Shermantown Nevada History and Photos

SHERMANTOWN - (1868-1870)
5 miles down a steep canyon and southwest of Hamilton. First called Silver Springs and later named for General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1869, it was the mill town for the White Pine Mining District.  This town had adequate water and timber to build stamp mills so it became the center for processing ore in the district.  Shermantown was incorporated on March 27, 1869.

In June 1869, George F. Bliss, a early town developer and a member of the original Board of Trustees was elected City Marshal and Street Commissioner.  Less than six weeks later, Bliss was arrested for assaulting Edwin A. Sherman, another one of the town's founders and the past president of the Board of Trustees.  Marshal Bliss had to pay a fine of $150.00.

The town had eight mills with 69 stamps, four furnaces and two sawmills. Business structures were built of light sandstone. The town had two newspapers, one named the "White Pine Evening Telegram" edited by E. F. McElwain that lasted 11 weeks in 1869, and the "Shermantown Reporter" published for a few issues in May 1870 before its editor, G. A. Brier, dropped dead in the Wells Fargo office.

Liquor was readily available in the 12 restaurants, 11 saloons and 9 lodging houses.   Recreation consisted of 2 theaters, 2 ice-cream parlors, a nearby horse racing track, the Silver Springs Glee Club,  a German Social Club,  the Shermantown Guard of Mexican-American War Veterans.  A three-story building was used for Masonic and Odd Fellow meetings.

The first school was a private school at the head of Main Street and operated by Mrs. Shoaf.  A public school was  built a few months later.  There were 3 assay offices, 4 livery stables and 2 stage lines connected with nearby Hamilton.  Francis B. Clark operated a drugstore here before moving the business to Taylor and then to Ely.

Only low-grade silver ore was available in the area and the costs to mine it exceeded its worth so the town quickly dwindled away.  By 1875, only Dr. E. X. Willard, a mining man and his family remained in Shermantown.  Many of the commercial buildings were torn down and used to rebuild after Hamilton's fires in 1872 and 1873.  No mention of churches or a cemetery is found in the newspapers of the day.  Stone mill ruins and  walls can be seen.

(Sources: "Shermantown, Nevada 1868-1870", a manuscript by Thomas S. Reid)




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