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Friday, July 8, 2011

The ghost town of Hamilton, Nevada - "gleaming with rich veins of silver"

A thunderstorm roared through the White Pine Range about an hour before we arrived. The roads became muddier and muddier the closer we got to our ghost town destination. One 50 yard stretch of deep muddy water filled ruts made me comment, "Sure glad we have a winch."
 Hamilton, Nevada.  More than 10,000 people lived in this mining camp in 1869.
Our camp in Hamilton with Treasure Hill in the distance.
From Desert Magazine - October, 1941: "It was then January, 1868. The high Nevada plateaus and mountains were swept by wintry blasts and snow was piled deep everywhere. The Indian led them to a round-topped peak that reared its snow-capped summit high into the brittle blue sky. The party floundered through the snow drifts up the steep mountainside. Reaching the top, they blinked unbelievingly— everywhere they looked outcroppings of rock poked through the snow gleaming with rich veins of silver. Indian Jim had led them to one of the greatest silver bonanzas in the history of western mining. It was a treasure hill."
Hamilton circa 1941. (From Desert Magazine - October, 1941)
Hamilton, July 2011. All that remains of the Washington Hotel is a small interior room with very thick walls. (Building center right.)
We met John in Hamilton while taking photos of old mining machinery. He was touring the west with his pet ferret, Stumpy. By the time John returned to Georgia he had driven more than 8,000 miles.
These photos of mining equipment are presented to create a pang of envy in my friend Ron who upon hearing where we were headed said, "Have enough fun for two."

Driving the high road to Treasure City.
Treasure City ruins. (elevation 9,000 feet.)
6,000 people lived in Treasure City at its peak. We left TC as thunderstorms were brewing, drove back to pavement and on to Ely, Nevada. In town we ate lunch with John as the rain began to fall. After lunch John motored north towards Wendover and the Bonneville Salt Flats.
We checked into a nearby motel for showers, laundry and internet. The next day our route found us driving northwest through Long Valley towards Ruby Valley.


  1. What's the name of that road you're on when crossing Maverick Springs? Is that overland rd?

    1. We drove the Ruby Valley Road north from US 50 through Long Valley to the Maverick Springs Mts and into Ruby Valley after crossing Overland Pass.