Helene and Delamar Ghost Towns

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4.3/5 (3 reviews)
Caliente, Nevada (Lincoln County)
Last Updated: 04/19/2023

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The ghost towns of Delamar and Helene are located in Delamar Valley between the Delamar Mountains and the South Pahroc Range. This area also borders the South Pahroc Range Wilderness Area to the west and the Delamar Mountain Wilderness Area to the south. In 1889 two local ranchers, John Ferguson and Joseph Sharp, discovered gold in the high desert south of Caliente, Nevada. The mining camps of Ferguson and Helene soon sprung up as miners flocked in. In 1892, the Ferguson Mining District was formed. Reports came into Pioche that assays of $75 to $1000 a ton of ore was being mined resulting in the first rush of miners stampeding to the district. In April of 1894, Capt. Joseph Delamar bought most of the important mines in the area and renamed the Ferguson camp as Delamar. Also in 1894 a post office and newspaper, the Delamar Lode, was opened. The town quickly grew to over 1500 residents and boasted an opera house and hospital. By the turn of the century the town had over 3000 residents. The gold was embedded in quartzite, which when milled, created a fine dust. This dust caused many miners and residents to develop silicosis which earned the town the nickname "Widow Maker". Up until 1909 the mines were the largest producers in the state, but soon after all operations closed and the residents left. There was a short revival of operations in 1929 but by 1934 the town was once again abandoned. All in all, the mines around Delamar produced over $25,000,000 dollars in gold. The area around Delamar is a remote region with countless trails rated from easy to difficult. Dozens of old mines and abandoned camps can be found. Wildlife is abundant and sighting wild horses is the norm. Delamar would make an excellent base camp to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the area. Please tread lightly so future generations can enjoy this reminder of of our past. The state of Delamar has declined rapidly in just the last few decades due to vandals literally tearing down the walls of buildings to find hidden treasure.
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