Barcelona, a once-thriving mining town in Nye County, Nevada, is a testament to the silver mining era’s influence on the American West. Established in the late 1860s and experiencing various cycles of boom and bust, Barcelona’s history is rich with tales of discovery, prosperity, and eventual abandonment.
Barcelona Nevada Overview
Located between Belmont and Manhattan in Nevada, Barcelona played a significant role in the region’s mining history. Initially part of the Spanish Belt, later renamed the Spanish Gap and Meadow Canyon, the town saw substantial silver mining activity. Despite several periods of revival, Barcelona ultimately succumbed to the typical fate of mining towns, leaving behind ruins and a legacy etched into the landscape of Nye County.
Today there are a few rock ruins in the area marking the mining town.
Discovered in 1867 and organized in 1875.
Barcelona Nevada History
Barcelona’s story begins with silver discoveries in 1867. It flourished briefly in the 1870s with a surge of mining activity, but its prosperity was short-lived. The town experienced intermittent bursts of activity, with its most productive period between 1917 and 1923. By the mid-20th century, Barcelona had been abandoned, leaving only ruins and old mine shafts.
The population reached approximately 150 residents and in 1874 the Austin-Belmont state was rerouted to serve the new town.
The town faded by the end of 1877 once the ore ran out and the camp was deserted.
There were several “revivals” of the town over the years but none that produced anything significant.
One document I found on the NMBG library site states that the area was active from 1870 – 1879 and then from 1920 – 1922.
Tingley states: Originally named the Spanish Belt district when it was organized in 1875 and separated from the Philadephia district which included both the present Belmont and Barcelona districts. Barcelona and Meadow Canyon, northeast of Barcelona, are sometimes included within the Belmont district. Lawrence (1963) described a Spanish Gap district located between Belmont and Round Mountain.
- 1867: Silver was discovered in Barcelona.
- 1874-1877: Initial boom with significant mining activity.
- 1880: Brief period of renewed mining activity.
- 1917-1923: Final and most productive revival of mining operations.
- Mid-20th Century: Final abandonment of Barcelona.
Primarily known for silver mining, with additional commodities like mercury, gold, lead, antimony, tungsten, molybdenum, copper, zinc, and uranium.
The Population of Barcelona Nevada
At the height of the town, the population was about 150 residents.
- 43 residents and 37 households – 1880 United States Federal Census, Nevada, Nye County, Barcelona, District 033
Located 10 miles west of Belmont and 20 miles north of Manhattan in Nye County, Nevada is the ghost town of Barcelona, the district is located on the southeastern side of Shoshone Mountain and includes the area at the head of Silver Creek, all of Antone Canyon, and extends east to include the Corcoran Canyon area.
Speaking of mobile apps, two of my favorite mobile apps for exploring the southwest are two different mapping apps one that builds your schedule and the other helps me look to see if my rural destination is taking me to private or public lands. Highly recommend both!
- Roadtrippers Plus is $29.99 per year paid version that allows you to build longer itineraries, share your plans with friends, and use the app without ads. Click here to save $5 on your subscription to Roadtrippers.
- onX – click here to learn more about onX GPS Map App for Backcountry, Offroad, and Hunting.
Photos and Videos
Barcelona, now a ghost town, remains a fascinating destination for those interested in the history of mining in Nevada. Its ruins and the remnants of mining activity offer a silent narrative of a once-bustling community, echoing the stories of fortune and desolation that characterize so many of the state’s mining towns.