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 Hamilton (Ghost Town)

NV Icon Hamilton, Nevada One of the few buildings left partially standing in the ghost town of Hamilton, Nevada.

Hamilton was founded in May of 1868 and named after its founder. It was laid out near a location known as Cave City, named because of the number of caves in the area. The first established business was a saloon.

Several thousand prospectors moved into the area in 1868, during an intense gold rush. By the end of the year the Bank of California and Wells Fargo had established banks, and by the next summer, over 10,000 miners had established residence here.

Hamilton was the first White Pine County seat, and a brick courthouse and jail was built. There were 101 establishments selling liquor, 59 stores, several dozen lawyers, doctors, fire companies, churches, fraternal orders, a miner's union, banks, jewelers, theaters, skating rinks, dance halls, auction houses, a soda factory, breweries, pawnbrokers, gunsmiths, express facilities, and a newspaper, the Daily Inland Empire. There was also a water company and a steam pumping works.

By 1870 the mining district was in decline, and the census figures for that year showed only 6,800 residents. In June of 1873 a cigar store owner set fire to his establishment to collect insurance. The flames spread through the town and destroyed $600,000 in property. Another major fire in 1885 destroyed the courthouse, and two years later the town lost the county seat to Ely. However, as late as 1925 there were still a few people in the district, but the camp is entirely abandoned today.


11 miles south of US 50 at a point 36 miles west of Ely.


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Archaeological Resources Protection Act Hotline: 800-227-7286.

Cemetery, Hamilton, Nevada.

Site design by Frank Stehno
All photographs by Frank Stehno unless otherwise indicated.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank and Anne Stehno. All rights reserved.
Site established in 2000.