Alpha served as an early and important stop on the Eureka and Palisade Railroad. By 1874, Alpha began serving as a main stop. By early 1875, Alpha was a booming freight and supply camp. A town formed that included saloons, stores, railroad supply shops and a hotel big enough to serve 75 guests. W.L. Pritchard founded a stage and freighting line at Alpha. Pritchard was a partner in the Eureka & Palisade Railroad. The intention was to stop the line at Alpha. Since Pritchard was a major player in the freighting business, he was able to reroute traffic from the Central Pacific line near modern day I-80, down to Alpha, via the Eureka & Palisade line. From there, he controlled the supply route down to Hamilton and the White Pine District. His stage line also took travelers south to Eureka. This soon became one of the busier freighting and passenger routes in the area. By the Fall of 1875, all hopes that Alpha would become a thriving and permanent camp had died. The Eureka & Palisade Railroad finished the rail line into Eureka against the wishes of Pritchard. A new boom was also taking place at Mineral Hill. Most of the businesses either moved to Palisade, or into Mineral. The camp of Mineral acted as a supply camp for Mineral Hill and the Mineral Hill mines. Mineral and Mineral Hill were located to the north of Alpha. The post office didn't actually open until after the main hub of activity at Alpha had already ceased. By 1800, the population had fallen to only 25 residents. The post office closed in 1886.
Post Office: March 20, 1877 to February 6, 1886; August 28, 1919 to November 15, 1924. It has been stated that this second opening was affiliated with the Alpha Ranch, rather than the actual town of Alpha, which had been abandoned years prior.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: It sits off the side of Highway 279. I've passed this spot going to and from work probably a couple hundred times. I am unsure of the year that I actually took the photo. Nothing is left to see of Alpha from the road. I attempted to drive back into the area to look for any remnants in the sagebrush, but I ran into a gate post for a private ranch. Not knowing the boundaries between public and private land, I didn't chance getting out and looking around. If there is anything still left of Alpha, other than a lot of cows, it can't be much.
Sources: Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (By: Stanley W. Paher); Romancing Nevada's Past- Ghost Towns and Historic Sites of Eureka, Lander and White Pine Counties (By: Shawn Hall); Nevada Post Offices- An Illustrated History (By: James Gamett and Stanley W. Paher); Nevada Place Names- A Geographical Dictionary (By: Helen S. Carlson).
AKA: Coral City
Amador sprang up on the heels of the rush to Reese River. Like so many other Nevada camps, once a new discovery was located, prospectors branched out in all directions looking for the next find. Amador fell into this category. Silver ore was first discovered in the Spring of 1863. The camp sprang up shortly after. The population of Amador and another nearby camp named Coral City reached several hundred residents by the end of the year. An article from the Reese River Reveille in November of 1864 read: "The Amador- Prospecting in the vicinity of this ledge continues to be prosecuted with unabated vigor. The hills are every day covered with people turning over stones, and digging holes, wherever there is the least prospect of a ledge so that the surface of the ground thereabouts is beginning to resemble the top of a huge pepper box. There are no sleeping or eating accommodations there, so that prospectors must carry grub with them, or return to some town at night. We hope that the boys will all strike it rich."... By 1864, several mining companies were working several mines in the area. A post office soon opened. The normal mining camp businesses also set up shop in Amador. The 1864 elections present an interesting piece of history for Amador. It appears as if individuals there wanted to make the population appear larger in an attempt to take the county seat. Although only a few hundred people lived in Amador and Coral City, the area was credited with attempting to deliver 700 votes. These votes were rejected as fraudulent. The original belief was that the ore in the Amador mines was going to be as good as any other ore in the district. This was not the case. Amador produced in 1864 and 1865. By 1866, the camp was almost completely dead. It has been stated that the last holdout stayed until 1869 before finally moving on. Amador has been a ghost town ever since.
Post Office: April 6, 1864 to April 24, 1866.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: June 2022. We were in a side-by-side. Sometimes it's hard to pay attention and take note of what the roads would be like for a regular truck when you're in a side-by-side and checking out the scenery. The first dirt road once you leave Highway 305 is fine. As you make the turnoffs onto smaller dirt roads, they get thinner and bumpier. But again, I should have paid more attention. You'll have to assess this one for yourself.
Sources: Reese River Reveille (Newspaper); Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (Stanley W. Paher); Romancing Nevada's Past- Ghost Towns and Historic Sites of Eureka, Lander and White Pine Counties (By: Shawn Hall); Nevada Post Offices- An Illustrated History (By: James Gamett and Stanley W. Paher); Nevada Place Names- A Geographical Dictionary (By: Helen S. Carlson).
AKA: Johnnie Station; Amargosa Station; Johnnie Siding
Disclaimer: This Amargosa is not to be confused with the current, inhabited community of Amargosa Valley near the Lathrop Wells junction. It is also not to be confused with the town called Amargosa (Amargosa City) that sprang up near Rhyolite and eventually merged with Bullfrog. This site is located near the junction of Highway 95 and Highway 160 (The road to Pahrump). The first and second photographs with the gas can, show the old concrete slab and the actual location of the site. The other photographs were taken while searching the surrounding area along the old railroad bed.
Researching this site took a little bit of effort. I relied on three of my favorite Nevada historians. Two of these historians completely conflicted with the third. Based on this, I looked at other sources. They also conflicted with the third historian. In the third historians account, it seems like the dates of this Amargosa, and the Amargosa located up by Rhyolite/Bullfrog, may have been intertwined. The dates did not make any sense. Therefore, I'm going to provide the version that makes the most sense to me. If I get it wrong, I apologize in advance.
This location was first established as a temporary camp while work was being completed on the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad line. Wells were sunk at this location that contained bitter, brackish water. Hence the Spanish to English translation of "Amargo" to "Bitter". The Johnnie District, which was only a few miles from here, saw a mining resurgence in 1905. When the railroad was completed through here in 1906, the station became a main supply and travel hub for those in the Johnnie District and other nearby camps. A few of the normal mining camp businesses operated here. To include a hotel, restaurant, store and blacksmith. A man known as "Alkali Bill" Brong operated an auto stage in the area. It was known as the Death Valley Chug Wagon. This station was also a main supply hub for the booming camp of Greenwater in Death Valley. Rich copper ore was discovered in Greenwater in early 1906. With the completion of the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad closer to Greenwater in 1907, Amargosa eventually lost that business. Amargosa continued to be the main supply hub for the Johnnie District. When Johnnie declined in 1912, Amargosa declined as well. By 1915, Amargosa was completely abandoned.
Post Office: None
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: February, 2022. Being that we are from Pahrump and Amargosa respectively, we have both driven right past this site a million times. I know that I took it for granted that it would always be right down the road. I tried looking for the site a couple times but gave up quickly when I didn't find it. Being as close to the road as it is, it was extremely hard to find. We finally made a plan in February 2022. There are a lot of small relics left, such as railroad ties, small dumps and bricks. However, they are not all together. You will have to wander around the desert to find a scrap here and there. Not much of the old concrete slab is even visible anymore. The desert is swallowing it back up. Roads shouldn't be an issue here. Not much, if any, winter snow. All of this is located within walking distance from Hwy 95 as well.
Sources: Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (By: Stanley W. Paher); Preserving the Glory Days- Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Nye County, Nevada (By: Shawn Hall); Nevada Place Names- A Geographical Dictionary (By: Helen S. Carlson).
Today, this homestead sits on an active cattle ranch. There are ponds on the property as well. Our friend knows the rancher, so we were allowed to camp here. Otherwise, it's private property and off limits. I don't know the early history on the ranch. Prior to this, the area was used by Native Americans. This is a very lush area with abundant water in the Mohave Desert.
The only reference that I found regarding this location was on a 1923 survey map. It is listed as the "John Angell House". I found very little reference for John Angell in the newspaper archives. What I did find was a series of claims made and published in the Elko papers between 1909 and 1917. These claims were in reference to land, as well as water use from Van Duzer Creek. The purpose of this water use was irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes. In one claim, Angell appears to have been partnered with a man named A.F. Niedt. The claims also listed Angell as being from Mountain City. The posting in 1917 was a notice of "intention to make final five-year proof, to establish claim to the land above described..." Angell listed William and Pierce Vore of Elko, Samuel McGinnis of Mountain City and Samuel T. Martin of Mountain City as witnesses.
Sources: U.S. Surveyor General's Office- 1923 Survey Map (Surveyor: Carl S. Swanholm); Elko Daily Independent (Newspaper).
AKA: Clear Creek
The area operated as a cattle ranch in the late 1800’s. Although Antelope didn't become active with mining discoveries until the early 1900’s, other camps in the area such as Danville and Stargo had mining discoveries much earlier. Businesses in Antelope included a boardinghouse and blacksmith shop. By 1908, Antelope faded. A small clay mining operation took place here in 1944, but it was also short-lived. Cattle ranching is still active in the area. It is said that Antelope was still being used as a base camp for cattle roundups in modern times. It is also a popular thoroughfare for hunters and locals who explore in the area. There are roads located here that take you south to Highway 6, north to Highway 50, and west over Dobbins Summit into Monitor Valley.
Post Office: April 1905 to July 1908.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: The last trip was in Oct. 2020 while deer hunting. There are several ways in and out, depending on where you are coming from. All of them are decent dirt roads that don't generally require four-wheel drive. However, they are all extremely long dirt roads in the middle of nowhere and can be changed by weather. Be very careful in the winter.
This station was located in the Huntington Valley. When Elko was completed as a rail town in the late 1860's, it would eventually serve as a major supply hub for the mining districts located to the south. To include Hamilton and the White Pine District. Many stage roads were built through the Huntington Valley to connect Elko to these southern locations. These stage and freighting roads included the Hill-Beachey and the Denver-Sheperd. Antelope Station sat about a 1 1/2 miles south of Crawford's (later the Sadler Ranch). Prior to belonging to the Sadler family, the Crawford's owned this ranch. Two major roads that came from the north, merged together at the Crawford (Sadler) Ranch. Just beyond Antelope Station, they split again and branched out mainly south. One of those major roads led to the Newark Valley. The other major road led to Hamilton and the White Pine District. Other splits from these roads also led to other ranching and mining areas. To include a route over Railroad Pass into the Diamond Valley to the west, and a route over Overland Pass into the Ruby Valley to the east. An 1872 Survey Map shows this place listed as "Antelope Station". The same map also lists what you may know as the Sadler Ranch, as "Crawford's House". This map shows four different roads meeting up and merging at the Crawford Ranch. The major road was labeled "Hamilton and Elko Road." The only newspaper article that I found was from the Elko Independent on January 22, 1870. This issue actually contained two different articles. One was a written letter from Geo. H. Sheperd on his intent to build the "Diamond Valley and Eureka Toll Road". The other article spoke about current and future routes through this area. The article spoke about creating a route through Railroad Canyon which was ten miles south of Antelope Station. The intent of this road was to create another route from Elko to the mines at Eureka. Antelope Station was to serve as the exact halfway point between Eureka and Elko on this route. The article stated that the accommodations in Huntington Valley using Antelope Station were already "amply sufficient".
See the pages for the Sadler Ranch and other Huntington Valley locations.
The main roads through the Huntington Valley are dirt, but they are wide and maintained for the most-part. With that said, there are countless spur roads out here. All of these spur roads are completely different. Some are good, some are okay, and some are almost non-existent. You will have to evaluate the spurs for yourself. The site of Antelope Station sits about 300 yards from the main road, down a decent spur. There is no sign that the station ever existed. Today, this area is a large cattle and alfalfa operation.
Sources: U.S. Surveyor General's Office- 1872 Survey Map (Surveyors: C.C. Tracy, A.J. Halet, J.C. Smyles); Elko Independent (Newspaper).
We weren't even looking for this mine when we found it. We were driving from Austin back to Birch Creek over the Toiyabes when we found it after dark. I haven't been able to locate any information on it. I guess I don't have the right books. I was able to find a write-up about it on a website called nvexpeditions. You should take a look at that website. It's really good. Here's the verbatim write-up from nvexpeditions:
"Uranium was discovered just north of Veatch Canyon by Joe and Rudy Rundberg in September 1953. They dug a 118-foot tunnel, and in August 1954 they began a 20-year lease of their Early Day Mine to the Apex Minerals Corporation. The mine only operated until 1968, however, and during this time produced 45 metric tons of ore, making it Nevada's largest producer of uranium. Additional drilling was done sometime in the 60s and 70s, but no mineable resources were found."
Source: nvexpeditions.com (website).
Arden Plaster Mines
Arden was a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad in the early 1900's. A post office operated here from 1907 to 1909. During that period of time, Arden was still part of Lincoln County. From 1909 to 1919, gypsum was mined here by the Arden Plaster Company. In 1912, the mill was almost totally destroyed by fire. It was soon rebuilt and mining resumed. In 1919, the operation was sold to the United States Gypsum Company. They continued to mine gypsum here until the supply was depleted in 1931.
Years ago, if you drove from Pahrump to Las Vegas, Arden was way out in the middle of nowhere. Arden and Las Vegas were completely separated by many miles of open desert. In the past, you could drive right up to the edge of the mining area. From there, you could take easy or hard hikes to get to different parts of the mining area. Las Vegas has now built up right to the edge of the mines. I don't know the current status on accessibility to this area anymore.
Post Office: July 24, 1907 to March 5, 1909 (Lincoln County); March 5, 1909 to July 15, 1971 (Clark County)
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I didn't log a specific date on my last trip there, but I think it was probably around 2013 or 2014. If planning to travel to see this area, I would ask around first to see if it is still accessible or open to the general public.
Sources: History of Nevada (By: Sam P. Davis); Mines of Clark County (By: William O. Vanderburg); Nevada Post Offices- An Illustrated History (By: James Gamett & Stanley W. Paher); Nevada Place Names- A Geographical Dictionary (By: Helen S. Carlson).
Arthur was a small cattle ranching community. There is still a very heavy ranching presence in the area. It was located at the very north end of the Ruby Valley. This is just south of where Secret Pass leads into the Starr Valley. The community was settled as early as the late 1860's. By 1881 there were about 50 residents living at Arthur. The community maintained a school, a community hall, a post office and was a stop on the Ruby Valley stage line. Although this specific community no longer exists, the surrounding area still maintains a strong ranching culture with generational bloodlines.
Post Office: April 21, 1881 to May 25, 1887; September 14, 1889 to June 30, 1951.
Fraternal Organizations: Good Templars.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I go past Arthur regularly. The road through the northern end of the Ruby Valley is paved. It's a very rural highway. It gets very snowy and icy in the winter. Be careful in the winter and watch for storms.
Ash Meadows Barn
If memory serves me right, this was located near Bradford Springs. I don't have a history on it, but it has always been there as long as I can remember. This area was known for cattle ranching before it became a refuge. The structure is made from railroad ties. It would be safe to assume that it was built when the railroad lines were being torn up after the mining booms died. This structure appears to be a barn not a residence. Take a look at the last photo. There are two railroad ties posted in the ground in the shade of the trees. This could very well have been a spot where local cowboys tied horses for saddling and unsaddling at the beginning and end of the day. But that is purely a guess.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I've spent a lot of time out here over the years. These photographs are from 2015. The road through Ash Meadows is dirt, but it is a decent road. There are many roads through the area. It is an interesting place to explore.
Warning: There were still a couple people living out here not too many years ago. I don't know if there still are. About 15+ years ago, we were out here duck hunting. We turned down a dirt road and eventually hit a gate. We saw the gate, so we immediately turned around and left. The next thing we know, we have a vehicle kicking up dust trying to catch up to us. He then started riding our bumper. We eventually stopped to either let the guy pass or figure out what he wanted. He got out, approached my truck and started questioning what we were doing at his gate. He was screaming loud. I'm not a confrontational person, but I'm not the type to bow down either. We tried explaining that we didn't know that the road led to a private gate. Once we saw the gate, we immediately left. He knew this was true. Eventually, we got tired of him screaming at us, so we told him we were done listening to his line of crap and drove off. He turned around and went back the other way. He seemed like the type of person who got off on putting fear into people. Just be aware. I have no idea who is still left out there.