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Olinghouse Nevada

Olinghouse Nevada

Olinghouse, Nevada, once a thriving mining town in the heart of the Pah Rah mountain range, now stands as a ghost town, its history woven into the fabric of Nevada’s rich mining past. Named after Elias Olinghouse, a teamster-turned-sheepman, this town witnessed the ebb and flow of fortune seekers and the rise and fall of mining operations.

Olinghouse Nevada Overview

Located northwest of Wadsworth in Washoe County, Olinghouse’s history stretches back to the 1860s when gold was first discovered in the area. The town saw a flurry of activity in the early 20th century, marked by the establishment of a railroad, the construction of mills, and the influx of miners and their families. Despite its initial promise, Olinghouse gradually succumbed to the common fate of mining towns, its boom turning to bust as the mines yielded less ore.

Category

  • Mining
  • Railroad
  • Ranching
  • Farming

Marker Type

The marker was reported missing, there is no estimated date for replacement. 

Nevada Historical Marker Number

Olinghouse Nevada is Nevada Historical Marker #24.

Click here to view the complete list of Nevada State Historical Markers.

Year Established/Founded

Mining activity in Olinghouse began around 1860, but the town wasn’t formally organized until 1899.

Olinghouse History

Olinghouse was initially a part of the White Horse Mining District before gaining its identity as a mining town. The discovery of gold by Joe Olinghouse and subsequent developments led to the town’s growth, with several hundred residents at its peak. The town boasted various amenities, including a post office, school, and businesses like saloons and general stores.

Timeline

  • 1860: Initial prospecting activity in the Olinghouse area.
  • 1897 – 1907: Peak mining activity, with several mills operating in the town.
  • 1903: Installation of electric and telephone services.
  • 1907: Arrival of the Nevada Railroad; the railroad ceased operations the same year.
  • 1920: Closure of the Olinghouse post office, signaling the town’s decline.
  • 1960s – 1970s: Last major mining operations in the area.

Mines

Olinghouse was primarily known for its gold mines, with notable operations on Green Hill and in White Horse Canyon. The town had several mills for processing ore, including a 50-stamp mill.

Railroads

The Nevada Railroad arrived in Olinghouse in 1907, connecting the town to Wadsworth. This railroad was unique for employing Shay-geared locomotives, the first of their kind in Nevada.

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Post Office

Olinghouse had a post office from 1898 to 1920, with a brief closure and reopening.

View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.

Newspaper

None are mentioned in historical records.

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County

Washoe County, Nevada

GPS Coordinates

39.649233-119.320997

Nevada Historical Marker Transcription

Named for a former teamster-turned-sheepman, Elias Olinghouse, who settled in a quiet canyon at the base of the Pah Rah mountain range to get away from it all. As prospecting activities increased about him, Olinghouse was caught up in the whirl of things, buying several claims and erecting a small stamp mill in 1903 to process ores.

The district was first prospected in 1860; it was not organized, however, until 1899. Shortly thereafter, the region reached its peak of activity, producing $410,000 in gold and silver values between 1898 and 1903.

Both electric and telephone service were installed in 1903, and in 1907 the standard-gauge Nevada Railroad arrived. This short-lived railroad was completed from a junction on the Southern Pacific near Wadsworth to Olinghouse in February of 1907; regular operations ceased on November 1, 1907. Aside from its short life, the Nevada Railroad Company was distinguished by having the first Shay-geared locomotives to be used in Nevada.

Sporadic activity has continued at Olinghouse until the present time. Total production is estimated to have been $520,000.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 24

STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE

References Used

Olinghouse Nevada