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.
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.
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.
38° 56′ 58.338″ N, 117° 35′ 6.822″ W
SR-844, Round Mountain, NV 89409, United States