Ghost Towns and Mines


Sylvania, NV

This small mining camp began in 1872, shortly after the discovery of lead-silver ore. A smelter was built in 1875, which only ran for a few years. Only sporadic activity was taking place by 1880.

The mines around Sylvania have been worked off and on ever since. There are still some actives claims. The camp was occupied, on at least a part time basis, through the 1990s.

On the north side of the canyon there are two small houses with garages, sheds and other outbuildings, plus an old cabin a bit farther east. On the south side there are two cabins, a pump house, and some abandoned vehicles and equipment. On the hillside is the foundation of an early mill. There are also ruins of several small, stone cabins scattered around, mainly down the canyon from the camp. The Sylvania Mine is about a mile up the canyon.

Today there is still much to see at the site. I’ve created a separate page for each area of interest. Click the titles or photos to see more of each...

Posted August 2015.

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Sylvania, NV:  The Main House

(Click the title or any photo to see more pics of each structure and its surroundings.)

This house is more or less the center of the camp, and appears to be one which was most recently occupied. There is a large garage next to the house, and a workshop or machine shop. Nearby is an old trailer.

Below: The shop building.

Sylvania, NV:  The Second House

This house is a bit smaller, and is located west of the main house.

Next to the house is a very small, dugout garage. There is a shed to the west, and a small, crude cabin or shop building to the east.

A grave is located near the house, marked by a pile of rocks and a wooden cross. Presumably, this is the grave of one of the original occupants of the house.

Sylvania, NV:  The Cabins and Ruins

There are three small, wooden cabins still standing. These appear to have been uninhabited for a long time. The cabin at the east end of the camp (above) is in the best condition. The two cabins at the west end, south of the road, are filled with trash and debris. One of these cabins has been “wallpapered” with pages from the Saturday Evening Post, dated 1936.

Sylvania, NV:  The Portable Mill and Rotary Kiln/Retort

At the east end of camp are several vehicles and some equipment, all in various degrees of decay. Perhaps the most interesting are these two trailer-mounted machines for processing ore. One is a mill, the other is a rotary kiln or retort.

Sylvania, NV:  The 1940s Dodge Flatbed Pickup Trucks

There are several elderly trucks spotted around the camp. I felt these two deserved special attention.

They are a pair of Dodge flatbed pickups, from the early 1940s. One of them is painted olive drab and may be military surplus.

Sylvania Mine, NV

About a mile up the canyon is the Sylvania Mine, with its unusual headframe made of riveted metal tubing.