Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


The Mammoth Mining District was organized in 1864 and a townsite called “Mammoth” was platted. The town was soon renamed “Weston”, with another town called “Summit City” less than a quarter mile away. Eventually the towns grew together, and eventually the name was changed again to “Ellsworth”.  The town gained its first post office in 1866.

The town really boomed in 1870 when a new steam-powered stamp mill started production. The population peaked at over 200. For a time, camels were used to haul the ore!

The quality of the ore decreased in 1872 and the mill finally closed in 1874. The mill reopened in 1877 to process tailings, and later was used to process ore hauled in from the Alexander mine. By December 1884 the town was withering and the post office was closed. In 1895 the mill was moved to Union, near Berlin, NV.

New strikes and various schemes to process old tailings brought activity back to the area from time to time during the early 20th century. The last company in the district was the New Return Mining Company, which ran a stamp mill and cyanide mill from 1924 to 1926. A few independent miners worked the area off and on until 1944.

Currently the main site in Ellsworth is a small cluster of wooden buildings which apparently were occupied fairly recently, possibly into the 1970s or early 1980s. There are also some older, stone ruins about a half mile down the canyon, but I missed these as a drove up after dark during my 2016 trip. I’ll have to go back another time and check them out.

Posted August 2016.

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Ellsworth, NV