Ophir Canyon Nevada

Ophir Canyon is a ghost town from the 1880s and located about 3.5 miles west of State Route 8A north of State Route 92, in Nye County, Nevada. The town began life as Toiyabe City when silver is discovered by a French prospector Boulrand in 1863. Boulrand managed to keeps his find quiet for a year, secreting provisions into the site by night. His secret is finally exposed when he confided his good fortune to countryman on a trip to Austin.

Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880's
Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880’s
Continue Reading →

Fort Ruby

Fort Ruby, also known as Camp Ruby is an old U. S. Army post which was built in 1862 during the American Civil War, The post is located in the “wilderness of eastern Nevada.” and protected the overland mail coaches and Pony Express, in order to maintain links and communication between residents of California and the Union states to the East.

Photo of Fort Ruby as it appeared in 1868, when famed western photographer Timothy Sullivan captured this image.
Photo of Fort Ruby as it appeared in 1868, when famed western photographer Timothy Sullivan captured this image.

The fort operated from 1862 to 1869 and was a small outpost in the land of the Western Shoshone tribes. The outpost is built prior to the signing of the Treaty of Ruby Valley in which the United States and the Western Shoshone agreed to allow access and mineral rights to the land in exchange for $5,000 a year for twenty years. These payments was supposed to be delivered in goods and livestock for the tribe. Sadly, only the first payment is delivered.

“Ruby Valley is a bleak, inhospitable place — no forage, nor lumber to build with, and as far as the Indians are concerned, entirely unnecessary to keep troops there,” 

Col. Patrick E. Conner

Col. Patrick E. Conner lead the expedition to the site in 1862 and along with 600 men from the 3rd Regiment of California Volunteers, built the fort from stone and wood from the nearby mountains. Fort Ruby was comprised of fourteen buildings including living quarters, stables, corrals and store houses. Water is supplied by the Fort Ruby Spring located close to the fort. Just one month after initial construction of the fort, the men prepared the fort for winter. Upon doing so, the majority of the soldiers packed up and left for Salt Lake City to establish Fort Douglas. In 1864, the California troops were replaced by the Nevada Volunteers, Company B, 1st Nevada Infantry.

The outpost is located in a vast remote location about halfway between Carson City, Nevada and Salt Lake City Utah. The main threat to the men after the treaty is boredom. Aside from a brief action known as the Goshute War with the local natives, there is nothing for the Troops to keep busy after the treaty is signed.

The camp is decommissioned on September 20th, 1869. As the troops left the outpost, ranch families waved goodbye. Fort Ruby and its soldiers had become a welcome part of the valley. the closing of the fort was a social and economic blow to the local ranchers.

Fort Ruby was salvaged by local ranchers and today, no much remains at the site aside from several graves and a historic marker.

Fort Ruby Summary

NameFort Ruby
LocationWhite Pine County, Nevada
Also Known AsCamp Ruby, Old Camp Ruby, Old Fort Ruby
Latitude, Longitude40.0677778, -115.5294444
GNIS1681469
Elevation1826 meters / 5991 feet

Fort Ruby Map

Resources

Calico California

Calico California is a ghost town located just outside of Barstow in Mojave desert of San Bernardino, California. The town began its like in 1881 when four miners from Grapevine Station (present day Barstow) began prospecting the “Calico Colored” mountains to the north east. The prospectors soon found the Silver King Mine, which was the largest producer of Silver in California in the 1880’s.

Calico California
Calico California

The prospectors were grubstaked by John C. King for whom the the Silver King Mine was named. John King also served as the San Bernardino County Sherriff from 1879 to 1882.  The post office is added to the town in 1882 along with the publishing on the newspaper the Calico Print which is published weekly. A typical assortment of business are started to support the mining efforts including three hotels, bars, brothels, boarding hoses, restaurants and a Wells Fargo office.

During the heyday, Calico boasted 500 mines, 3,500 townspeople, two constables, a deputy sheriff, two attorneys, two doctors and a boot hill cemetery. In 1890, the Silver Purchase Act drove down the price of silver and the decrease in profits made the town no longer economically viable. Future attempts at a rebirth and revival failed.

Miner and workmen crews at the Silver King Mine — in the Calico mining district, Mojave Desert, southern California.
Miner and workmen crews at the Silver King Mine — in the Calico mining district, Mojave Desert, southern California.

The town was purchase from Zenda Mining Company in 1951 by Walter Knot. It so happened, that Walter Knott was the nephew of John C. King and the founder of Knott’s Berry Farm. Mr. Knott invested over $700,000 restoring Calico in an attempt the create a road side attraction. Some of the original buildings are removed and replaced with facades similar in construction to a Hollywood set. Despite this fact, Calico played an important role and holds a special place in California history.

Calico Trail Map

Town Summary

NameCalico, California
LocationSan Bernardino County, California
Latitude, Longitude34.948889, -116.864167
GNIS1660414
Elevation2,285 feet
Population3,500
Post Office1882 – 1898
NewspaperCalico Print

References

Midas Nevada

Midas is a populated location and gold mining town located in Elko County, Nevada. The town is located in a valley along the Midas Creek on the south eastern slopes of the Owyhee Bluffs about 42 miles north east of Golconda, Nevada and 42 miles west of Tuscarora.

In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. - Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. – Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
Continue Reading →

Doble California

Doble California is a gold mining town and ghost town which is located off the western shore of Lake Baldwin in San Bernardino, California. The town began life as Bairdstown in 1873 when the Carter brothers filed a gold mine claim. The original town was named for Samuel Baird who was instrumental in securing financing from San Francisco and the capital to establish larger scale mining operations. Baird purchased the two richest claims from the Carter brothers in December of 1873 for a sum of $30,000. This “buyout” served as an impressive buyout for the short run of the Carter brothers.

One of these capitol investors was Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin (April 3, 1828 – March 1, 1909)  and known as was “one of the greatest pioneers” of California business, an investor, and real estate speculator during the second half of the 19th century.

Baldwin moved to Virginia City during to rush on the Comstock Load. Opening a livery the savvy businessman soon acquired interests the Ophir Mine in the came from the Motherlode of Virginia City. Baldwin leveraged his profits from the Ophir Mine to acquire shares in the Hale & Norcross and Crown Point at the north end of the Comstock Lode.

Baldwin’s new company built a road from Cactus Flats to Big Bear. This new route allowed for the hauling in machinery and parts for the huge 40-stamp mill to process the ore from the mines. The town was establised on the valley floor almost directly below the new mill.  By September of 1874, the town boasts a blacksmith shop, a butcher, two boarding houses, and two saloons. Later, three general stores, two stables, three restaurants, two hotels, a bakery, a meat market, a Chinese wash house, tailor, shoemaker, and barber rounded our the businesses who serviced the miners and citizens of the small hamlet.

The mill was fired for the first time on March 6, 1875. The noise from the steam powered monster filled the valley of Big Bear as it processes 100 tons of ore per day. Despite this milestone, the town shutdown later in 1875 due to poor ore quality and the townsite is refereed to as Gold Mountain.

in 1894, Lucky’s son in-law, Budd Doble took invested $25,000 to reopen the mine and mill. The town was renamed in his honor and a small post office cemented this named into history. This town on Doble succumbed to poor profits and relegated to history in 1903

Today access to the Doble townsite is limited by the Forest Service due to recent fire damage.

Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 - Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections
Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 – Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections

Doble Town Summary

NameDoble California
LocationBig Bear, San Bernarino, California
Also Known AsBairdstown, Gold Mountain
Latitude, Longitude34.2986169,-116.8216958
GNIS270883

Doble Town Map

Referenes