Palmetto Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Tent business in Palmetto, 1906
Tent business in Palmetto, 1906

Palmetto Nevada is a ghost town located just off of highway 168 about 30 miles west of Lida, in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

In 1866, three prospectors, H.W. Bunyard, Thomas Israel and T.W. McNutt worked the area north of the townsite and discovered silver deposits. The camp was named Palmetto, when the miners assumed the Joshua Trees in the area were a relative of the Palmetto Tree. A 12-stamp mill was constructed on the site, however the miners could not produce enough the keep the mill in operation. Their fortunes failed and within one year the camp was abandoned.

In 1906 a revival occurred at Palmetto, and the mines were reopened. Mare Latham of Goldfield Nevada, and Nesbitt Brothers., of Columbia, have assay outfits on the ground in the area. Miners poured into the area along with the people and businesses who serviced and profited off of the miners toils.

A tent city of over 200 tents soon formed. As soon as a tent was rolled off a wagon, it was hastily constructed. A commercial street was founded to support the stores, saloons, bakery, post office, bank and other professional services for the fledgling town.

Regardless of the surge in population, the mines around Palmetto Nevada soon declined again and so followed the town soon after. The populations of these boom towns migrated from site to site looking for opportunity and profit. The next town down the line was Blair, Nevada.

Thinking that local joshua trees were related to palm trees, the 1866 prospectors named the mining camp Palmetto. The town “died” and revived three times.

New prospecting in 1903 caused Palmetto to grow to a town of 200 tents on a platted townsite. At its peak year, 1906, the commercial street, over 1/2 mile long, contained all the necessary mining camp businesses.

Local miners drifted away in autumn, 1906. Mining, on a lease basis, has been minimal since that time. An important talc deposit lies nearby.

Nevada State Historic Marker #158

The town of Palmetto has a Post Office twice in its history. The last closure was December 31, 1906.

Palmetto did see a second resurgence in 1920. A new mill was built to support operations. Despite the best intentions, profits did not follow the venture and the location was abandoned for the last time.

Palmetto Trail Map


2 Replies to “Palmetto Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town”

  1. Pingback: Palmetto, Nevada

  2. Pingback: Palmetto NSHM Nevada State Historic Marker #158 - Destination4x4

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