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Founded in 1865 by silver miners, Columbus was part of the Columbus District, which included Candelaria, Metallic City (Pickhandle Gulch), Sodaville, and Belleville. This district became southwestern Nevada’s most productive district.

Instead of silver, a rich supply of borax was discovered nearby, and by 1866 Columbus was a bustling town of 200. By 1875 the townsite had a school, post office, iron foundry, and a weekly newspaper. In that same year the towns major borax company pulled up stakes and moved, causing the town to decline.  By the mid 1880’s, the town was completely dead.  Several attempts have been made to revive the borax mining here, but none have lasted.

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