CONTACT

NAME: Contact
COUNTY: Elko
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Pleasant summer, heavy snow in winter.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer, autumn.
COMMENTS: Semi-ghost
REMAINS: Old homes

Although gold was first discovered in 1870, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that Contact became known for its discoveries. In the meantime, however, there was minimum production and a number of mines were working but the mines produced very little. The year 1897 showed promise as 100 miners were working the various mines and by April the number had risen to 200. A smelter was built but proved unsuccessful and many people began to leave. By 1900 Contact’s population had dropped to 85 and only five residents were left by 1905. A slow revival began in late 1905 that led to Contact’s first boom. The United States Mining and Smelting Company can to the district in 1907 and by the following year the population had grown to 300. By 1915 the town had a thirty-five room hotel, a number of saloons, restaurants, a barbershop, a general merchandise store, and a newspaper. New mines continued to be developed and new businesses appeared with regularity. Contact mines produced ore from 1916 to 1958 with great consistency. In 1930 a new Contact townsite was laid out. The population stood at 260 but the towns heyday was over. By 1935 the population was barely 100. In 1942 a devastating fire consumed many of the buildings including a store, hotel, restaurant, a bar, a service station, a church, and others. Although there were two attempts at revival, one in 1943 and another in 1952, both were short lived. A few residents still live in contact and are employed by the highway department at the Contact Maintenance Station. Old homes still stand as well as other evidence of the town’s first stores.Submitted by: HBC

 


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