Belmont - Shoshone Mountain in the distance.
Belmont was established following a silver strike in 1865. Other minerals, such as copper lead and antimony, were also mined in addition to the silver. The boom brought settlers in and the town of Belmont grew. In 1867, Belmont became the county seat of Nye County. The town boasted four stores, two saloons, five restaurants, livery stable, post office, assay office, bank, school, telegraph office, two newspapers, and a blacksmith shop. As the price of metals fluctuated, so did the fortunes of the town. By 1887, several of the mines closed. In 1905, the county seat of Nye County was relocated from Belmont to Tonopah. The mine dumps were reworked in the early part of the 20th century.
During the 1870s it was known as a major mining boomtown producing gold, and was rumored to have a population of 15,000. Like many towns which are now ghost towns, this one lasted for only a short time.
For a more detailed history of Belmont and east belmont [click here].
Main Street - looking south
- looking north (old gas pump is no longer present)
Indian Maggie's Saloon
- originally the Belmont Courier Newspaper building (see next photo)
Belmont Courier Newspaper building (second from right) next to Combination Mining Co. office - Circa 1868
Combination Mining Company office today
Old County Courthouse in background.
Built in 1876, the Belmont Courthouse was the seat of Nye County government until 1905.
Two-cell jail unit - was removed from the back of the courthouse and moved to Gabbs during WWII. It was used there to jail drunk workers (from Basic Magnesium Inc.) overnight - as they would go on drinking binges after getting paid and not show up for work for several days. Since workers were hard to find during the war, they used these jail cells to keep them until they sobered up. After a new Sheriff sub-station was built, the cell unit was returned to Belmont, and eventually will be re-installed back in the old courthouse.
Belmont Bank building
New Belmont Church - rebuilt in place of original that was moved to
Manhattan in 1905. This replica was built using the original plans.
Services are held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays.
Esser House Cira 1870s - Owned by Mathew William Esser, a shoemaker who also opened a grocery store in 1874.
Old Adams Leaning Wheel Grader No. 12
Monitor-Belmont Mill - located south of town. The mill was built in 1867 by the Belmont Silver Mining Co.
20 Stamp Monitor-Belmont Mill
Monitor-Belmont Mill stack
40 Stamp Combination Mill (East Belmont) - Built in 1868 at a cost of more than $225,000.
It was the largest mill in Belmont at the time. The mill was torn down in 1914.
Combination Mill - Explosives Store Room
Cameron Mill (East Belmont) - mislabeled on maps, and in many Nevada books, as the Highbridge Mill. The Highbridge Mill was dissembled and moved to Gold Mountain in 1880. The Cameron Mill was built using bricks salvaged from Combination Mill which was torn down in 1914.
The Monitor-Belmont Mining Company in 1914 started a mining revival purchasing nearly all of the old mines near Belmont. In 1915 they built the Cameron Mill to process the ore from their twenty one claims. The mill had ten 1,600 pound stamps and a 150-ton oil flotation system to extract silver from the ore. The mill was also used to rework some of the old tailings from previous mining activity. The Cameron Mill named for the company's superintendent Donald C. Cameron. The Cameron Mill shutdown in 1917.
Old stone cabin which may have been part of the old Chinatown
There are several of these old stone cabins near the Cameron Mill, which is thought to be the remnants of Chinatown.
Cameron Mill (left) and Combination Mill (right) in the distance.
Photo taken as I was leaving Belmont and driving an old dirt road across Monitor Valley to connect to Rte 162.
CAUTION: If you take this same road be aware that the last mile or so (before it connects to 162) has some dangerous downhill switchbacks that are steep, very narrow, and severely banked on the inside - this could cause the vehicle to slide towards the canyon edge.
The graves of Jack Longstreet (left) and his Paiute Indian wife Fannie (right).
Jack Longstreet (1834 - 1928) was a Wild West Everyman gunslinger, settler, miner, store owner, saloon keeper, gambler, and family man. In Nevada, Longstreet home-steaded in Amargosa Valley at Ash Meadows, and married a local Paiute woman. Although he was an outsider, he became an Indian advocate and was respected as a leader by the Paiute people. Among those with powerful mining and ranching interests, Longstreet was one of the most feared men in Northwest Arizona and Southcentral Nevada at the turn of the century. He was a hard drinking man with a notched gun and a taste for high stakes poker. Although much of his life is shrouded in mystery, he was known as a hardbitten gunman-rancher-prospector who stubbornly lived life exactly as he pleased. His eventual death at 94 came after having accidentally shooting himself, the wound festered for several days before he was taken to the Tonopah hospital, where he died later from a stroke.
To view Jack Longstreet's cabin at Ash Meadows [click here].
To view Jack Longstreet's ranch in Longstreet Canyon [click here].
Remember....Freedom is not free.
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