Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


Ophir is located in a canyon on the eastern side of the Toiyabe Range in central Nevada. Silver was discovered here in 1863 and soon a town sprang up, with a population of almost 400 people. Ophir had a church, a school, a fraternal lodge, a post office, a few stores, and saloons.

The ore was embedded in extremely tough rock, making it difficult to mine and mill. It’s been reported that up to 30 drills would be dulled drilling a two-foot hole. The high cost of extraction forced the mining company to declare bankruptcy in 1868, and the town was virtually abandoned. Another company reopened the mine a year later but soon it too shut down, this time due to labor issues. A new ore body was discovered in 1872, resulting in steady production from 1874 into the 1890s. This period of production came to an end in 1894.

In 1917 another period of operation began which lasted until 1925. Since then there has been only limited, sporadic activity.

Currently there are several stone ruins and foundations at the site. The largest ruins are those of the Murphy Mine and Mill.

In 2018 I returned to this historic site for the first time in many years, and was happy to see that it hasn’t changed much since my last visit. The earlier photos were taken sometime in the late 1990’s.


Last updated September 2018.

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Ophir, NV