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McGill Nevada

McGill Nevada

McGill Nevada Overview

Located 12 miles north of Ely, Nevada, McGill is a small town named for William N. McGill who sold part of his ranch property for the Steptoe Valley Mining and Smelter.

It started as a company town developed by the Nevada Consolidation Copper Company to house their employees. Similar to a few other “company towns,” there were very few saloons (while some company towns provided none). The residents who were considered “higher status” lived in the area known as the “Charmed Circle” while others lived throughout the town which was grouped by the nationality of the residents.

Year Established/Founded


  • 1872 – John Cowger established a ranch in the Steptoe Valley and acquired the water rights for the area.
  • 1886 – William Lyons and William Neil McGill purchased the ranch.
  • 1886 – William McGill formed a partnership with former Nevada governor, Jewett Adams, which created one of the largest sheep and cattle companies in Nevada.
  • 1891 – A post office was established at the ranch, now named McGill Ranch
  • 1906 – A 9-mile pipeline was built to bring water from Duck Creek to reservoirs near the smelter site and construction began on the smelter.
  • May 15, 1908 – The smelter was completed and operations began
  • August 7, 1908 – The first copper was shipped from the smelter on August 7 of the same year.

The population of McGill Nevada

The population of the town grew from when it was established to 1,904 in 1910 and 2,864 in 1920 with a population of 1,148 with the 2010 census.

Post Office

  • Apr. 28, 1891 – Sep. 7, 1907 – McGill Ranch Post Office
  • Sep. 7, 1907 – Aug. 14, 1908 – Smelter Post Office
  • Aug. 14, 1908 – Present – McGill Post Office

Managed By

Area Size

  • Land 1.21 sq mi (3.13 km2)
  • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
  • Total 1.21 sq mi (3.13 km2)


6,204 ft

GPS Coordinates

39°24′4″N 114°46′44″W

Historical Places and Points of Interest in McGill Nevada

  • The McGill Swimming Pool (Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day)
  • The McGill Drugstore Museum (Complete with working soda fountain)
  • Historic McGill Club (Museum of pictures of World War 1 and II veterans from McGill who served.)
  • McGill Ball Park (Noted as one of the oldest ballparks in Nevada)

Adjacent Counties

References Used

McGill Nevada