Delamar is a ghost town near the center of Lincoln County that prospered
from mining for about a decade after 1892.
At a time when Nevada was in the middle of its "twenty year depression," the
discovery of gold ore was highly promising. Delamar was a modest prelude to
the discovery and production of gold at Goldfield a decade later.
Initially called the Ferguson District, the town was renamed for Capt. J. R.
DeLamar, who invested in the district in 1894. During the next five years this
region was one of the most productive in the state. Yet its ore bodies were
shallow and rapidly depleted.
Production and prosperity declined after 1900, and most output had ceased
Delamar became notorious in Nevada mining lore because of the experience
with "Delamar dust," the thin white powder that flew into the underground air
when miners drilled with the new pneumatically powered machines.
These early power tools "drilled dry" -- no water was forced through the drill
to subdue the dust. After a few months of such work, miners suffered from
silicosis and most of them died in agony. State laws were soon enacted to
require changes in the drilling process.
James W. Hulse, Lincoln County, Nevada: The History of a Mining
Region, 1864-1909 (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1971).
A Prelude to the Goldfield Discovery
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