Gabbs Nevada Overview
A small semi-ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada, Gabbs was established as a company town for Basic Magnesium, Inc., Gabbs grew out of an earlier mining camp named Brucite and took the name of the surrounding Gabbs Valley.
The town’s motto is “High Up We Go, The Town of Gabbs Show” and the town’s nickname is “The Little-Big Northwest.” At this time we do not have the history of either origin.
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Did you know that Gabbs, Nevada is home to the largest tarantula migration?
Gabbs Nevada History
Gabbs was originally named Brucite, after the magnesium oxide brucite that occurred locally, and took the name of the surrounding Gabbs Valley, itself named after American paleontologist William More Gabb (who had studied fossil specimens from the area in 1867).
Settlements at North Gabbs, South Gabbs, and Tent City (which later largely merged into North Gabbs) were served by a library, city hall, parks, tennis courts, and a succession of local newspapers.
Magnesite, brucite, iron, silver, lead, zinc, tungsten, and copper.
- 1876 – Mining district established
- 1926 – Tungsten was discovered.
- December 1941 – Town established
- 1942 – Police, a jail, and a school district was established.
- June 1943 – Gabbs became a township with a population of 426.
- September 1944 – The original magnesium plant was closed, having produced enough ore to meet targets for the projected duration of the war.
- March 29, 1955 – The city incorporated.
- 1955 – The local population initially fell after the closing of the plant in 1944 but revived when a new plant administered by Basic Refractories, Inc. (BRI), producing magnesium for the private sector, was opened.
- 1960 – The town’s population climbed to 796.
- 1982 – BRI laid off half its 350 workers, prompting the town’s population to decline once more.
- 2001 – Gabbs lost its incorporated status.
Unknown at this time
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1943 – Current
The post office in Gabbs, Nevada was open from 1943 to the current day, and below are the postmasters that we are aware of.
- Mrs Gladys P McMichael December 31, 1942
- Mrs Gladys P McMichael March 29, 1944
- Mrs Thelma R Studer June 30, 1945
- Mrs Thelma R Studer March 16, 1949
- Mrs Thelma Klinkner December 23, 1956
- Mrs Myra A Denius August 19, 1963
- Mrs Myra A Denius May 26, 1964 Gabbs
- Mrs Frances H Chiatonick June 26, 1971
- Gabbs Gabb June 14, 1943 – August 25, 1944
- Gabbs Valley Enterprise 1974 – April 6, 1976
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The population of Gabbs Nevada
The population as of the 2020 US Census was 186 residents.
- Land 1.50 sq mi (3.88 km2)
- Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
- Total 1.50 sq mi (3.89 km2)
The Gabbs district covers the western portion of the Paradise Range and extends from Downieville, north of the present town of Gabbs, to the Cottonwood Canyon area on the south, and from the western front of the range near the town of Gabbs east to include the area of Craig Station in the eastern part of the range.
The historic Mammoth district included the area of the present Gabbs district along with the Ellsworth district to the northeast.
The Central district was, according to the Territorial Enterprise, located 10 miles south of Downieville.
The Cottonwood or Centers district described by Danner (1992) is located in Cottonwood Canyon, east of the town of South Gabbs.
The Gabbs district now includes the area of the town of Gabbs and most of central part of Paradise Range as well.
How to Get to Gabbs Nevada
- Austin – 95 miles / 1 26 minutes via US-50 and NV-361 S
- Fallon – 79 miles / 1 hour 11 minutes via US-50 E and NV-361 S
- Hawthorne – 55 miles – 52 minutes
- Las Vegas – 321 miles – 5 hours
- Manhattan – 78 miles – 2 hours
- Tonopah – 110 miles – 1 hour 42 minutes vis US-95 and NV-361 N
Things to Do Nearby Gabbs, Nevada
There are not a lot of things to do in the town of Gabbs, Nevada other than exploring wilderness and mines so it’s a good stopping point on your way to explore other areas such as these points of interest:
- Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park – 21 miles – 29 minutes via NV-844 W
- Diana’s Punch Bowl – 167 miles / 3 hours and 20 minutes
- Fort Churchill State Park – 114 miles / 1 hour 52 minutes
- Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area – 120 miles / 1 hour 55 minutes
- Humboldt Wildlife Management – 144 miles / 2 hours 29 minutes
- Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark – 194 miles / 3 hours 4 minutes
- Railroad Valley Wildlife Management Area – 207 miles / 3 hours 13 minutes
- Rye Patch State Recreation Area – 159 miles / 2 hours 26 minutes
- Sand Mountain Recreation Area – 54 miles / 52 minutes
- Walker Lake Recreation Area – 69 miles / 1 hour 5 minutes
- Warm Springs Ghost Town – 160 miles / 2 hours 27 minutes
If you are exploring Nye County, be sure to check out the surrounding counties to help you find information to plan your next adventure!
- Churchill County, Nevada
- Clark County, Nevada
- Esmeralda County, Nevada
- Eureka County, Nevada
- Lander County Nevada
- Lincoln County, Nevada
- Mineral County, Nevada
- White Pine County, Nevada