Miner George Nicholl found rich silver deposits in the southern part of the
Toquima Range in Nye County during 1866.
Only sporadic production occurred there until major new discoveries,
assaying at $3000 a ton, were made in April 1905. A rush to the booming
mining camp ensued, and by the end of 1905, Manhattan had a population of
more than 1000, seventy-five frame buildings, and two newspapers.
Although the town was at its peak, the San Francisco earthquake in April 1906
had a tremendous effect on it. Most of Manhattan's investors were from the
destroyed bay city, and they pulled their money out to help rebuild their own
Fortunately, extensive gold placer deposits were discovered below town in
1909, bringing new prosperity to Manhattan.
By the 1920s, however, mining slowed dramatically and little was produced
until a huge dredge was built in 1938 to work the placer deposits. The dredge,
an oddity in Nevada, produced $4.6 million before being dismantled in 1947.
During the 1980s, an open pit operation was active and new mining
operations started in 2005. About fifty people still call Manhattan home and
there are many reminders of its once glorious past.
Mining into the 21st Century
from Online Nevada
The turn-of-the-century mining town of Manhattan in Nye County
flourished for a bit then failed.
Photograph by S. Martin Shelton, courtesy of the Nevada State Historic
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