Discover the enigmatic ghost town of Lida, a once-thriving mining settlement nestled in the heart of Esmeralda County, Nevada. Journey with us as we explore the rich history, colorful past, and mysterious decline of this fascinating desert outpost that time forgot. Unearth the tales of valuable commodities extracted from its mines, a once bustling community, and the remnants of a bygone era that still linger in the air.
Lida Nevada Overview
The was established in the 1860s as a mining camp located in Esmeralda County, Nevada was known as a gathering point for Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians.
With a history spanning over a century, this remote settlement is now a testament to the boom-and-bust cycle that defined the American West. Lida offers a glimpse into a vibrant past, featuring mines that produced precious metals, a fluctuating population that peaked during its heyday, and remnants of infrastructure, such as a post office and a local newspaper.
The Lida Valley was the site of early prospecting in the 1860s with mining efforts off and on through the years and a small community existed here until World War I.
Lida Nevada History
Lida’s origins date back to 1863 when prospectors discovered valuable minerals in the surrounding mountains.
The town’s fortunes rose and fell with the success of its mines, experiencing several boom periods, followed by decline as mines were exhausted or market conditions changed. At its peak, Lida was home to a thriving community with a post office, a newspaper, and numerous businesses catering to the needs of the miners and their families.
It appears there is some conflicting information regarding the exact founding date of Lida.
While it is known that the town was established in the 1860s, the precise year may be unclear.
The discovery of valuable minerals in 1863 likely led to the initial settlement in the area, but the first significant mining boom occurred in 1867, which could be considered as the town’s true founding.
The mines around Lida primarily produced gold and silver, along with smaller quantities of lead and copper.
- 1863: Discovery of valuable minerals and the establishment of Lida
- 1867: Lida’s first mining boom
- 1872: Establishment of Lida’s post office
- 1880s: Lida experiences a period of decline
- 1906: Lida sees a resurgence due to renewed mining activity
- 1910s: Lida’s population reaches its peak
- 1930s: The Great Depression leads to Lida’s decline
- 1960s: Lida becomes a ghost town
A post office was in operation at Lida between 1873 and 1932.
The town also had a local newspaper, the Lida Enterprise, which documented the happenings of the community during its prime.
Learn more about Nevada Newspapers
The Population of Lida Nevada
At its peak in the early 20th century, Lida’s population reached approximately 500 residents.
Lida sits at an elevation of approximately 5,800 feet (1,768 meters) above sea level.
Lida is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, about 30 miles south of Goldfield and 15 miles west of State Route 266.
Nevada Historical Marker Category
- Native American
Nevada Historical Marker Type
Nevada Historical Marker Number
Lida Nevada is Nevada Historical Marker #157.
Click here to view the complete list of Nevada State Historical Markers.
Nevada Historical Marker Transcription
Known as a gathering point for Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians, Lida Valley was the site of early prospecting in the 1860s.
Later prospectors organized a mining district in 1867 and laid out the town in 1872. Soon stores, shops, stables and a post office were established. Some ore was milled locally, yet high grade ore ($500-$1,000 per ton) was treated at Austin or Belmont. After 1880 mining declined.
Lida revived and thrived for three years during the turn-of-the-century Goldfield boom, but declined again in 1907. Mining efforts resumed a few years later and a small community existed here until World War I.
STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 157
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE