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All sites listed in the Eureka County list have been personally visited!
More detailed history and concise directions are available in my book
"Romancing Nevada's Past: Ghost Towns and Historical Sites of Eureka, Lander, and White Pine Counties, Nevada."
A small camp formed here during the 1840s and 1850s when a trading post was set up along the California Trail. An actual town didn't materialize until the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1868. A post office opened in 1870 and the town became the center of a spread out ranching community. By 1881, the town had a population of 60 and had a hotel and store. When the boom at Buckhorn began in 1909, a large power plant was constructed at Beowawe. However, the boom died in 1916 and the plant was abandoned. Today, the town continues to survive and maintains a sleepy existence. Trains still rumble through but no longer stop. The old depot was torn down in the 1980s. Many old buildings still remain and the huge foundations of the power plant are interesting. The Beowawe geysers, a great natural attraction, are located nearby.
Birch was the site of a small station on the Elko - Eureka and Elko - Hamilton stage lines.After the turn of the century, Birch was still used as a stopping place. A post office operated from 1901 to 1926. Later road improvements bypassed Birch and it faded away. Today, a couple of collapsed buildings mark the site.
Formed in 1874 as a stop on the Eureka & Palisade Railroad. It was little more than a siding until the Buckhorn boom began in 1909. Blackburn became the primary siding for Buckhorn. A hotel, saloon and livery stable were built, and a daily stageline was in operation. After the boom ended in 1916, Blackburn faded into obscurity. For many years a gas station and small restaurant served the public. It recently closed down and only rubble remains.
BOX SPRINGS (Lodi)
Box Springs was a small railroad stop on the Eureka and Palisade Railroad beginning in 1874. It served as the jumping off spot for people headed to the Union and Diamond mining districts to the southeast. A small camp of 25 formed around the siding. However, by the 1890s, everyone had left and Box Springs was just a siding. It was used until the rails were torn up in 1938. Nothing remains.
BRUFFEY STATION Photos
First discoveries were made in 1908. The property was taken over by George Wingfield in 1910 and with his money, development took off. A post office opened in 1910. By 1914, population was almost 300. A 400-ton mill was completed in 1913 and a power line was strung to Beowawe. However, the ore veins were shorter than most and the company completely shut down operations in early 1917. A small revival took place during the mid-1930s. Total production from these two periods of activity is about 1 million. During the 1990s, a new open pit operation has been active off and on. Mill foundations and crumbled buildings are scattered throughout the area although the actual townsite is gone.
Siding on the Eureka & Palisade Railroad from 1874 to 1938. No settlement ever formed and nothing remains.
Stop on the Central Pacific and later the Western Pacific Railroads. A small settlement formed during the late 1870s and had a population of 37 in 1881. A few residents continued to live here through the 1920s but site has been abandoned since. Only the siding itself remains to mark the site.
Short-lived "flash in the pan" town that sprang up in the spring of 1869 and was abandoned by early 1870. A store and several cabins were built but the silver ore disappeared and the town vanished. Only scant wood rubble marks the site.
Obscure little known site located on the Overland Stage and Mail Company route although it didn't come into existence until after that line folded in 1869. It had a post office from 1878 to 1879. Collapsed ruins of two log cabins mark site.
DEEP WELLS Photos
Stop on the Eureka and Palisade beginning in 1874 although in the 1860s, a well was dug to supply water for freight teams heading to Eureka. Little water in the surrounding area meant that Deep Wells was in demand. During the 1870s and 1880s, the little camp had a steady population of 25 and supported a store and restaurant. The camp faded when Eureka slowed down in the 1890s and it was only used as a railroad water stop. A collapsing windmill marks the site.
DIAMOND SPRINGS (Diamond City) Photos
Served as a Pony Express station during 1860 and 1861, and later the Overland Stage. A telegraph station was also built. The town of Diamond City formed nearby after silver discoveries were made in 1864. A post office opened at the town in 1874 and closed in 1884. After the mines shut down in the late 1870s, the charcoal kiln kept the town alive. Today, mill foundations, stone ruins and the charcoal kiln remain at Diamond City. Remains of the Overland Stage station still stand at Diamond Springs. Both sites are very picturesque and are a must for the photography buff!
EUREKA (Napias) Photos
Although Eureka is far from a ghost town, it is included because of its vast mining history and great vestiges of the past. First discoveries were made in September 1864. Development was slow because the high lead content of the silver ore was difficult to treat. By 1869, the town had 100 residents and a post office opened. After 1870, Eureka grew quickly and had 2,000 by the end of the year. By 1872, 4,000 and reached its peak in 1878 with 9,000. At its peak, Eureka had 125 saloons, 25 gambling houses, and another hundred other businesses. The first train of the Eureka & Palisade arrived in October 1875. During the town's history, it has been served by six newspapers. Fires and floods plagued the town in the 1870s and 1880s. The largest fire was in 1879 and most of the buildings seen in Eureka today are of brick construction, used heavily after that fire destroyed most of the town. Many furnaces were built in Eureka and the thick black smoke gave the town the nickname of "the Pittsburgh of the West." However, by the mid-1880s, most of the ore bodies were exhausted. By 1890, mining was at a standstill. Most people left, businesses closed, and the railroad stopped running in 1900. While small revivals have taken place since, very little production has occurred. All told, Eureka mines produced $108 million, mostly in lead. The railroad was revived though in 1912 and ran until 1938. For the last fifty years, Eureka has had a fairly steady population of around 200. Recently, Homestake Mining has opened up a large open pit gold operation at nearby Ruby Hill which has brought new life to the town. Eureka is a definite must to visit. There are many vintage buildings remain and a walk down main street is like stepping into the past. The Eureka Opera House is the centerpiece, having been restored and is used as the community center of activity. The Eureka Sentinel Museum is a fascinating place to visit. In addition, there are 9 cemeteries in and around the town. With its rich history, Eureka is one of the most interesting places in the state to visit.
Served as a siding on the Eureka & Palisade railroad from 1874 to 1938. Was used as a shipping point for local ranchers to ship their goods to Palisade and Eureka. The siding was located at the Evans Ranch, which still continues to operate. A couple original structures remain.
GARDEN PASS Photos
Stop on the Central Pacific and Western Pacific railroads. Camp formed during mid-1880s. Miners from the Safford District lived here. Post office operated from 1882 to 1887. Only wood rubble marks the site.
GOLDVILLE (Leeville)(Lynn District)
Discovered in 1907. After shipping $21k the first year, small rush to area developed. But by end of 1908, placers had been exhausted and the 20 residents left. Revived in 1912. Post office ran from 1913 to 1917. Mines active until 1926 and produced $225k. Area relatively quiet until Newmont Gold acquired claims in 1960s. Now, the huge open pit mines easily produce more than 1 million ounces of gold per year. Tours of the gold mines are available. All signs of the early days of Goldville are long gone.
Served as a stop for the Pony Express and later the Overland Stage. Although not an official stop, riders used it to water their horses before the next stop at Grubb's Well. Only a few old logs from the cabin built here mark the site.
GRUBB'S WELL (Camp Station)
Short-lived Pony Express station, established in 1861. A small ranch was located here and was used during the summer. The Overland Stage used the station until 1869. Buildings remain today but are all from after the turn of the century.
Served as a stage station during the 1860s and its hay fed teams from as far away as Pioche. Later, during the Eureka boom, a boardinghouse, restaurant and livery stable thrived through the 1870s. When the Eureka & Palisade railroad was constructed, Hay Ranch became a shipping point. Today, the ranch is still active although only a couple vintage buildings remain. One of them appears to be the Hay Ranch station house.
HOT SPRINGS (White Sulphur Springs)
Short-lived "luxury" spot that sprang up during nearby Mineral Hill's boom years during the 1870s. A large bath house was built and was very successful. Once Mineral Hill faded, however, business slowed and it closed down in the mid-1870s. The hot springs still flow but nothing remains of the bath house.
Obscure mining camp that came into being during the late 1860s although the only real activity took place beginning in 1898. A camp of 50 sprang up and a post office opened. But the first load of ore contained everything of value and by the end of summer, everyone had left and the post office closed. Only rubble remains.
MILL CANYON (Majestic Camp)
Organized in 1863 when Simeon Wenban, from nearby Cortez, built an 8-stamp mill. The mill was enlarged to 16 stamps in 1869. A number of mines were developed over the years but met with limited success. All were abandoned by 1873. The mill continued to run until 1886. A few mines were reopened in 1909 but work ended in 1910. Majestic Camp formed in 1928 when new operations began and around 30 were employed. Activity ended in 1938 and nothing has occurred since. The mill ruins are at the canyon mouth and a number of stone ruins are scattered throughout the canyon. Very difficult travelling road, beware.
Important stop on the Eureka & Palisade railroad during the Mineral Hill boom during the 1870s. A substantial camp developed and it had the distinction of being the only scheduled eating station between Eureka and Palisade. When Mineral Hill folded, so did Mineral. Only mounds mark the site today.
MINERAL HILL Photos
First discoveries were made in 1869. Rich assay reports led to an immediate rush. A 10 stamp mill was completed in 1870 and quickly enlarged to 15 stamps. By fall of 1870, 400 people lived here. During 1871, a three-story hotel was built, a school house, and a post office opened. Another 20 stamp mill was built in 1871. More than 1 million was produced during 1871 and 1872. However, by summer 1872, the ore had been mined out. By spring 1873, only a handful of people were left. A small revival took place from 1880 to 1887 but the new deposit ran out. A few small attempts have been made since but have had little success. Very little remains of the town. A few stone ruins still partially stand. The mill ruins are still quite impressive.
(Morlath)(McGeary)(Garden Pass District)
Discovered in 1871. By 1872, 20 claims being worked. Small camp of about 50 formed but production was erratic over the next few years and by 1878, the camp was abandoned. The Mount Hope mine was reopened in 1886 and operated off and on until 1947. During the 1940s, several million dollars in zinc was produced by a fire in 1947 forced the company to shut down. 80 men were employed at the time. Not much remains of the original Mount Hope camp. Visible remains are from leasing activities in the 1920s and 1930s, and the large Callahan operation from the 1940s.
Short-lived mining camp that sprang up during the summer of 1906. Camp of 15 formed. A post office opened in October. Ore ran out quickly and post office closed in May 1907. By then, camp was already abandoned. Only scattered wood rubble remains.
Siding on the Eureka & Palisade Railroad from 1875 to 1938. Served as a supply point for ranches in Diamond Valley. Nothing ever developed at Oak and nothing remains.
PALISADE (Palisades) Photos
The town of Palisade came into being in 1868 with the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, although the general area had seen activity during the immigrant days along the California and other emigrant trails. Once the town was established, it immediately became an important shipping point for supplies in eastern Nevada. A post office opened in 1870. When construction of the Eureka & Palisade Railroad began in 1874, Palisade became the headquarters for the railroad. By 1878, 31 million pounds of ore had been shipped through Palisade. While population peaked at 600 during the mid-1870s, the town, by 1880, had settled down to a consistent population of 250. A very large station was built in 1882 to serve both railroads. Once Eureka faded, however, Palisade suffered. Disastrous floods in 1910 wiped out most of the businesses and damaged all the railroads. That signalled the end of Palisade. While it still had a population of 242 in 1915, within a few years, barely 100 were left. Once the Eureka-Nevada railroad folded in 1938, only a handful of people were left. The post office finally closed in 1961. It has been a ghost town ever since. Only two buildings remain. Remains of many stone buildings are scattered aroiund. An extensive cemetery is located to the west.
PINE (Pine Station)
Pine Station, at one time, was one of the most populous stations on the Eureka & Palisade railroad. It was the site that housed the workers making charcoal for the Eureka smelters. Population was consistently above 100. However, very little was built because the miners were transient and most lived in tents. Only a saloon/store ever opened. Once Eureka faded and charcoal was no longer in demand, Pine had outlived its usefulness. It served as a siding until the rails were torn up in 1938. Nothing remains.
Pinto was a milling camp that formed in 1871 around a 20 stamp mill. A small camp of 15 lived near the mill and a school was built. A few businesses also opened. A post office was granted in 1875. However, the mill closed in 1884 as did the post office. The mill was dismantled and Pinto ceased to exist. Mill foundations and ruins of the store remain.
Small camp that formed in 1885 as mainly a residential area for miners working nearby. A post office opened in 1893 to serve the 50 residents. A small smelter was built in 1908 along with a few boardinghouses. One by one the mines nearby closed and the post office shut down in 1918. Prospect was completely abandoned soon after. Stone foundations, scattered wood rubble, and the ruins of the smelter remain.
Small siding on the Eureka & Palisade railroad from 1874 to 1938. Named for Raines Ranch, located nearby. No settlement ever developed at the railroad but the now abandoned Raines Ranch has a number of interesting buildings. It is private property so ask permission before exploring.
ROBERTS CREEK STATION (Willow Creek)(Sheawit Creek)(Leopold District)
Named for Bolivar Roberts, division superintendent of the Pony Express. The stop served the Pony Express and later the Overland Stage. Once the Overland Stage stopped running, a successful ranch developed on the site. Mining also took place nearby. The Leopold mining district was organized in 1870 and produced minor amounts of silver, lead and copper until 1872. Nothing remains at the mining district. At Roberts Creek, all signs of the Pony Express station are long gone although some older log structures are left which could be from the Overland Stage period.
A small ranching settlement that never had a population of more than 20. The ranch was one of the most important in Diamond Valley. A post office was in operation from 1902 to 1914 and 1919 to 1929. Romano served as the mail depot for all ranchers in the valley. The ranch was abandoned about 20 years ago. The main ranch house remains and although run down, still presents some beautiful lines.
RUBY HILL Photos
First discovered in 1869. By early 1870s, small camp developed. Post office opened in 1873. In 1875, the Ruby Hill Railroad began operations, used primarily to deliver ore to smelters in nearby Eureka. This railroad was actually in operation before the Eureka & Palisade reached Eureka. By 1878, Ruby Hill had a population of 2500 and two newspapers. During the 1880s, mine production began to falter and by 1885, only 700 residents remained. It got even worse and the post office finally closed in 1901. A revival began in 1906 but a thunderstorm washed out the Eureka-Nevada railroad in 1910, ending the revival and emptying Ruby Hill. Only occasional activity has taken place since. A total of $43.1 million was removed from Ruby Hill mines. Today, a large open pit mine, run by Homestake, has begun operations just to the west. Many buildings remain at Ruby Hill although only a couple redate the 1906 revival. Extensive mining memorabilia, head frames, and smelter remains are scattered all around and make for interesting exploration. The site is off-limits unless you obtain permission from Homestake Mining.
SAFFORD (Barth)(Pine Mountain)(Pine Valley)
Discovered in August, 1881 and within weeks a rush developed. A townsite was laid out and a camp of about 20 formed. A post office opened in 1882 and even though it closed in 1883, Safford continued to grow. A short-lived newspaper was published during 1883. However, the mines ran dry late in 1883 and Safford was soon abandoned. The only other activity in the area started in 1903 when the Barth mine was opened at the mouth of Safford Canyon. The mine produced about $2 million in iron ore during the next 15 years. The mine was reopened in 1954 and produced for many years. Only rubble, mine dumps and scattered debris mark the Safford townsite.
Sherwood was a small offshoot camp of nearby Union. The Sherwood mine was active during 1887 and 1888. 15 miners called the camp home. A post office opened here instead of the larger Union in 1887 but closed in 1888. The camp was abandoned by the end of the year and no other activity has taken place since. Only mine dumps remain.
SULPHUR SPRINGS STATION
While purported to have been a Pony Express station, there is no evidence to that. The station was built in July 1861 as a stop for the Overland Stage. The station was abandoned in 1869 when the Overland Stage folded. Today, a portion of a log wall and small stone foundations remain.
Stop and siding on the Eureka & Palisade railroad from 1875 to 1938. A small camp existed here for many years and it was the end of the railroad for a few months until the rails reached Garden Pass. During the 1880s, the camp's population was 25. By 1900, however, only a couple were left. Only wood rubble marks the site.
Small ranching settlement established just before the turn of the century. A post office operated from 1898 to 1931 and was extremely important to people living in the area. The ranch is still in operation today. Many original buildings remain, including the large ranch house. Private property so ask permission before wandering around.
Rich silver-lead deposit discovered in 1879 brought 75 residents by summer. Three stores and two saloons opened for business. But the boom collapsed before the end of the year. In 1886, mines were reopened and a small smelter built. After producing $100k in two years, the veins were gone and Union was abandoned until 1915. A company town was built then with a two-story bunkhouse and boardinghouse. A post office operated from 1916 to 1918. The company folded in 1918 after producing $225k which cost $242k to produce. Today, only a few small, crumbling cabins remain.
VANDERBILT (Geddes)(Secret Canyon District)
Vanderbilt formed in 1870 as the main camp for the mines located in the Secret Canyon area. By summer, 150 residents were living here. The camp had three stores, two boardinghouses and a couple of saloons. A post office opened in 1871 and closed in 1873. Once Eureka started booming, most residents left for there. A fire in 1873 destroyed the town's mill and basically ended Vanderbilt. By 1880, only 25 were left. A revival in the early 1880s reopened the post office in 1882 and it remained in operation until 1885. A fire destroyed a new mill and furnace in 1886 and that was the end. Total production for the district is $722k. Today, only scant mill ruins mark the site, which is extremely difficult to get to.
WHITE (Bailey Ranch) Photos
A small ranching settlement formed by James White in the 1880s. While population never was above 15, it had importance to valley residents because it had a post office from 1890 to 1899. The office was then transferred to nearby Romano. The ranch continued to operate until the 1960s. The remains at White are extensive and show the style of a turn of the century ranching operation. A unique relic is the old wood slaughter wheel.
Stop and siding on the Eureka & Palisade railroad from 1874 to 1938. The main ranch house served as a boardinghouse and restaurant for passengers until it burned in 1916. The Willard Ranch is still active. Many buildings are pre-1900 and one of the remaining structures was either a small depot or freight building for the railroad.