Ward Mining District, Nevada

Ward Mining District, Nevada Historical Marker

Ward is a ghost town located near Ely, Nevada, once known for its silver ore. In 1875, it was the largest town in White Pine County with a population of of over 1,000. Located at over 8,000 feet in elevation, it boomed from approximately 1876 to 1882, with a peak in 1877 due to new discoveries. The Martin White Company of San Francisco bought all the existing mines in 1875.

By 1877, the town had over 2,000 residents. During this time Wells Fargo opened, and a city hall was constructed.

While crime did happen early on, it became nearly crime-free due to the 601 Vigilantes. Reportedly, the name came from “six feet under, no trial, and one rope“. By 1878, the town began to decline due to disappearing ore deposits and the rise of Cherry Creek, another mining town. By 1885, there was only one operating business.

Basically a ghost town by this point, it would see some revival from 1906 to 1920 when the Martin White Company sold its holdings to the Nevada United Mines Company.  As of the present, it still is an active mining area.

Historical Marker Inscription

Nevada State Historical Marker No. 54

Silver Ore

The ghost town of Ward, in the foothills of the Egan Range, lies some eight miles west of here. Booming from 1876 until 1882, with a peak population of 1,500, Ward was somewhat of a lawless mining camp. Early killings did occur, but justice was meted out by the vigilante committee and the hanging rope.

A million dollars worth of silver was taken from a single chamber of the Ward mine, yet an abandoned house was used for the first school and no movement was ever started to build a church.

The town was abandoned by the late 1880s, but new discoveries and better mining methods prompted a resurgence of activity in 1906 and again in the 1960s.

Location

N 39° 05.333, W 114° 45.173

Located on U.S. 93 in White Pine County near Ely, Nevada

Ione, Nevada

Ione, Nevada Historical Marker

While Native Americans lived in the land for 5,000 years, it was the Silver Rush that put Ione on the map. Founded in 1863 after silver was discovered in the Shoshone Mountain Range, it became a trade and milling center. When Nevada became a state in 1864, the town had a population of over 600 people, and it was the Nye County’s seat.

The town, however, didn’t last long. By 1867, the town of Belmont had attracted most of Ione’s residents away, and the county seat was moved to Belmont. In 1896, the town briefly boomed again when a 10-stamp mill was constructed. Later, in 1897, A. Phelps Stokes purchased much of the mining and milling interests in Union District, but by 1898, silver had dropped in value. Cinnabar deposits briefly brought prospectors to the area again from 1912 to 1914.

Ione General Store

While the town is largely deserted, it still hangs on. In fact, it’s known as the “Town That Refused to Die”.  It still has about 41 residents, but most of the businesses have ceased operations. It still has the claim to fame of being where the movie Tremors with Kevin Bacon was filmed.

Welcome to Ione Nevda

Historical Marker Inscription

American Indians lived in Ione Valley for at least 5,000 years.

In 1863, European Americans discovered silver, and in 1864, Ione City was the first county seat of the newly created Nye County. Over 600 people worked in the prosperous town until a promising ore body in Belmont attracted most of the miners in 1865, capturing the county seat in 1867.

Alternately prosperous and poor yet never completely deserted; Ione suffered mining depressions, milling difficulties, and the loss of miners to other rich strikes throughout its history.

Location

38° 56′ 58.338″ N, 117° 35′ 6.822″ W

SR-844, Round Mountain, NV 89409, United States

Tybo, Nevada

Tybo Historical Marker Nevada

White settlers first came to Tybo, Nevada, in 1865 or 1866 when a Native American led these people to a place where he had found gold ore in the Hot Creek mountain range. While some digging did occur at this time, the mining camp wouldn’t be established until 1871, and the smelter built in 1872. The town would finally be settled in 1874, and a lead smelter was added.

In 1875, the Tybo Consolidate Mining Company was created to manage the Two-G Mine, which was the largest producer in the area. By 1876, Tybo became a boom town with “around 1,000 residents, five stores, two blacksmith shops, a post office, and of course many saloons”, and, by the 1870s, the town became a leading lead producer.

By 1881, however, Tybo Consolidated Mining Company failed due to the drop in ore, and the population was reduced to about 100 people. In 1884, a major fire destroyed 32 buildings. Throughout the 1900s, different companies tried to resurrect the mines to differing success. The main mines of Tybo were eventually shut down in 1937.

Historical Marker Inscription

TYBO

SILVER – LEAD – ZINC CAMP

Eight miles northwest of this point lies what was formerly one of the leading lead-producing districts in the nation. Producing erratically from ore discovery in 1866 to the present (the last mill closed in 1937), Tybo has managed to achieve an overall creditable record.

Tybo, in its infancy, was known as a peaceful camp, but later strife between the Irish, Cornish, and central Europeans changed its reputation. Later, these groups banded together to drive away a company of Chinese woodcutters.

The town was not unique in having three residential sections each with its ethnic group. However, all children went to the same brick school.

Location

Tybo is in Nye County, which is off Highway 6 near Tonopah, NV, and a 17-mile drive from Warm Springs, NV.

38° 18.595′ N, 116° 16.565′ W

Austin, Nevada

Austin, Nevada, Historical Marker Inscription
Stokes Castle, Austin, NV
Stokes Castle

Located on U.S. Highway 50 on the western slopes of the Toiyabe Range, Austin was founded in 1862 as part of the silver rush. The legend goes that a Pony Express horse kicked over a rock, exposing the silver. The city was named after Austin, TX.

The town grew rapidly, and, by 1863, it had a population of over 10,000 and became Lander County’s county seat. It also was a staging point for prospectors looking for new mines in Central Nevada. In January 1864, the town was incorporated, and this included adding police force, a fire department and schools.

Soon, in 1869, however, the White Pine area began to pull miners and prospectors away from Austin. Yet, Austin continued to produce silver and be prosperous, and, in 1880, the Nevada Central Railroad connected Austin to Battle Mountain via a transcontinental railroad. Yet, by 1887, most of the mines in Austin were closed. While considered largely to be a “living” ghost town, residents still reside in the town, and the International Hotel (which originated in Virginia City in 1859 and was moved to Austin in 1863) is supposed to be the oldest in Nevada. While it doesn’t rent out rooms anymore, it still offer meals to travelers.

One of the other attractions in the area is Stokes Castle, built by Anson Phelps Stokes as a summer home for his sons. Built between 1896 and 1897, it was only used once by the family between June and July 1897, and then was largely abandoned.

Mining Equipment, Austin, NV

Historical Marker Inscription

Austin sprang into being after William Talcott discovered silver at this spot on May 2, 1862. Talcott came from Jacbobsville, a stage stop six miles to the west on the Reese River. He was hauling wood out of the Pony Canyon, directly below, when he made the strike that set off the famous rush to Reese.

A town called Clinton flourished briefly in Pony Canyon but fast growing Austin soon took over and became the Lander County seat in 1863. Before the mines began to fail in the 1880’s Austin was a substantial city of several thousand people. From Austin, prospectors fanned out to open many other important mining camps in the Great Basin.

Centennial Marker No. 8

State Historic Preservation Office

Location

39° 29′ 53.982″ N, 117° 4′ 46.660″ W

US-50 Austin, NV 89310, United States