello is a quiet town with a population of about 75. Many of the homes
moved from Utah in 1904 still remain. The old original depot has been moved and converted
into a home. The school, jail, and other old business buildings also stand. The cemetery
is located just north of the main street. The water tower dominates the old railroad yards
and trains continue to rumble through Montello. A store, gas station, post office, and a
couple of saloons are still in operation at the town.
Moor was established in 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad as a stop and base for a
woodcutting crew, and later served as a non-agency telegraph station and siding for the
Southern Pacific Railroad. A small camp consisting of a number of crude houses and a small
store were built. However, once the railroad was completed, the wood crew was moved
elsewhere. Today, all of the buildings at Moor are long gone. Wood scraps, cellars, and
concrete foundations mark the site.
Morton, sometimes erroneously referred to as Moriah, was the name of a post office
located at the Gilmer Ranch on Sun Creek. The Morton post office was in operation from
August 5, 1890 to April 23, 1892. The Gilmer Ranch still continues to operate today
Mound Station, not to be confused with the station at the present town of Jiggs, was a
stop and horse-changing station on Denver and Shepherd's Elko-White Pine Road during the
late 1860s and early 1870s. The station, which consisted of a log cabin and corrals, was
located two miles south of Robinson Station. Nothing remains at the site today.
MOUNTAIN CITY (Cope)(Placerville)(Fairweather)(Sooner)(Murray)
The first interest in the future Cope district took place in the fall of 1868 when M.L.
Henry explored some placer deposits. However, it was the discoveries by Jesse Cope in
April, 1869, that led to the Cope boom. Within a couple of months, a few hundred people
had already come to the area. By June, Cope's population was 300. On July 13, the booming
camp was officially renamed Mountain City, although it continued to be called Cope by
many. By the end of summer, population had grown to 700. The next year, mining absolutely
boomed, with $175,000 in production. By June, Mountain City's population stood at 1,200.
By the beginning of 1871, three mills (Vance, Norton, and Drew) were in operation. By
summer, however, Mountain City's population had dropped to 450. Mining revived from 1877
to 1880 with almost $400,000 produced, but the lowering value of silver and quickly
thinning ore veins killed Mountain City. By the end of 1880, population was only 35 and
virtually all of the town's businesses had closed. By 1882, only 20 people were left. From
1881 to 1904, only a little more than $43,000 was mined during sporadic production. The
last gasp of mining took place from 1925 to 1930. It wasn't until the great copper
discoveries were made at nearby Rio Tinto that the town of Mountain City revived. The town
relied on the mine employees to support the businesses still operating at Mountain City.
When the Rio Tinto boom died out in the late 1940s, Mountain City slowly shrank, although
it was still home to about 100 people and a number of businesses continued to serve the
populace. There is much to see in the Mountain City area today. At the older Cope
townsite, many foundations and debris are left. Only dugouts and depressions are left at
the chinese camp of Placerville. Mountain City remains a quiet little town with a
population of about 75. The businesses in town rely on tourist and sportsmen traffic. The
town's proximity to Wild Horse Reservoir helps. A number of old buildings are left amongst
newer structures. Lodging, food, and gas, among other things, are available at Mountain
MUD SPRINGS (Medicine Springs)(Deadhorse) Photos
The first discoveries in the Mud Springs district were made in 1910 by Sam Backman,
Garfield Bardness, and Fred Martin. While a central camp didn't develop, by the beginning
of 1914, there were 15 tent houses and 30 men were scattered throughout the district.
However, very little ore was actually shipped. By 1920, three companies were active:
Nevada Dividend Mining Company, Butte Valley Mining Company, and Nevada Garfield Mining
Company. This was the first year of real production although it was small. Not much
happened in Mud Springs until 1934. In 1950, a new Silver Butte Consolidated Mining
Company was organized. A 60-ton concentration mill was built at Medicine Springs, six
miles to the west. The company produced $10,100 in 1950, which was the best year for the
district. The company closed down operations in August, 1951 and two watchmen were the
only employees left. Little was mined during the next couple years. The last year that
anything was mined was 1956. Total production for the district is less than $45,000. The
district was extensively drilled and explored during the 1980s but no mining has begun.
The district is a fun place to visit. At Mud Springs, many miners cabins, gallow frames,
mines, and other buildings are scattered over a wide area. Be careful, however, because
there are some unmarked shafts which could prove dangerous. At Medicine Springs, the
extensive foundations of the mill mark the site.
Nardi, located four miles east of Deeth, served as a signal station on both the
Southern Pacific and Western Pacific Railroads. Nothing remains at the Nardi site.
Natchez, located four miles southwest of Deeth, served as a signal station on the
Southern Pacific Railroad. The station was named for the son of Winnemucca, a prominent
chief of the Paiutes. Only concrete foundations are left at Natchez.
Noble was a signal station on the Southern Pacific Railroad and was located between
Ullin and Bauvard. Nothing remains at Noble today.
NORTH FORK (Johnson Station) Photos
The first signs of a settlement at North Fork arrived in 1870 when William and
Catherine Johnson moved from the original Johnson Station, located on Walker Creek, and
re-established the station at North Fork, on the newly completed Cope Road. North Fork's
population in 1880 was 13. A small town began to form at North Fork, which became the
social center for the scattered ranches. By 1890, there were 75 people living in and
around North Fork. In June, 1900, the tri-weekly North Fork-Gold Creek Stageline was
organized by J.D. Franklin. As the years passed, the stagelines stopped running but the
store and saloon were able to survive with the new automobile traffic. Ranching continued
to be very prominent in the valley. During the early 1940s, Newt Crumley, Sr., bought many
of the ranches in the valley including the Kearns, Evans, Bellinger, Saval, Truett, and
Tremewan Ranches. In July, 1947, he sold all the ranches, except the Saval, to Bing
Crosby, the new honorary mayor of Elko. Crosby combined the ranches into one large ranch,
the Bing Crosby or PX Ranch. He spent as much time as possible at the ranch and his family
also lived there. Crosby ran the PX Ranch until November, 1958, when he sold all of his
holdings in North Fork for over $1 million. While the ranches have changed hands over the
years, the area continues to be a prosperous ranching district. At North Fork, the stone
store struggles to stand. The dance hall has collapsed. For years, a bottle house stood at
North Fork but it is only a memory now. The huge barn marks the location of the old
Johnson Ranch. A number of foundations and other ruins are left at North Fork, next to a
modern-day Nevada Department of Transportation maintenance station.
Elko County O - Z