WHITE PINE COUNTY, NEVADA  GHOST TOWNS

& Historic Cemeteries  Part 1

Aurum to Pinto

Ghost Towns Part 2 Pinto to Ward

Note:  Entry into most of the ghost towns is seasonal and limited due to their access roads and remote locations. Although these towns played a vital part in the history of Nevada, in most cases, little actually remains intact. In some instances crumbling foundations and old grave yards are all that is left due to vandalism, recycling of building materials and the elements. Many sites are located on private property and these ownership rights must be respected by visitors.

AURUM - (1871-1880's)  
3 miles west-southwest of the Spring Valley road at a point 3 miles south of the junction with Old SR 2; 40 miles northeast of Ely.  It was 42 miles southeast of Cherry Creek which was its main shipping and supply point.

Ore was discovered in 1871 on the west side of the Schell Creek Range near Queen Springs and Schellbourne.  The town of Aurum developed near gold mines  in Silver Canyon.  The Aurum Mining District includes Muncy Creek, Silver Canyon, Siegel Creek and Schellbourne in the Schell Creek Range.  Spring Valley is to the east of the area and Steptoe is to the west.  Ores mined in this district included silver, gold, copper, lead and manganese.

Simon Daus located most of the mines along Silver Creek and Siegel Creek in the early 1880's and Mr. Noe located the Grand Deposits in the foothills north of Muncy Creek during the same time period.

The town had two boarding houses, saloons, a blacksmith shop, store, and a ten-stamp mill. The Aurum Post Office was located at the mouth of Muncy Creek in Spring Valley below and south of the mining camp of the same name. The Post Office ceased operation in 1938. Mill ruins, building foundations and a cemetery remain.

BABYLON- (1868-1869)
About 3 miles west of Hamilton. "Babylon and other outlying camps such as Greenville, White Pine City, Sunnyside and Menken consisted of mere dugouts, crude shanties, primitive tents, and had no businesses except perhaps a saloon and an assay office."   "Babylon has fallen," a newspaper editor remarked.

BLACK HORSE - (1905-1913)
2 miles north of US 6 and 50, 23 miles east of their junction with US 93; 34 miles east of Ely. Gold was discovered while searching for a black horse that had wandered off. Tents and crude wooden shacks and a mill constituted this camp. Remains of cellars, tent flats, and a graveyard can be seen.

BLAINE - (1908 - 1918)
21 miles west and  north of McGill.  T20N R63E NE1/4 Section 5. Governor Denver Dickerson developed the short-lived Blaine silver mine. Blaine had saloons, an assay office, boarding house, blacksmith shop and a stage to Ely. Some mining activity was taking place here in the late 1930's.

BOTHWICK -
The Bothwick area is located in T19N R62E NW1/4 NE1/4 Section 31.  Bothwick is said to have been an early toll road to and from areas in Egan Basin and Butte Valley. Botha Creek runs towards Butte Valley.  The area was used for ranching and an infamous murder took place here.

Around 1871, when Hunter sprang up about 30 miles north of Ely, NV, it depended on supplies from the Hilp Brothers of Mineral City. The shortest route between the two settlements was via Botha Creek into the Steptoe Valley through Hercules Gap.  Bothwick was said to be named for William Botha who built the toll road, stock corrals and a dugout on Botha Creek.  William Botha may have been killed by Indians and buried near his dugout.

During World War I and the 1920's, thirteen families moved into the area and changed the name of Botha Creek to Bothwick. These early residents were the Piscovich, Cogan, Carter, Dragosavic, Smith, Sly, Phillips, Miller, Kenyon, McManus, M. T. Collins, Guy Tidball, and Chuck Kogan families. Several bachelors like "Scotty" moved into the area to produce moonshine.  Frank Ludwig, Bill Dyer, Chris Peterson, and Pat Toner lived here. Among the first to take up land when the Homestead Act passed was the Bill Bradley family. Mrs. Bradley was midwife for those who lived in the area.

BUCK STATION - (1869)
T21N R56E NE1/4 Section 9.  21 miles north of US 50 at a point 51 miles west of Ely. One of several stations established along the Gilson or "Hill" Beachey toll road.

Buck Station became one of many points to the White Pine silver mines. Other stations were: Black Hawk, Salty Williams, Pancake, and Do-Drop-In. Stagecoach travelers could eat and rest here. Remains of a ranch can still be seen. Long segments of the old Elko-Hamilton stage road can be seen stretching north to south from this site.   Remains of a small ranch that was later built here can be seen.

BUTTE STATION - (1859 -1862)
Butte Station is about 22 miles west of Cherry Creek by way of Egan Canyon. A station built by the Pony Express. Only low rock walls remain.

CHERRY CREEK - (1859)  
Cherry Creek is located 55 miles north of Ely just off Hwy 93 at the end of S. R. 489. Named for the wild choke-cherry bushes that grow nearby. It is a pioneer city of the Pony Express and the Overland Telegraph days.

Silver discoveries  in October 1872 created a boom for Cherry Creek in 1873 to 1875 and again in 1880 to 1883.   A post office was established in 1873 and the town had a Wells Fargo station. 

The 1880 census shows 639 residents, but because of more discoveries, the population rose to 1,500 or 1,800 by the end of 1880.   Three mills served the local mines. The leading producers were the Star, Exchequer, Teacup and Grey Eagle mines.   The White Pine News moved to Cherry Creek from Hamilton on January 1, 1881.  By the end of 1881, there were several businesses established in Cherry Creek and the camp became the largest in White Pine County.

Cherry Creek has had several boom and bust times. Mining revived once more from 1905 to 1908 and again in 1935 to 1940. Some believe that production here may have been as high as $20 million dollars.  There is some mining activity on a small scale here today. The town has a handful of year-round residents and a bar. A museum is displayed in the old school house. Cherry Creek has three cemeteries.  One of which is in T24N R64E NE1/4 SE1/4 Section 32 on public lands.  See Historical markers

        Jerry Bowen's Stories of Cherry Creek, White Pine County, Nevada

COPPER FLAT - 
Now, a general reference to the area where the great copper discoveries were made at the first of the century.  Copper Flat was a small settlement for a short time. Small towns associated with Copper Flat were Kimberly, Riepetown, Ruth and Veteran. Click here for more about Copper Flat and pictures.

Type in "Copper Flat" ca 1909 - panoramic views.  Library of Congress, American Memory "Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851 - 1991.

EBERHARDT - (1869-1885)
Eberhardt, Nevada is located 5 miles southeast of Hamilton, NV.  Named for the fabulous glory hole mine on Treasure Hill, it started up around the Stanford Mill in Applegarth Canyon. Eberhardt eventually gained 200 citizens, a post office, saloons, carpenter shop, wagon shop, blacksmith, stores and an "active temperance organization." Only rock ruins of mills and foundations and a cemetery remain.

EGAN & EGAN CANYON - (1864-1893)  
5 miles southwest of Cherry Creek. Named after Major Howard  Egan who operated a mail service through here in the 1850's.

The Pony Express station here was located in a meadow at the west end of the canyon.   The Overland Mail Company had a station in the 1860's until 1869 when the Central Pacific Railroad was completed. 

In 1863, several California volunteer soldiers discovered gold veins. By fall, the Egan Mining District was formed, becoming the first mining district in eastern Nevada. The Gilligan Mine built a five-stamp mill in 1864 at the east entrance of the canyon. In 1865 a second mining company erected a ten-stamp mill.  The two companies merged in 1865 and formed the Social & Steptoe Mining Company and produced $80,000 before closing in 1868.

In 1865, Egan contained stores, a blacksmith shop, post office, a school and several houses.  Mining ceased in 1868 until a 1873 - 1876 revival in Cherry Creek allowed bullion shipments to be processed again.  In 1880 to 1882, the camp again awoke from the Cherry Creek mines. 

Mining was pretty much finished in the area by 1883 and died for good in 1893 when silver was demonetized. Road building and mining operations have almost obliterated the site.  A cemetery remains.

A rumor exists that the three graves are of soldiers killed fighting the Indians in the 1860's or 1870's, but there is no proof of that rumor.

HAMILTON - (1868-1925)  
(T22N R62E SW1/4 NE1/4 Section 28)
Hamilton is located 11 miles south of U.S. Highway 50 at a point 45 miles west of Ely.   It is one of the most noted ghost towns in the west. The town was first called Cave City because the early residents lived in caves and dugouts. The name was later changed to honor one of the promoters of the camp.

In 1869, the town saw up to 30,000 people coming to seek their fortunes.  The town soon boasted of having 22 lawyers, 101 saloons, and 59 general stores.  Hamilton was the first county seat of White Pine County, but due to the mines petering out and the loss of the Court House and all the records in 1885, the seat was moved to Ely.

The old stage station has only one 5' by 10' section of  wall remaining with the old fireplace in it.  Only parts of other brick and stone buildings remain to show what a bustling, busy large town Hamilton once was.  Part of the townsite is on private property and the stone walls are close to collapse.

A cemetery remains and one interment is thought to be the brother of the founder of the Folger Coffee dynasty.  Hamilton Photos.    See Historical markers

HUNTER - (1872-1909)
19 miles north of US 50, 21 miles west of Ely. By 1877, this little lead and silver camp on the west flank of the Egan Range contained a post office, six saloons, a blacksmith shop, three restaurants, two general stores and about forty houses. Mining ceased here in 1885 until 1905.  In 1909, once again, Hunter died. It is rumored a bootlegger operated a still here during the depression. Foundations and smelter ruins remain.

JOY -
(T24N R57E Section 23)  In 1869 silver was discovered in Water Canyon. Joy formed about six years later in a ravine between Bald Mountain and South Bald Mountain.   Isolated Joy was supplied by Elko and Halleck, both about 80 miles to the north.   A post office was established in 1905 to serve the little camp of fifty miners.   It was not profitable to continue mining here and the camp faded away.

KIMBERLY - (1903-1958)
(T16N R62E SW1/4 Section 8) At terminus of SR 44, 4 miles west of its junction with US 50 at a point 5 miles northwest of Ely. Named for Peter L. Kimberly, an early   postmaster or a principal stockholder in the Giroux Copper Co. on Pilot Knob (Later, the Consolidated Copper Co.)

The Pilot Knob Mine was developed in May 1900 on the Giroux  property by J. A. Snedaker and E. L. Giroux.  Ore was also found in the Taylor, Old Glory and Brooks Mines and in 1901, Dave Bartley and Edwin F. Gray discovered copper at a depth of 120 feet in their mines.

The town began in 1903 a few  miles to the southwest of Old Ruth. In the mid-1920's, Kimberly, a copper company town, had a school, hospital, Nevada Northern depot, bunkhouses, boarding houses, a newspaper, post office and several homes to house about 500 people. Kennecott Corp. bought the townsite in 1958. No longer in existence and there are only mine dumps where the town once stood.

Pictures of Kimberly 

LANE CITY - (1902)
Lane City is located three miles northwest of Ely alongside Hwy. 50. This site was the original settlement for the Ely area. Originally known as Mineral City (1869-1876) and Robinson Canyon.

The site boasted a ten-stamp mill, mercantile stores, a post office, express office, six saloons, hotels, restaurants, livery stables, four boarding houses, a blacksmith shop and a population of 600 people in 1872. Named for Charles B. Lane who purchased the Chainman Mine and Mill in 1896. Lane returned the property to the original owners who were represented by William N. McGill.

In the 1950's, Lane City had several stone, frame and log buildings, a primitive stone structure built as an ox-freight station and an outdoor oven still used by some families living in the area.  In the 1990's, the structures are deteriorating into the sagebrush.  Not one building remains intact.

lane_city_school1998.jpg (14743 bytes)

Click on the picture to see an enlarged view of the long abandoned Lane City School, now private property belonging to BHP Copper mines.  Some of the extensive copper tailings that began in 1906 can be seen in the background.  The town of Ruth is behind the tailings.

MINERAL CITY - (1869-1876)
Located a short distance from Lane City, was the first mining camp in the Robinson District. Established in 1869, it expired in 1876. Now called Lane City.

MINERVA - (1917-1957)
17 miles southeast of US 93, 4 miles south of its junction with US 50 and 6; 39 miles southeast of Ely. Minerva was begun by the Minerva Tungsten Corp. during World War I and sporadically existed until the 1950's. This camp had several cabins and about 60 people in 1937. A post office and school known as Shoshone were located abut 1 miles north of Minerva. Part of a mill and remains of cabins can be seen.

MONTE CRISTO - (1865-ca 1885)
15 miles south-southeast of US 50,  west of Ely. Discovered by forging prospectors from Austin, Monte Cristo was the first camp established in the White Pine Mining District. It  is located on the west slope of Mt. Hamilton in 1865. The mill, a five-
stamp for silver, was completed in 1867. Rock walls and an impressive mill stack remain.

MUNCY - (1882-1911)
2 miles west of the Spring Valley road 13 miles south of its junction with Old SR 2; 32 miles northeast of Ely. This small camp for the mines on Muncy Creek had a post office. A small cemetery remains.

MURRY CREEK STATION -
Murry Creek and the Station was named for Lt. Alexander Murry, commander of an Army escort troop with Captain Simpson. The Station's name was later changed to Ely.

NEWARK - (1867-ca 1910)
T19N R56E SW1/4 Section 4.  Newark was located by Stephen and John Beard of Austin. They had discovered silver on the east flank of the Diamond Mountains in 1866. The Centenary Co., owned by members of the Methodist Church, set up a 20-stamp mill. The profits from this mill were used  to build a new church in Austin.  Limited mining activity took place over the years due to shallow ore deposits. A mill foundation remains.

OSCEOLA - (1872-1940)  
Located 3 miles east of U.S. Hwy. 50 & 6, and 8 miles east of their junction with US 93, south of Sacramento Pass; 29 miles east of Ely.  The Osceola mining district was the largest producer of gold in Nevada and the longest lived placer camp in Nevada. 

Hydraulic mining was inaugurated here by using water brought to Dry Gulch by a 30-mile long ditch.  Remains of the ditch can be seen in various places.  Placer mining continues to be done on a small scale here.   Click on the White Pine Public Museum photo below to see an enlarged view of the town.

oscola.jpg (24209 bytes)

Osceola had a post office, store and saloons. A 25-pound gold nugget was found in Dry Gulch in 1877. A cemetery and one original building remains after a fire nearly leveled the town in the 1940's.  See Historical markers

PICOTILLO - (1869-1870)
Promoted by real estate developers as Picotillo Flats, the townsite was located on the steep eastern face of Treasure Hill and  about 1 mile southwest of Treasure City. Did not amount to much because of the decline in mining. A few rock foundations remain.

PIERMONT - (1872-1873)
2 miles west of the Spring Valley road 21 miles south of its junction with Old SR 2. About 400 inhabitants lived here in log cabins for a short time.  Remnants of a mill and a cemetery exist.

PINTO - (1870-1903)
T18N R54E SW1/4 Section 26.  2 miles north of US 50 at a point 65 miles west of Ely. The area was originally called Silverado. By 1871, Pinto had blacksmith shops, boarding houses, a post office, stores, homes and a population of 75.  A $30,000 mill was built in 1872, but shut down in January 1874 because the mine had no deposits really worth mining. Some stone walls can be seen. Smelter ruins are east of US 50 just south of Pinto Summit, Eureka County.

Compiled by June Shaputis 1998

Ghost Towns Part 2 Pinto to Ward

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