Pioneer Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Beginning as a mining camp near the Mayflower, Pioneer Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Pioneer gold mine was first discovered in 1907 as part of the Bull Frog Mining District. The camp was formed between two of the mines in the area, the Pioneer and the Mayflower. A daily stagecoach began between Pioneer and the mining town of Springdale, about 2 miles to the northeast along the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad

The Camp of Pioneer in July 1910 is partially rebuilt after the fire in 1909
The Camp of Pioneer in July 1910 is partially rebuilt after the fire in 1909

Initially, like many other boom towns, early optimism of rich surface deposits fueled speculation and rapid growth for the down. The fledgling town was laid out and businesses from Rhyolite and nearby Beatty opened up in the small town of Pioneer. By 1909 some 1000 people called the town home, for now. The town was referenced by the Las Vegas Age, which called Pioneer the liveliest place in the state.

The town was organized into two sections known as the upper and lower towns. The serve the population business included hotels, a theater, boarding houses, shoe stores, restaurants, a a cigar store and saloons. The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad promoted passenger service between Rhyolite and Pioneer. Passengers could step off a train in Rhyloite and quickly into a waiting automobile to drive them to Pioneer. The Las Vegas and Tonopah and the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroads were projecting branch lines up the the town.

Like many boomtowns, the wood construction of the buildings where dried in the desert environment. The town suffered a debilitating fire in May 1909, which destroyed the majority of the business and buildings. The dry buildings were engulfed by flames fueled by a prevailing wind.

The Ten-Stamp Mill in Pioneer Nevada
The Ten-Stamp Mill in Pioneer Nevada

After the fire, the town was rebuilt however it was never quite the same as before. In 1913 a ten stamp mill was constructed and operated from about three years before being shutdown. In 1914 a partial collapse of the Pioneer mine further hampered gold production. The mines continued to operated until 1931.

Town Summary

Town SummaryPioneer Nevada
LocationNye County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.005278, -116.783889
Post OfficeMarch 1909 –

Pioneer Nevada Trail Map


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