Lida Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Now on private property, Lida Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp located in Esmeralda County, Nevada just off State Route 266. The area probably saw it first activity in the 1860’s when Mexican and Native Americans worked the surrounding hills for gold. Their efforts were limited by their ability to extract gold from the ore. In the spring of 1867, American prospects arrived in Lida Valley and took steps to organize a mining district.

Lida Tent City in 1905
Lida Tent City in 1905

The town of Lida Valley was organized and plotted in March 1872. The town experienced an influx people and soon supported common business for these mining towns including a livery, stables, shops, saloons and a Post Office. On March 17, 1873, the United States authorized a post office for the small community. There was some confusion caused by the remote region and the post office was authorized for Inyo County, California. This mistake was corrected the following month. April 31, 1873 saw the newly established post office operating as Lida, Nevada.

Freight was brought into Lida from the nearest rail station in Wadsworth. The supplies were hauled into Lida from Silverpeak using a newly build road for $100 per ton. Ore was processed at one of steam powered mills which were constructed and springs in the area. A five stamp mill and an eight stamp mill processed ore and higher quality ore with value of $500 to $1000 per ton was hauled to Belmont and Austin for processing. In the 1870’s mining declined and by the 1880s Lida only had 10 businesses in operation.

In 1905 the town of Goldfield experienced a gold boom. Lida formed a chamber of commerce to capitalize on the event. The weekly Lida Enterprise was published and stage service to Goldfield was established. The springs near Lida helped supply Goldfield utilizing a newly constructed pipe between the towns. An automobile stage was setup in 1905 to provide service between Lida and Big Pine, California.

Prospecting Parties in Lida, Nevada
Prospecting Parties in Lida, Nevada

Lida prospered for about three years until the camp started to decline once again. Important properties were tied up in litigation which hampered the towns growth. Just prior to World War I, schools, hotels and some ranches found operation until the town languished completed.

Today, Lida is on private property.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

Known as a contact point for Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians, Lida Valley was the site of early prospecting in 1860’s.

Later prospectors organized a mining district in 1867 and laid out the town in 1872. Soon stores, shops, stables and a post office were established. Some ore was milled locally, yet high-grade ore ($500-$1,000 per ton) was treated at Austin or Belmont. After 1880 mining declined.

Lida revived and thrived for three years during the Goldfield boom but declined again in 1907. Mining efforts resumed a few years later, and a small community existed here until World War I.

Lida Historical Plaque

Nevada State Historic Marker Summary

LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Nevada State Historic Marker157
Latitude, Longitude37.4580, -117.4985

Town Summary

LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.4582807,-117.5068931
Elevation6,810 Feet
NewspaperLida Enterprise
Post Office1873 – 1932

Lida Nevada Map


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