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Jefferson Nevada

Jefferson, Nevada, started in 1865 as a hopeful silver ore town, epitomizes the classic tale of a mining boom and bust. Located in Nye County, its history is a rollercoaster of brief prosperity, rapid decline, and multiple failed revivals, leaving behind a legacy of extensive and intriguing ruins.

Jefferson Nevada

Jefferson Nevada Overview

Jefferson began with the discovery of silver ore, reaching its zenith in the mid-1870s. Despite early successes, the town’s fortunes dwindled, leading to several attempts at revival, all ending in failure.

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

Year Established/Founded

Silver ore discoveries in 1865 marked the beginning of Jefferson, with more substantial finds made in 1871.

Jefferson Nevada History

Jefferson saw its most significant development post-1871, with two stamp mills attracting more interest in the area. The town had two distinct sections: the main district with most businesses and Lower Town, housing mills and miners’ residences.


  • 1865: Jefferson’s initial formation.
  • 1871: Substantial silver discoveries lead to the town’s development.
  • 1874-1876: Peak years with a population over 800 and production value of $1.5 million.
  • 1876: Decline begins with the closing of the Jefferson mine mill.
  • 1883-1885: Brief revival with the formation of the Jefferson Silver Mining Company.
  • 1885-1933: Multiple failed attempts to revive the town.
  • 1933: Final closure of the mines after producing $2.3 million worth of ore.


Jefferson’s mining was primarily focused on silver, with the Prussian and Jefferson mines being major producers.


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Post Office

Operated during periods of activity: Oct. 22, 1874 – Jan. 29, 1879; Jan. 24, 1883 – Jan. 21, 1884; Mar. 6, 1885 – Jun. 21, 1886; Jun. 30, 1890 – Aug. 13, 1890.

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The Population of Jefferson Nevada

At its peak in the mid-1870s, Jefferson’s population exceeded 800 but dwindled rapidly thereafter.


Jefferson is situated at an elevation of 7,024 feet (2,141 m), typical of Nevada’s mining regions.


  • Closest Town: Located in Nye County, Nevada.
  • County: Nye County.

GPS Coordinates

38° 42′ 52 “N, 116° 58′ 45 “W.

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Photos and Videos

Today, Jefferson’s extensive ruins spread across over a mile, offering a rich exploration site for history enthusiasts. The stone ruins, including the impressive remains of mills and the Prussian Mine, reflect its past as a bustling mining town.

Jefferson’s story is a poignant example of the fleeting nature of mining towns in the American West. Its ruins, nestled in the rugged terrain of Nevada, continue to fascinate visitors, preserving the memory of a town that once brimmed with silver dreams and the harsh reality of mining life.

References Used

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