| NAME: Eureka
CLIMATE: Mild Winter, warm summer.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime.
| COMMENTS: On Highway 50, current residents.
REMAINS: A few buildings.
Update: Stopped at Eureka, Nevada to see the Ruby Hill mine, it states that it's on private property and that permission is needed to enter.
Eureka is a museum of mining history. Situated on highway 50 about halfway between Austin and Ely, few other towns offer as much to the curious visitor as does Eureka. The year 1864 saw the discovery of lead-silver deposits as spectacular as any in the country. But there was a problem. Bi-metallic ore required refining methods and techniques not yet developed. The first plant built in 1869 was a failure. Another was built that was more successful and was the forerunner of even more advanced methods. The boom then began in earnest and continued until there were nearly 10,000 people in the town. About the time production began to decline, a railroad was brought into Eureka. Because of the town's central location in the state, it became a railhead for the whole area. Eureka is full of many of its original buildings, ruins of its smelters and other sites of its glory years when it produced $40 million in silver, $20 million in gold and 225,000 pounds of lead.
Submitted by: Shawn Hall from his book Romancing Nevada's Past: Ghost Towns And Historic Sites Of Eureka, Lander, And White Pine Counties Click here to purchase his book!
It is said the area that was to become Eureka was undisturbed by humans until 1864 when a five-man prospecting party staked claims in the area. Soon after, the claims were sold to a New York mining company. Ore from these claims had a heavy lead content that caused many smelting problems and held back substantial production. It wasn’t until early 1869 that a successful draft furnace was developed that made it possible to mine large amounts of the silver-lead ore. By October 1869, around 100 residents had settled in Eureka. The small camp acquired a post office but had no name. The postmaster christened the camp Napias, which is Shoshone for “silver.” Within a short time, however, the town was renamed Eureka. The town began to grow quickly and by October 1870, 2,000 people populated the town. By 1872, Eureka had grown to 4,000; by 1874 to 6,000; and by 1878, the town reached its peak of 9,000. The town at its peak was the scene of unbelievable activity: 125 saloons, 25 gambling houses, and many business establishments. Eureka also had 5 fire companies. A landmark day in Eureka was Friday, October 22, 1875. That was the day the railroad arrived in Eureka. The town has a rich history of events, some good and some not so good. Some were human disasters. Others were natural disasters. But let there be no doubt, Eureka was a mining community of great historical importance to all Nevada. Eureka is one of the more interesting places in the state—definitely a must for any tour of Nevada.