La Plata Nevada – Churchill County Ghost Town

Following the discovery of silver in 1862, La Plata Nevada is a ghost town locate in and the second county seat of Churchill County, Nevada. The site is found on the eastern slope of the Still Water Range about thirty miles East of Fallon. The town was founded at the convergence of La Plata Canyon and Silver Wave Canyon. The name of the town and the canyon is derived from the Spanish word for silver.

This ten-stamp mill built in 1864 at the lower end of La Plata - Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps - Paher
This ten-stamp mill built in 1864 at the lower end of La Plata – Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps – Paher

The mines of La Plata were not overly successful. Despite investment from eastern capitalists, wide area prospecting resulted in discouraging results. The Silver Wave Mining Company owned the townsite and a 1500-acre ranch. The mining company start a small mill in anticipation of profitable ore.

The town was the second county seat of Churchill County from 1864 until 1868. The court house was a converted structure purchase for $700 from Anton Kaufman on on October 15, 1864. The townsite climate was described as “delightful, atmosphere pure, bracing, and wholesome” by the Hon. George W. Stein, of Easton, Pennsylvania, President of the “Silver Wave Company,”

The town hosted a Post Office, the mills and a few businesses, including the Warren House, the La Plata Hotel and Pioneer Saloon. The town was V-shaped due its location at the convergence of two canyons. Plans were made for a much larger townsite, however, the ore simply did not support the plans. A special election was held on October 22, 1867 and as a result the county seat was was moved to the town Stillwater, in 1868.

There was a short revival of La Plata mines in the spring of 1906, but a revival was not in the forecast for this location.

Town Summary

NameLa Plata
LocationChurchill County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.449350216615784, -118.31154064991719
Eleation5280 ft
Post OfficeApril 13, 1865 – November 25, 1867

La Plata Trail Map


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