Jarbidge Nevada

Jawbidge, Nevada is a small town located in the northeastern part of the Nevada in Elko County. The discovery of gold and silver in the region brought an influx of miners and prospectors to the area, and Jawbidge quickly became a center of mining activity. “Jarbidge” is a name derived from the Shoshone language meaning “devil”. Native American Tribes believed the nearby hills were haunted.

Jarbidge, Nevada
Jarbidge, Nevada

Jarbidge, Nevada is a small town located in the northeastern part of the state with a rich mining history. The discovery of gold and silver in the region brought an influx of miners and prospectors to the area, and Jarbidge quickly became a center of mining activity.

The first miners in the area were individual prospectors who panned for gold along the Jawbidge River and its tributaries. The early miners found small deposits of gold, but it was not until the 1870s that larger deposits were discovered. These deposits were located in the hills and mountains surrounding the town.

In 1874, a group of miners discovered a rich vein of silver in the nearby Jarbidge Mountains. The discovery sparked a mining rush, and thousands of miners flocked to the area. The miners established camps and small settlements along the rivers and streams that ran through the region. The Jarbidge River, which runs through the town, was a particularly rich source of gold and silver.

The mining industry in Jawbidge was characterized by a boom-and-bust cycle. In the early days, the mining was done using simple tools like pickaxes and shovels. The miners worked long hours in dangerous conditions, and many of them died from accidents or from diseases like silicosis. Despite the dangers, the lure of gold and silver kept the miners coming.

In the 1880s, the mining industry in Jarbidge underwent a period of rapid expansion. New mines were opened, and new technologies were introduced that allowed for more efficient extraction of gold and silver. One of the most important innovations was the introduction of the stamp mill. This machine used heavy steel stamps to crush the ore, which was then separated from the waste material. The stamp mill allowed for large-scale mining operations, and it became the backbone of the mining industry in Jarbidge.

Jarbidge, Nevada photo 1909
Jarbidge, Nevada photo 1909

During this period, the town of Jarbidge grew rapidly. New businesses were established to support the mining industry, including supply stores, saloons, and boarding houses. The town’s population grew, and it became a center of commerce in the region.

In the 1890s, the mining industry in Jarbidge began to decline. Many of the mines had exhausted their deposits of gold and silver, and the cost of extracting the remaining ore became too high. The decline of the mining industry had a ripple effect on the town’s economy. Many businesses closed, and the population began to shrink.

Despite the decline of the mining industry, a few mines continued to operate in the area. In the early 1900s, a new mineral was discovered in the Jawbidge Mountains – tungsten. Tungsten was used to make steel alloys, and it became a valuable commodity during World War I. Several tungsten mines were opened in the area, and they helped to sustain the local economy.

In the 1920s, a new mining boom began in Jarbidge. This boom was fueled by the demand for copper, which was used in the construction of electrical wiring and other products. Several large copper mines were opened in the area, and they brought new jobs and prosperity to the town.

During World War II, the mining industry in Jarbidge played a critical role in the war effort. The mines produced copper, tungsten, and other minerals that were used to build weapons and other military equipment. The town’s population swelled as miners and other workers were brought in to support the war effort.

After the war, the mining industry in Jarbidge began to decline once again. The demand for copper dropped, and the mines began to close. The town’s economy shifted toward tourism and other industries.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

As early as 10000 years ago, Native American hunting parties camped near horn to hunt game.  About a thousand years ago, Shoshone-speaking people entered the region, where they continue to live today.  The name Jarbidge comes from a Shoshone word meaning “a bad or evil spirit”.

Dave Bourne discovered gold in this isolated area in 1909 and production eventually totaled 59 million.  Population size varied, but in the early l920s, the Jarbidge district replaced fading Goldfield as the premier gold-producing area in Nevada.  The Jarbidge mines railed beginning in the tale 1920s.

On a stormy December 5, 1916, the last stagecoach robbery and murder in the history of the West took place in Jarbidge Canyon, ¼ mile south of the town.


Jarbidge Trail Map

Jarbidge Town Summary

NameJarbidge, Elko County, Nevada
Other NamesJa-ha-bich
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.8728, -115.4446
Elevation1932 meters / 6339 feet
Nevada State Historic Marker69


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