Galena Nevada – Lander County Ghost Town

Galena Nevada was a silver mining from 1869 to 1907 and currently a ghost town located just just a west of highway 305 south of Battle Mountain, in Lander County, Nevada. The discovery of Silver at the head of Galena Canyon first lead miners in the area in 1863. Following the silver discovery three years later, in 1866, a mining camp forms to prospect the land.

Galena Nevada in the 1960's - Paher
Galena Nevada in the 1960’s – Paher

In 1869, the townsite of Galena is plotted and originally located in Humboldt County. Daily stage service from nearby Battle Mountain delivered peoples and supplies to the small town. The town grew in size and citizens by the month. The town boasts a park plaza, water system, public hall, schools, and a post office is started in 1732.

Within the boundary of Humboldt County, the towns fortunes could have been secured, however it lost the battle for county seat to Winnemucca. A court house is planned within the town to seat this honor.

After 1875, the town of several hundred people began to succumb to reality as production slowed. In 1874, plans for the court house are abandoned when the Galena Range is ceded to Lander County. By 1886, the French Mining Company took over the mines and later halted development. After the post office closed, there was mining activity in Galena starting around World War I and sporadically into the 1960’s

Town Summary

NameGalena Nevada
LocationLander County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude40.564, -117.13
GNIS854456
Elevation1877 meters / 6158 feet
PopulationSeveral Hundred
Post OfficeJune 2, 1871 – March 1873 [Humboldt Co.]
March 1873 – May 27, 1887 [Lander Co.]
As “Blanco” – October 11, 1888 – November 15, 1907

Galena Trail Map

References

Ophir Canyon Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ophir Canyon is a ghost town from the 1880s and located about 3.5 miles west of State Route 8A north of State Route 92, in Nye County, Nevada. The town began life as Toiyabe City when silver is discovered by a French prospector Boulrand in 1863. Boulrand managed to keeps his find quiet for a year, secreting provisions into the site by night. His secret is finally exposed when he confided his good fortune to countryman on a trip to Austin.

Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880's
Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880’s

In 1864, R. B. Canfield purchased the principal ledge, also known as the Murphy ledge. Canfield utilized the Twin River Mining Company to secure financing. A wagon road is constructed, in 1865, to the site from the Big Smokey Valley for a cost of $8,000 for the two and a half mile road. The steep route suffered from grades of 10 degrees and nine creek crossings are made with wooden bridges.

A Growing Town

The newly founded Toiyabe City has a population of 400 citizens and a tri-weekly stage from Austin brought in people and supplies for the mines. In 1886, a twenty stamp mill is constructed at great costs, from the natural granite and shale sourced in the area. The mill produced over $750,000 in silver in the next two years. Despite this seemingly high rate of production, the mines did not produce a profit, due to the unusually dense rock which slowed operations considerably.

During its heyday, Ophir Canyon boasted saloons, stores and hotels. A post office operated at the site from June 18, 1867 to December 5, 1893.

Ophir NSHM #62 Text

Well up into the canyon out yonder, one can still see the massive stone foundations of a costly and splendid stamp mill, as well as the stone walls of an elegant office and mansion. Here was the scene of a once busy place, now a ghost town.

Ore was discovered there in 1865 by S. Boulerond and his compatriots. In 1864, the Murphy mine was discovered and became the leading producer; a mining district was organized. During 1865, a 20-stamp mill was completed costing over $200,000. Connected with it was the first experimental Stetefeldt furnace ever built. When the Murphy mill was built, a town was started and it grew to a population of 400, but work in the mines declined in the 1870’s, and Ophir became almost deserted. In the 1880’s, the mines were reactivated, and Ophir had another period of prosperity. By the 1890’s the town was deserted, but some mining activity at the Murphy mine continued sporadically into the 20th century.

Over $2 million worth of gold and silver were mined from the Murphy vein and from surrounding properties. Iron, copper and arsenic were also found in the area.

Ophir managed to have all the accouterments of a large community–school, church, various lodges and, of course, several saloons.

Nevada Historic Marker
The Murphy Mine and Shaft House in Ophir Canyon, Nevada
The Murphy Mine and Shaft House in Ophir Canyon, Nevada

Town Summary

NameOphir Nevada
Also Known AsTwin River, Toiyabe City
LocationNye County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude38.944444, -117.276667
Elevation2,479 meters / 8,134 feet
GNIS860839
Population400
Post Office June 18, 1867 – December 5, 1893

Town Map

Resources

Mineral Park Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Mineral Park is a ghost town located in Mohave County Arizona founded in 1870. Once started, operations continued until 1912. The journey was tough just to them to get into the area due to the remove location. Prospectors would travel up the Colorado River by steamship and disembark in Hardyville which is overrun by modern Bullhead City, Arizona. Once offloaded, they would need to find their way north about 40 miles across the hot dry desert.

Today, the town site is now covered by a modern mining operation.

Mineral Park, Arizona @1880
Mineral Park, Arizona @1880

The post office was founded on December 31, 1872 and shortly after its formation the town was the county seat for Mohave County. Once mining operations came online, the little town supported a variety of businesses to service operations and the needs of its citizens including lawyers, doctors, blacksmiths, carpenters, hotels, assay offices, smelters saloons and dining halls.

Stamp mill and Mineral Park, Arizona
Stamp mill and Mineral Park, Arizona

The railroards helped boost activity for Mineral Park, when in 1883 rails were installed just 20 miles to the south by the “Atlantic and Pacific” Railroad. The new rail line shortened the distance to transport materials and ore to the location and reduced costs.

Operations continued until 1887 when mine production declined. The county seat was moved to nearby Kingman and the town failed completely in 1912.

The cemetery and some buildings are on private property of the modern mines operations and permission should be sought prior to exploration.

Town Summary

NameMineral Park
LocationMohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude35.3708275, -114.1530103
GNIS8104
Elevation4,252 Feet
Post OfficeDecember 31, 1872 – June 15, 1912
NewspaperThe Mohave County Miner

Mineral Park Map

Resources

Lida Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Now on private property, Lida Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp located in Esmeralda County, Nevada just off State Route 266. The area probably saw it first activity in the 1860’s when Mexican and Native Americans worked the surrounding hills for gold. Their efforts were limited by their ability to extract gold from the ore. In the spring of 1867, American prospects arrived in Lida Valley and took steps to organize a mining district.

Lida Tent City in 1905
Lida Tent City in 1905

The town of Lida Valley was organized and plotted in March 1872. The town experienced an influx people and soon supported common business for these mining towns including a livery, stables, shops, saloons and a Post Office. On March 17, 1873, the United States authorized a post office for the small community. There was some confusion caused by the remote region and the post office was authorized for Inyo County, California. This mistake was corrected the following month. April 31, 1873 saw the newly established post office operating as Lida, Nevada.

Freight was brought into Lida from the nearest rail station in Wadsworth. The supplies were hauled into Lida from Silverpeak using a newly build road for $100 per ton. Ore was processed at one of steam powered mills which were constructed and springs in the area. A five stamp mill and an eight stamp mill processed ore and higher quality ore with value of $500 to $1000 per ton was hauled to Belmont and Austin for processing. In the 1870’s mining declined and by the 1880s Lida only had 10 businesses in operation.

In 1905 the town of Goldfield experienced a gold boom. Lida formed a chamber of commerce to capitalize on the event. The weekly Lida Enterprise was published and stage service to Goldfield was established. The springs near Lida helped supply Goldfield utilizing a newly constructed pipe between the towns. An automobile stage was setup in 1905 to provide service between Lida and Big Pine, California.

Prospecting Parties in Lida, Nevada
Prospecting Parties in Lida, Nevada

Lida prospered for about three years until the camp started to decline once again. Important properties were tied up in litigation which hampered the towns growth. Just prior to World War I, schools, hotels and some ranches found operation until the town languished completed.

Today, Lida is on private property.

Known as a contact point for Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians, Lida Valley was the site of early prospecting in 1860’s.

Later prospectors organized a mining district in 1867 and laid out the town in 1872. Soon stores, shops, stables and a post office were established. Some ore was milled locally, yet high-grade ore ($500-$1,000 per ton) was treated at Austin or Belmont. After 1880 mining declined.

Lida revived and thrived for three years during the Goldfield boom but declined again in 1907. Mining efforts resumed a few years later, and a small community existed here until World War I.

Lida Historical Plaque

Town Summary

NameLida
LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.4582807,-117.5068931
Elevation6,810 Feet
GNIS841625
Population300
NewspaperLida Enterprise
Post Office1873 – 1932

Lida Nevada Map

Resources

Columbia Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

The Columbia Nevada ghost town and mine site is location just one mile north of Goldfield in Esmeralda County Nevada. Originally named Stimler, the town was renamed to Columbia in 1902 in the Goldfield District. The Columbia mines are located near the base of Columbia Mountain which provided the inspiration for the name.

Columbia, Nevada - Paher
Columbia, Nevada – Paher

The various mines in the Goldfield district were spread out into smaller suburbs to prevent the crowding problems which Tonopah suffered. Columbia and Diamondfield are examples of this new practice.

The Columbia Club in the business district of Columbia, Nevada
The Columbia Club in the business district of Columbia, Nevada

Despite the growth of Goldfield, Columbia grew and flourished for a time. A business district which included a two-story hotel, post office and bank was opened in 1904. A Chamber of Commerce was formed by local businessmen to organize and raise $10,000 in capital. This money is used to build a two story edifice on Main Street which housed office suites and a lodge hall.

The small town did suffer from some of the problems of a growing city. New arrivals to the town would commonly squat on lots, alleyways and some buildings before the owners organized and kicked the squatters out. Columbia reached a population of 1,500 people in 1907. During this time, the town was comprised of many wooden and brick two story structures beyond the common tent city, giving the town a feeling of permeance. Regardless, the towns fate was entwined with the success of Goldfield. When interest in Goldfield began to fade in 1908, the nearby sub-urban communities around it followed suite. In 1918 the closing of the districts largest mines of Columbia, sealed the fate of the twon

Town Summary

NameColumbia
LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.7243773, -117.2311898
GNIS854790
Elevation5,590 feet
Population1500
Post OfficeNov 1904 –
NewspaperColumbia Topics Oct 14, 1908 – June 24, 1909

Columbia Nevada Map

References