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Atwood Nevada

Atwood, a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada, epitomizes the life cycle of mining towns that flourished during the gold and silver rush of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its journey from a burgeoning mining camp to a forgotten ghost town is a story of hope, hardship, and the transient nature of fortune.

Atwood Nevada

Atwood Nevada Overview

Established in 1901, Atwood was the heart of the Fairplay Mining District, once known as the Atwood Mining District. It thrived as a typical mining town with a bustling community supported by gold mining. Despite brief periods of revival, the town’s fate was sealed by the ebb and flow of mining fortunes, leading to its ultimate desertion by the mid-20th century.

The Atwood mining camp was in Nye County, Nevada, and extended into Mineral County, Nevada.

I found references that the area could have been known as Okey Davis, Goldyke (a small camp a mile southeast), Fairplay, Finger Rock, Paradise, Paradise Peak, and Globe.

Learn more about Ghost Town in Nevada and Ghost Towns in the Southwest.

Learn more about Nye County:
The History of Nye County
Things to Do in Nye County, Nevada
View books on Nye County, Nevada

Year Established/Founded

Discovered in 1865 and established in either 1901 or 1903.

Atwood Nevada History

Atwood’s history is intertwined with gold mining, beginning with its founding in 1901 following a gold discovery in the Paradise Range. It transformed into a company town in 1906 under the Griggs Atwood Mining Company. The town saw growth, decline, and brief revivals aligned with mining activities, eventually fading into obscurity.

The Engineering and Mining Journal (date unknown but could be around 1907):

Everett and party, who have been developing mines in the Atwood district for the past six years, report the discovery of a deposit of tungsten in one of their mining leases. Some of the specimens of the ore now being exhibited in Tonopah average 62 percent of tungsten.

From Tingley:

The Fairplay district includes the southern and southwestern flanks of the Paradise Range and extends from Coyote Spring/Ford Wells and the old camps of Atwood and Goldyke on the east to Finger Rock Wash, west of the Mineral County line. The district includes the old Atwood district, discovered in 1901, and the Goldyke area, about 1 mile southwest of Atwood, which was discovered in 1906. The Finger Rock area, including the Paradise Peak gold mine, is sometimes considered to be a separate district (A.L. Payne, pers. commun.). The historic Paradise district of Stretch (1867) and Danner (1995), and the Fairplay district of Kral, (1951) and Kleinhampl and Ziony (1984) included the areas of both the present Fairplay district and the present Paradise Peak district. The Globe district, described by Danner (1992), was located in the vicinity of the Sullivan Mine in the northern part of the present Fairplay district.

Timeline

  • 1901 – Gold was discovered by Okey Davis, George Duncan, Ewen A. McNaughton, and William Regan. 
  • April 25, 1903 – Mr. and Mrs. Geo. K. Duncan are in from Atwood. They are enthusiastic over the mineral showing of the new camp. Mr. Duncan will return to that point and begin mining ore for shipment. [Tonopah Bonanza Butler, Nevada 25 Apr 1903, Sat • Page 5]
  • May 2, 1903 – Within the past few days some fine specimens of gold, silver and copper ore have been received in town from the claims of Messrs. Cohn, Duncan, Enois and Miles at Atwood, the El dorado recently discovered in the northern end of Nye county, and distant ninety miles from Tonopah. These gentlemen own the extensions of the claims now being opened up by Messrs. Oddie, Sinclair, O’Brien, Stewart and Lee. On three of their claims a rich gold-bearing ledge has been discovered and development work on it wiV. soon be commenced. A short distance from this group the same parties have taken up a bunch of four claims on which several strong copper ledges outcrop. An average sample from one of these, the biggest and strongest-looking, gave assay returns of 180. The new camp is about thirty-five miles from the railroad, and this ore, of which there is said to be an immense deposit, can be shipped and treated at a moderate cost, and leave the owners a neat profit. [Tonopah Bonanza Butler, Nevada 02 May 1903, Sat • Page 2]
  • June 13, 1903 – George R. Duncan, D. S. Cohen, James Ennis, J. H. Miles, and Charles Cohen organized the Atwood Mining and Development company, with a capitalization of $1,000,000 divided into 1,000,000 shares of a par value of $1 each.
  • April 1904 – The Gold Crown Mining company was founded
  • 1904: Gold Crown Mining Company begins operations.
  • February 1906: Atwood becomes a company town; post office opens.
  • 1907 – The mine played out and the camp folded.
  • 1908: The Butler Mine closes; Atwood is deserted.
  • January 31, 1908 – The post office closed
  • 1914 – The mining camp was revived when rich ore had been found by Okey Davis south of Atwood
  • Early 1930s: Final decline of mining operations.
  • 1959: Last resident leaves; Atwood is fully abandoned.

Mines

Gold, silver, mercury, copper, and tungsten.

  • Atwood
  • Butler Mine: Mainstay of Atwood, closed in 1908.
  • Golden Crown Mine: Active in the early years of Atwood.
  • Warrior Mine: Part of the area’s revival in the 1910s.

1914 active mines

  1. Atwood mine
  2. Butler mine 
  3. Oakey Davis mine

Railroads

Unknown at this time.

Post Office

February 1906 – January 31, 1908

View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.

Newspaper

Fairplay Prospector – Published in 1907.

Learn more about Nevada Newspapers

The Population of Atwood Nevada

Peaked at 200 by the end of 1906.

Elevation

6,001′

Location

Seven miles southeast of SR 23 at a point 4 1/2 miles south of Gabbs and approximately 35 miles northeast of Mina, Nye County, Nevada.

GPS Coordinates

38° 44′ 52.73″ N, 117° 51′ 22.40″ W

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Photos and Videos

None at this time.

Today, Atwood exists only as a faint echo of its past, with a solitary foundation and scattered glass shards being the sole remnants of its once-thriving community. Its story is a testament to the fleeting prosperity of mining towns and a poignant reminder of the relentless passage of time.

References Used

Atwood Nevada