The ghost town of Nelson, Nevada, which is located in Eldorado Canyon along Lake Mojave, is a quaint destination which offers the visitor a brief glimpse into the past.
El Dorado Canyon has a long and storied mining history which includes 150 years of mining activities by Native Americans, Spanish Explorers and Mormons prior to 1861. In 1863, miners from nearby Potosi flooded the area and established four town sites in the narrow canyon, the establishment of which caused some excitement on the western coast.
1864 established a ten-stamp stamp mill was built near the mouth of Eldorado canyon despite a six month lead time for supplied to arrive in the remote location. At the time, Eldorado canyon was part of the Arizona territory and the Eldorado mill was the first in the Arizona territory.
As the town grew, a post office was added in 1865, however the area was a rough camp with the nearest law about 300 miles away. Vigilantes dispensed justice to those who crossed the line.
Nelson, Nevada was founded in 1905 some seven miles west at the head of Eldorado Canyon. The old town was abandoned for the new site. The town of Nelson slumped for two decades beginning in 1909, but the 1930’s found a resurgence in gold production. By 1941, 220 tons of ore were processed daily in three cyanide mills. The population reached 600 persons, however increased costs caused the gold production to slow and eventually cease. Total gold production is estimated at 10,000,000.00 with the Techatticip mine accounting for over half of this value.
When Davis damn was put into operation in 1951, the original town site in Eldorado canyon were buried and drowned by the rising waters of the newly formed Lake Mojave.
Today, the town of Nelson hosts some 37 people in the 2010 census. The older section of town hosts many old buildings, ruins, cars, mining equipment and all in all is an eclectic collection of mining and western history. The current occupants have a wonderful collection of old mining gear and western history, mixed with an eclectic collection of art.
The town was recently used as a movie set, and the a tour of the town is available to those interested.