top of page

Canyon City

Lander County

AKA: Canon City; Big Creek; Lander City; Watertown; Mineral City; Montrose; Middletown

The Big Creek Mining District was one of the early districts formed in Nevada. The area was first discovered in early 1863. In the early days of the district, there were many separate camps (named above) located along Big Creek. Businesses and services here eventually included a telegraph office and line to Austin, schools, many saloons and stores, a hotel, restaurants, a butcher shop, recorder's office and even a municipal/justice court. The population of the area soon exceeded 1,500 residents. However, the silver ore also contained copper. This made it very difficult to process. Many attempts at processing this ore at Big Creek failed. By early 1866, the mines were already beginning to fail. By September of 1867, all of the mines and remaining mills in the Big Creek area had closed. Agricultural operations still operated in the area until 1890, when a mining revival occurred. According to Hall, ore from the Bray Mine was actually shipped all the way to Swansea, Wales for a short time. He was able to find a reason why. It does pose a legitimate question. Many mining camps failed because costs were too high to ship ore to distant towns in Nevada. I can't imagine what the cost would have been to ship to Wales. This revival was dead by 1898. Several more attempts would be made in the area, beginning in 1907. This lasted through 1958. I do not know any details of the new mine that Hall spoke about in his book on Lander/ Eureka/ White Pine.

Post Office: August 19, 1863 to October 14, 1867 (Canon City).

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: Although I've spent a lot of time on the Kingston side, I've only been over the top and down into Big Creek twice. The first time, I didn't take photographs. The second time was in the Fall of 2017. We were deer hunting and not really focused on ghost town relics. Somewhat of a wasted opportunity. I'll go back. I have seen other Nevada ghost town sites that show a few other relics that I did not photograph. The trip over the top from Kingston to Big Creek or vice versa is outstanding. However, it's not intended for the passenger vehicle. It also gets very steep going down the Big Creek side. I would bet that it becomes impassible in the winter with the heavy snow, regardless of what you are driving.

bottom of page