AKA: Garrard; Davenport; Silver Point; Birmingham; Argentore; Gilbraltar
Silver discoveries were first made in this area in 1875. The first name of the location was Garrard. In 1876, activity in the area began to grow. In February of 1877, the residents voted to name the camp Davenport. The district would continue to be called the Jett District. These names were given for the two original discoverers, Davenport and Jett. It was a small camp with only a couple dozen miners living there. A community hall and a butcher shop were built. A murder occurred on December 13, 1877. A man named James Griffin employed a "squaw" to do his household work. As Griffin was leaving the cabin, an "indian" armed with a shotgun entered his cabin and engaged in an argument with the "squaw". He then shot and killed her. Griffin then headed back to the cabin in an attempt to find out what had happened. Upon entering the cabin, he saw the man reloading the shotgun. They struggled for possession of the shotgun. During the struggle, Griffin received a minor gunshot wound to the head. Griffin was able to get the shotgun away from the man and beat him to death with the butt end of the shotgun. Griffin then traveled to Jefferson and reported the incident to authorities. He was later seen by a judge and found to have committed no wrongdoing. On December 8th, 1878, John Jett died at Moore's Station from a throat illness. The town voted to change the name to Jett in his honor. Great excitement occurred in late 1879 when capitalists from other areas of Nevada invested large sums of money in the district. By early 1880, the newspapers were reporting on the great excitement in the Jett District. A post office opened in March. It was located inside of the town's first store. A saloon was also opened. With the opening of the Nevada Central Railway at Battle Mountain, freighting to Jett and other Nye County districts greatly increased. Prior to this, freight was being hauled from Wadsworth. By the spring of 1880, a smelting furnace was built at Jett. But like so many other Nevada camps, a decline began in 1881 and the post office shut down. The only mine running after this was the Silver Point, so the name again changed (Silver Point). A brief revival occurred with the Senator Mine, and the post office reopened in 1890. But again, the camp was done by 1891. 1902 saw prospectors in the Jett District again. Not much else was reported on whether this was successful or not. In 1912, two men named Fisherman and Farrington began impressive work at Jett. It was successful enough that by the end of the year, George Wingfield had purchased a large interest. Harry Stimler (discoverer of Goldfield) negotiated the deal between Wingfield and these men. The 1912 revival saw the name change to Birmingham. A 1919 revival saw the name change to Argentore or Gilbraltar. This camp was formed at the mouth of the canyon, rather than a couple miles up the canyon. From a modern- day perspective, this makes sense. When you look at the photos below, they may be deceiving. In many old ghost towns and mining camps, you often find relics located in close proximity. In Jett Canyon, you'll find these relics scattered in different locations over large distances. Back to the 1919 revival. One of those responsible for discovering this new vein was Harry Stimler. A boardinghouse was built, but the camp didn't last. By 1921, it was over. Stimler kept the claims alive. He sold them in 1922. By 1925, major mining endeavors at Jett were over for good. A few men worked tungsten in the area in the 1950's, but nothing on a major level.
In 1915, a very expensive pipeline from Jett Canyon was built. This was to support successful placer operations that were taking place near Round Mountain on the other side of the Smoky Valley. It appears that this was very successful and occurred for well over a decade. In 1922, a new camp called Silverton was formed near Lockes. The equipment from Jett was bought and hauled to that location.
Post Office: March 16, 1880 to April 21, 1881; June 6, 1890 to March 25, 1891 (at Jett).
The first photograph shows a view looking down and out of the mouth of the canyon. You can see Round Mountain Gold in the distance. Round Mountain Gold was a view that I saw a dozen times a month for six years.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: June 2017. I have included a photograph of the road going into Jett. The creek is the road. If it's flowing like it was in 2017, you will be driving through it for a while. It is also very overgrown. We were on quads, so it was a little easier to navigate. Like I stated above, the relics here are scattered from low to high. You will have to stop and look around. We took several spur roads in the area where we found bits and pieces. This is one of those all- day trips. If you're looking for an easy drive where you pull up to a single site, see all the relics and then leave, this isn't the trip for you.
Sources: Eureka Daily Sentinel (Newspaper); Pioche Daily Record (Newspaper); Lyon County Times (Newspaper); Carson Morning Appeal (Newspaper); Territorial Enterprise (Newspaper); Pioche Weekly Record (Newspaper); Battle Mountain Messenger (Newspaper); Gold Hill Daily News (Newspaper); Tonopah Bonanza (Newspaper); Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (By: Stanley Paher); Preserving the Glory Days- Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Nye County, Nevada (By: Shawn Hall); Nevada Post Offices- An Illustrated History (By: James Gamett & Stanley Paher); Nevada Place Names- A Geographical Dictionary (By: Helen Carlson).