Troy Nevada

In May 1867, prospector Alexander Beatty worked the the Grant Mountain range when he discovered silver and founded the town site of Troy, in Nye County, Nevada. Beatty quickly stacked five different claims in the valley. In 1868, Beatty started the Troy Mining District.

Troy Nevada is located in Nye County, Nevada.

In 1868, the town attracted a group of investors from England. After prospecting and exploring the area, these investors purchased Beattys mining claims and The Troy Silver Mining Company was founded in 1870.

The little town of Troy, in 1871 was home to seventy miners and their families. Their needs were meet with two general stores, a school, blacksmith shop, boarding house and an unofficial post office. The Troy Silver Mining company invested some $500,000.00 into the mining facilities and built a modern 20-stamp mill and furnaces.

Despite fund raising, the new mining company was not destined to be the next great boom town. The mines never produced as anticipated and by 1872 the company was on the verge of going under. In 1873 a new manager was able to get silver production up to keep the mines open. Flooding in the mines and the speculation from the flooding caused the stock prices to plummet. Despite this news, the stock holders voted to keep mining operations in place.

In 1876, the end finally came for Troy when the mines were closed and the assets sold and moved including the mills and furnaces. In December of that year, the Troy Silver Mining Company was dissolved.

George Sharp, a nearby rancher, purchased the mine site for back taxes in 1902. He demolished one of the two furnace chimneys for the raw materials for his ranch. Sharp sold the claims to the Birdno family.

The mining camp saw various revivals over the next 50 years. The population would teeter back and forth between 1904 – 1920. The Birdo Family sold out the claims and divested in 1936.

The final operations in the valley started in 1946 when the Locke Mine was opened above the town of Troy by Joseph Hafen. The Locke Mine produced gold and pipe delivered to water up to the mine to produce electricity for a mill which was assembled. The Locke Mined operated until the mid 1960s.

Town Summary

NameTroy Nevada
LocationNye County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude38.34578302126987, -115.57371331915309
Elevation6000 feet
Population100
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Wonder Nevada

Wonder Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp, which is located about 14 miles north of the US 50, in Churchill County, Nevada. In May of 1906, prospectors discovered veins of rich quarts in a wash just north of the Chalf Mountains. News of the discovery spread like wild fire and by June 1, 1906 with town of Wonder was founded by hundred of people seeking opportunity.

The Wonder mining camp, Nevada 1907.
The Wonder mining camp, Nevada 1907.

Tents and buildings are soon constructed to house and service the influx of people. The Wonder Mining News was soon sold by news boys in the fledgling town promoting the town to further heights. Drug stores, saloons, hotels, assay offices, cafes, sporting houses and boarding houses were soon constructed on business lots which could costs up to $8000 to purchase. A stage line pulled by a 6 horse team ferried passengers to Fallon and Fairview.

Small shops sold mining equipment and real estate while industrious pioneers setup food counters and sold beans, eggs, jerky, ham and canned goods. The town of Wonder also could boast a telephone system and electrical supply.

Wonder Mine 1907 - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970) p 100
Wonder Mine 1907 – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970) p 100

Investment Capital from the east poured into the fledgling town which included many start up mining operations. The formation of the Nevada Wonder Mining Company and its subsequent sale to investors formalized the development of the mining operations. By 1913, the Wonder Mining Company constructed a mill to process the ore immediately below the mine.

Lowest level of Wonder mine, 1907 - - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps,  p 100
Lowest level of Wonder mine, 1907 – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, p 100

Despite heavy investment and a flurry of activity, mining operations ceased in 1919 and by August of 1920, the post office closed. Small lease operations did continue for a short while.

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Candelaria Nevada

Candelaria was a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada located about 120 miles south of Falen. The location may be closed due to another local modern mining concern.

Candelaria, Nevada 1876
Candelaria, Nevada 1876

The area first received attention in 1864 when Mexican prospectors discovered silver. However it was not until 1879 when European prospectors came into the area that it became a mining town. The Nothern Belle was founded in 1873 and was the towns most profitable mine.

Candelaria, Nevada c 1880
Candelaria, Nevada c 1880

The towns growth was limited by the amount of available water. Water is a requirement for both people and mines. The lack of water caused Candelaria mines to operate the stamp mills dry. This dry stamping process caused a fine particulate dust to fill the air, and many miners suffered from “Miners Consumption” as a result.

Main street buildings of Candelaria, probably in the early 1880s
Main street buildings of Candelaria, probably in the early 1880s

For a while, in 1875, there was daily stage service to Columbus Nevada. The Nothern Belle produced about $15 Million in silver. The town itself consistend of two hotels, stores, saloons, and all of major professions of the time, including doctors and attorneys.

Lack of water prevented growth and the populations dwindled. The post office closed in 1939 and 1941 it was truly a ghost town. Today the site is mostly destroyed by a modern mining venture.

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Bodie California

Bodie, California is the ghost town by which all others are judged.  Located at 8300 in the Bodie Hills above Mono Lake, Bodie is the largest and perhaps best preserved ghost town in America. Established as a ghost town and state park in 1962, the town site is now administered by the Bodie Foundation.

Bodie, California c1890
Bodie, California c1890

Currently preserved in “Arrested Decay” a condition and phrase coined by the State of California for the Bodie, the town site is preserved as it was found in 1962. This essentially maintains the structures as the were at that time, and work may be done to keep them to that standard. Some buildings get new roofs, windows sealed and foundation rebuilt to preserve the state of degradation. It is because of this forward thinking policy that the town remains in the state of decline that it does.

Bodie CA is a town lost in arrested decay. Photograph by James L Rathbun
Bodie CA is a town lost in arrested decay. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

I remember my first visit to Bodie was probably in the the late 1970’s.  My father drove our old Ford truck into the town, and as I jumped out my eyes found the old Standard Mill.  The Standard Mill still dominates the valley with its grayish-blue siding, multiple smoke stakes and extreme size.  The Standard Mill is the most intact mill in California and processed over $14 million dollars in gold during its 25 years of service.

Evelyn Myers, a three year old girls grave marker located in Bodie, CA reminds us that not all mine camps were filled with men. Photograph by James L Rathbun
Evelyn Myers, a three year old girls grave marker located in Bodie, CA reminds us that not all mine camps were filled with men. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Formed in 1859, the town under went several mining booms, busts and fires.  At it’s peak in 1879, Bodie hosted 5000 – 7000 souls, 65 saloons, a “Redlight” district, a china town, four volunteer fire stations, several newspapers, churches and of coarse, a Jail.  Bodie maintain a rough reputation over the years and suffers from murders, shoot outs, stage robberies and the odd bar room brawl.

They say you were wild and woolly, Bodie

And fast on the draw as them make ’em;

That you lived at ease with the bad and the bold,

Who thought nothing of shooting a man down cold,

And defying the law to take ’em

Lillian Ninnis
Bodie, California, Dec. 1, 1909, Bridgeport quadrangle, picture by G.R. Davis, topographer.
Bodie, California, Dec. 1, 1909, Bridgeport quadrangle, picture by G.R. Davis, topographer.

By 1910 the population settled at about 700 people, mostly families, as the miners and those who service the miners moved on to more prosperous areas.  The last printed paper was in 1912, and signaled the beginning of the end for the scrappy little town.  Although labelled a ghost town in 1915, Bodie continued to linger and dwindle is size until 1940 when the Post Office closed.

The interior of a general store is virtually the way it was when the store owner left Bodie, Photograph by James L Rathbun
The interior of a general store is virtually the way it was when the store owner left Bodie, Photograph by James L Rathbun

Under threat and vandalism the state of California took over the town site, and currently hosts some 200,000 visitors per year.

"Bodie Bill" - Age 2 1/2 years - Firebug of the Bodie Fire, June 23, 1932
“Bodie Bill” – Age 2 1/2 years – Firebug of the Bodie Fire, June 23, 1932

Remote locations, harsh weather and rustic builds make Bodie is a popular site for photographers.

The road into Bodie is accessible to almost any vehicle, but can server as a launch point the many back roads and trails. Nearby attractions are Masonic, Chemung and Aurora who like to get off the beaten path.

A weathered wagon wheel in Bodie reminds us of a bygone era. Photograph by James L Rathbun
A weathered wagon wheel in Bodie reminds us of a bygone era. Photograph by James L Rathbun
General Store still found in Bodie, California. Photograph by James L Rathbun
General Store still found in Bodie, California. Photograph by James L Rathbun
A deteriorated globe in the schoolhouse windows reminds us of the life that used be in Bodie. Photograph by James L Rathbun
A deteriorated globe in the schoolhouse windows reminds us of the life that used be in Bodie. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Gold was first discovered in the Mono Lake region in 1352 and placer gold was then discovered at the future site of Bodie in July, 1859* by William S. Body. On July 10, 1860, the Bodie Mining District was organized. In August, 1859 quarts veins were also discovered in the area, but the lack of -water and the extreme difficulties of transporting supplies and equipment over the mountains and desert tended to severely restrict mining activities at Bodie for some time. From 1860 to 1877, Bodie polled only some 20 votes a year, and in 1865 the town still had only SOP 14 small frame and adobe houses.
In 1876-77, however, new quartz discoveries were made at the Bodie and Standard mines, touching off a great gold rush to Bodie in 1878. From a few shacks, a term of some 250 wooden buildings rapidly appeared in the desert and the population leaped to 10,000 or 12,000 persons, with the usual assortment of gambling dens, breweries, saloons, and the nightly shootings, stabbings and brawls. Bodie soon merited the title of “Shooters Town,” and a “Bad Man from Bodie” was then universally recognized to be a particularly unpleasant individual. In 1879, when Bodie reached its pinnacle, its main street was over a-mile long and built solidly with one and two-story frame buildings. In 1881 a 32- mile narrow gauge railroad was constructed from Mono Lake to Bodie to carry in fuel and lumber. % 1883, however, the boom was over and all but the Bodie and Standard mines closed down; these two mines finally consolidated in 1887. In 1895 Bodie had a small revival when the cyanide process of recovering gold was put in use, Mining continued intermittently up to World War II, when Bodie finally became a true ghost town.

NATIONAL SURVEY OF HISTORIC SITES AND BUILDINGS

Resources

Bodie Map

Goodsprings Nevada

Goodsprings, Nevada is locate about seven miles west of the I-15 near Jean, Nevada.  Mining activity in the area started in 1868 when a group of prospectors formed the New England district and since renamed the Yellow Pine.  Early efforts where soon abandoned due to the lack of silver in the ore.  The prospectors soon moved on, and Joe Good remained and the local springs were named for him.  In 1886, several prospectors from Utah came into the area and founded a permanent site which still exists today.

Goodsprings, Nevada - 1924
Goodsprings, Nevada – 1924

In 1892, the Keystone gold mine was discovered and established during an increase in activity due to the completion of the Nevada Southern Railways from Goffs, CA to Manvel.    The Keystone mine remained active until 1906 and produced some $600,000 in gold before closing.

An old water tower located inside Goodspings, Nevada
An old water tower located inside Goodspings, Nevada

1901 saw the consolidation of several mines into the Yellow Pine Mining Co.  Only the highest grade ore made it cost effective to deliver to the railroad in Manvel, some 45 miles away from the site.  In 1905, the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad was completed to Jean, Nevada which shortened the distance to deliver down to 7 miles.  Mining activity continued to flourish with improved mining technique, higher mineral costs and lowered delivery costs all of which lean to a peak in production between 1915 and 1918.  During this time the site boasted 800 souls, several stores, a post office, hotel, hospital and a weekly paper.  As with many towns, mining production and profitability waned and the population fell.

The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy
The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy

Goodsprings Mines

  • Alice Mine
  • Argentina Mine
  • Belle Mine
  • Columbia Mine
  • Cosmopolitan Mine
  • Fredrickson Mine
  • Green Copper Mine
  • Hermosa Mine
  • Hoosier Mine
  • Iron gold Mine
  • Lookout Mine
  • Keystone Mine
  • Lavina Mine
  • Middlesex Mine
  • Surprise Mine
  • Table Top Mine
  • Yellow Pine
The mill site located just outside of Goodsprings, Nevada
The mill site located just outside of Goodsprings, Nevada

Goodsprings Nevada Trailmap