Marietta Nevada

Located at 4947 feet above sea level, Marietta was formally established in 1877 near Teel’s Marsh and is now a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada.   F.M. “Borax” Smith a silver and gold prospector, found his place in the world, when he established a borax works in Teel’s Marsh in 1872.

Francis “Borax” Marion Smith prospected the Marietta Nevada Area
Francis “Borax” Marion Smith prospected the Marietta Nevada Area

Soon after the town was founded, the populations swelled to several hundred people, however exact figures are unknown due to inaccurate record keeping among the Chinese populations who worked in the borax plant.  The town soon boasted 13 saloons, a post office and several stores.

The town had a rowdy image and due to its remote location made it an easy target for robbers, and for criminals to run free.  At one point in the 1880 the stage was reported robbed 30 times. 

In the 1880’s due to increased demand for borax,  Borax Smith relocate is Marietta location down south to larger deposits found in Death Valley.  This moved singled the end of Marietta due to the loss of its biggest industry and by the early 1900s the town was virtually dead.  The was a period resurgence when other mining concerns prospected the area.

Marietta is currently located on BLM land.

Rawhide Nevada

Rawhide, Nevada. 1908.
Rawhide, Nevada. 1908.

Rawhide Nevada was a mining town in Mineral County. The town site is located approximately 55 miles south of Fallon, and 22 miles down a dirt road south of highway 50.  The town was founded in 1906 when gold and silver deposits were discovered by prospector Jim Swanson in the hills surrounding Rawhide.  Charles  B. Holman and Charles “Scotty” A. McLeod soon join him and also found gold on nearby Holligan Hill.

Rawhide, Nevada - 1915
Rawhide, Nevada – 1915

Rawhide is an example of a town that existed on the promise and promotion of gold rather than the production of gold.    Fueled by rampant speculation the population swelled.  Rawhide boasts four churches, three banks, twelve hotels, twenty eight restaurants, thirty seven saloons, a theater and a school to support a population of 7,000 in 1908.  However, the over promise and under delivery of gold doomed the town, at its glory began to fade.

The city of Rawhide was already in decline, when in September 1908 a fire tore through the town.  In August 1909 the town flooded and destroyed much of the town as described in this excerpt from a Colorado newspaper.

Sept. 4, 1908. Devastating fire in Rawhide Nevada. Over $1 million in property damage and thousands were left homeless.
Sept. 4, 1908. Devastating fire in Rawhide Nevada. Over $1 million in property damage and thousands were left homeless.


Ten-Foot Wall of Water Overwhelms Squattertown, Near Rawhide, in the Night.


300 Families Rendered Homeless and Property Piled in Tangled Heap by the Flood.

Rawhide, Nev., Aug. 31.  “Squattertown”, a settlement just south of Rawhide, was swept by a ten-foot wall of water, following a cloudburst in the hills to the north tonight, and 130 buildings were partially or completely destroyed.

It is reported that two women and four children are missing, but up to a late hour tonight it was impossible to obtain verification of this report.
The cloudburst occurred on the summit of the low hills to the north of the camp. In a few moments a three-foot wall of water was pouring down the slope, covering the three miles from the summit to Main street with the speed of a railway train. The flood rushed into the street, which lies in a hollow and forms a general drainage canal, and every business house on the east side was flooded to a depth of from one to four feet.
Several structures were torn from their foundations and floated some distance down the street, while the crest of the flood was covered with furniture, animals and debris.

Gathering force as is poured down the channel, the flood swept into and over Squattertown, half a mile further down. The water formed a wall 10 feet high as it crashed into the frame structures, inhabited for the most part by miners and their families, and buildings were overturned and demolished at the first blow.

Darkness had fallen and the worst of devastation went on in the night.
Before the wave had passed 500 persons were homeless and their property piled up a tangled heap in the basin at the foot of National hill.
Several daring rescues were made. Mrs. Hobeloff and her two children clung to the wreckage of their home as it floated down the street and were rescued by Emil Gutt and P. R. Whyteck.

The Fountain Bar, a saloon located in a small frame building was swept from its foundations and carried five blocks down the street to be landed high and dry on a low bank, with its fixtures little disturbed.

Colorado Spring Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO 1 Sept 1909

Streets of Rawhide, Nevada 1908
Streets of Rawhide, Nevada 1908

The town survived but was never the same.  The twin tragedies gave the citizens more than enough reason to leave and the over promise of gold gave them little reason to stay.  In 1941 the post office closed and the town ceased to be.  Mining is still alive and well in Nevada, and sadly a modern mining operation has destroyed the town site.

Rawhide Trail Map

Broken Hills Nevada

Broken Hills Nevada, c 1915. Ore sacks being loaded for shipment to the railroad at Fallon.
Broken Hills Nevada, c 1915. Ore sacks being loaded for shipment to the railroad at Fallon.

Broken Hills, Nevada is more a descriptive term than the name of a town.  Broken Hills began life in 1913 when two Englishmen, Joseph Arthur and James Stratford prospected the site and gold was found in the area.  After five years of effort, the founders of Broken Hills pulled only $68,000 of gold.  The two men sold their claim to George Graham Rice.

George Graham Rice
George Graham Rice

Born Jacob Herzig, George Graham Rice appears to have been a ruthless self promoter with a get rick quick financial strategy and a criminal history for forging checks.  The self serving Mr. Rice promoted the Arthur and Stratford mine, and sold shares of the property.  Mr. Rice is said to have invested $75,000 of stockholder money into the mine and produced revenues of only $7,000.

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Pine Grove Nevada

One of the lesser known yet longest running gold mining camps is Pine Grove, Nevada.  Located in Lyon County, Nevada just East of the 338 highway .Pine Grove was founded in 1866 when gold was discovered by William Wilson and he founded the Wheeler Mine the following year.   Within a year the town grew to about 300 people and the site was named Pine Grove Hills.

Pine Grove, Nevada - 1880s
Pine Grove, Nevada – 1880s

A post office was opened in 1868 in the small town along with a newspaper. A two stamp stamp mill was built to process the gold and silver ore.

The town of Pine Grove grew to 1000 people by the time the 1880s came around and the three mills processed $10,000 in gold bullion in a week. At its height, the town was spread out over a mile. The citizens enjoyed saloons, three hotels, stores, assorted businesses to support the mining effort.  A dance hall was also built to keep everyone entertained.

The mining effort stalled in 1883 due to a depression in the United States. Work recovered, and the mines were again active from 1900 to 1910 with marginal results. Although there was some prospecting, mining ceased production for a final time in 1918.

The town continued to support a small population, however it finally expired in the 1930’s after over 50 years to activity.

Steam boiler, Pine Grove, Nevada, 1880s. The steam from the boiler supplied a small engine which powered a ventilation fan.
Steam boiler, Pine Grove, Nevada, 1880s. The steam from the boiler supplied a small engine which powered a ventilation fan.

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.

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.

Trail Map