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Cactus Springs Nevada

Cactus Springs, a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada, encapsulates a brief but vibrant chapter in the state’s mining history. Initially sparked by the discovery of turquoise and silver, this town experienced a short-lived boom in the early 1900s, a narrative familiar to many such towns in the American West.

Cactus Springs Nevada

Cactus Springs Nevada Overview

Cactus Springs was a mining district in Nye County, Nevada.

Located within the boundaries of what is now the Nellis Air Force Range, Cactus Springs was born out of the mining activities that began in 1901. Despite its transient existence, the town was a hub of activity with turquoise mining on Cactus Peak and subsequent silver discoveries. However, like many mining towns of its era, Cactus Springs’ prosperity was fleeting, and by the mid-20th century, it had joined the ranks of Nevada’s ghost towns.

There was a Cactus Springs in Esmeralda County, Nevada too that was worked in the mid-1920s.

It was also referred to as Cactus Spring and Cactus Range.

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

Year Established/Founded

1901

Cactus Springs Nevada History

Cactus Springs’ history is closely tied to the discovery of turquoise in the area and the subsequent silver mining boom. The establishment of the Lincoln Gold Mining Company’s Camp Rockefeller near Cactus Springs in 1910 marked a period of development, but by 1935, mining activities had ceased, leading to the town’s abandonment.

Turquoise deposits were discovered in 1901 on Cactus Peak and the Cactus Springs mining district was established.

The first newspaper article mentioning the area was in 1902 and was about a deceased person being found near Cactus Springs. There is a gap until the next article which was in 1905.

There are several articles in the early 1920s about new investigations and claims.

From Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada, Friday, September 21, 1906:

The Cactus Springs have served long as a landmark for travelers to and from the Kawich and Reville ranges, its abundant supply of pure water, making it a spot renowned throughout the state.

Timeline

  • 1901: Turquoise discovered on Cactus Peak.
  • 1904: Silver was discovered nearby.
  • January 28, 1905 – George Brown, Dave Holland and A. S. Murphy left yesterday morning for Cactus Springs, where Mr. Holland will establish a way station for Goldfield travelers. Messrs. Brown and Murphy will continue to Cotwich. [Tonopah Bonanza – 28 Jan 1905, Sat Page 8]
  • February 15, 1905 – Strike Near Cactus. A strike is reported from near Cactus Springs, the station midway between Goldfield and Kawich. The strike was made by J. H. Allen of Goldfield last, week, arid a piece of the ore from the surface was sent here to be assayed, showing values of 841 in gold and 500 ounces silver. News of the discovery leaked out here and a number of persons left at once for the scene. About forty locations have been made but the full extent of the discovery is not yet known. [The Goldfield News and Weekly Tribune – Goldfield, Nevada
    17 Feb 1905, Fri • Page 1]
  • April 6, 1907 – GOLDFIELD MEN AT CACTUS SPRINGS Cactus Springs, a mining camp midway between Goldfield and Kawich, is greatly excited over a tremendously rich find of several pieces of float that were picked up last week close to the Dickens group of claims. The quartz is smeared all over with native gold and prospectors are now busily engaged trying to locate the ledge from which it came Al Hendricks of Goldfield and a Mr. Howard of Chicago, are interested in the Dickens group and are said to have a proposition that will develop into a paying property. John MacKitchen has also a very promising group about one mile south of the springs. He Is now busily engaged doing development work with values exceedingly high for surface work, some running up to $150 per ton. [The Goldfield News and Weekly Tribune – Goldfield, Nevada – 06 Apr 1907, Sat • Page 1]
  • 1910: Lincoln Gold Mining Company constructs Camp Rockefeller.
  • 1935: Mining activities cease, and the town declines.

Mines

The Cactus Springs district was known for the Cactus Nevada Silver mine and turquoise deposits on Cactus Peak.

Silver, gold, turquoise, and copper.

  1. Adolph Neher Adit (unknown commodity)
  2. Cactus Nevada Silver mine (silver) [Silver Sulphide Group]
  3. Cactus Range (turquoise)
  4. Urania Mine (gold and silver)

Railroads

Unknown at this time.

Click here to view the railroads in Nevada.

Post Office

None

View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.

Newspaper

None

Learn more about Nevada Newspapers

The Population of Cactus Springs Nevada

Unknown at this time.

Elevation

3,310′

Location

From Tingley: Includes Thompson’s Camp and the turquoise prospects north of Sleeping Column Canyon on the west side of the Cactus Range, and the mines and prospects near Bailey’s Camp, located between Urania Peak and Cactus Springs on the east side of the Cactus Range.

The map below shows it more in the middle of Nye County but it’s in the northwest corner of Clark County, Nevada within the Nellis Air Force Bombing and Gunnery Range (which means, do not trespass to explore this area).

GPS Coordinates

37°32′09″N 116°52′58″W

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Photos and Videos

Cactus Springs Nevada

Today, Cactus Springs exists primarily in historical records, its brief moment of hustle and bustle long gone. The town’s story, although short-lived, is an integral part of Nevada’s rich mining legacy, reflecting the rapid rise and fall typical of mining towns in the American West.

References Used

Click here to view our list of History of the Southwest – Books and Online Resources to learn more about our amazing area!

  • Tingley, Joseph V., Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 47 – Mining Districts of Nevada, page 36
  • Cornwall, Henry R., (1978), Mineral Resources of the Nellis Air force Base and the Nellis Bombing and Gunnery Range, Clark, Lincoln, and Nye Counties, Nevada

Cactus Springs Nevada