Palmetto Nevada

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 camped 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.

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.

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Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps

Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps - By Stanley W. Paher
Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps – By Stanley W. Paher

Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps is a wonderful book written by Stanley W. Paher and published by Nevada Publications. The book is Copyright 1970 and contains 492 pages of “Brillantly illustrated with 700 historic and modern photographs; with numerous maps, complete index, appendix and bibliography.” This book contains information and stories from more than 575 mining sites and ghost towns in Nevada.

My copy of this book was purchased by my father for $15 at a thrift store. The pages are dog eared and well worn and covered in yellow post-it notes for later reference. The book is wonderfully organized, the source of a lot of great information about the early days of Nevada mining. The stories, photographs paint a fantastic picture of the rough and rugged individuals who settled my new home state. In many ways, the enjoyment and knowledge that I have, is based and builds upon the great work of Mr. Paher.

Stanley Paher grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and jeeped thousands of miles over the rough roads of back country Nevada. He graduated from Sacramento State with a B.A. in English. He continued his educations at the University of Nevada, where, in 1969 he earned a Masters Degree in Political Science.

The book is available for purchase from Amazon and quite a hefty price on this writing, however you can find it much cheaper at various other online stores.

Anyone who is at all interested in ghost towns, mining or Nevada history really needs a copy of this book in his/her library.

ISBN-13: 978-0913814048

ISBN-10: 0913814040

Additional Reading

Columbus Nevada

Downtown Columbus, Nevada, late 1870's.
Downtown Columbus, Nevada, late 1870’s.

Spanish miners discovered silver in the area in 1863. A small mining camp was established in the area which became Columbus Nevada in 1865. In 1866 a stamp mill was relocated from nearby Aurora. A quartz mill was opened at what was considered a prefect location, due to the proximity with adequate water.  

In 1871 borax was discovered and developed by William Troop in a salt marsh.  A swift reaction to this discovery saw four separate companies harvesting This discovery dramatically increase the towns importance and opportunities. The site later became known as the Columbus Marsh.

Columbus, Nevada 1870s - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 427, Mrs. Estelle Funke Collection
Columbus, Nevada 1870s – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 427, Mrs. Estelle Funke Collection

The town reached its zenith, when, in 1875 when the site boast about 1,000 people. A newspaper “The Borax Miner”, post office, schools and businesses where started support and profit from the population. During this time, the Borax plant ran continuously, 24 hours per day eight months of the year. There sites also supported a daily stage service with Candelaria and Fish Lake Valley.

After 1875, the Fish Lake borax planet was build by the Pacific Borax Company some 30 miles from the town. By 1880, the population collapsed to 100.

As with many such mining towns, the end came quickly when borax mining ceased in 1881.

Columbus Nevada is located in Esmerelda County, Nevada.

Town Summary

LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude38.110278, -118.019167
NewspaperThe Borax Miner
Post Office

Columbus Trail Map


Blair Nevada

Blair Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located in Esmerelda County.   The town site is located a few miles north of Silver Peak, Nevada and about 19 miles west of SR 95.   The town was founded in September of 1906 when speculators flourished and mill owners imposed harsh mill prices in the town of Silver Peark.  

The Pittsburgh Silver Peak Mining Company founded a site just a few miles north of Silver Peak which was then named Blair.  Blair boasted the a 100-stamp stamp mill which was the largest in Nevada at the time.

Located in Blair, Nevada the Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Mill
Located in Blair, Nevada the Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Mill
U.S. Geological Survey outfit enroute Blair to Silverpeak. Silver Peak quadrangle. Esmeralda County, Nevada. 1912.

November of 1906 saw the foundation of a town paper, business district, hotel, saloons and post office to serve a population on 700 people.  The Blair Press, the town newspater operated from November, 1906 to July, 1909. The Silver Peak Post moved from Silver Peak and was renamed the Blair Booster. This paper only ran a short time, from March – July of 1907 before it failed.

Mining continued until 1915 when  low grade ore sealed the fate of the boom town.  When the mill was closed, it was dismantled and moved to California.

Blair Nevada Trail Map

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