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
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
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
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.