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Sylvania Nevada

Sylvania, Nevada, a ghost town with an intriguing history, is nestled in the Sylvania Mountains, straddling the Nevada and California border. Its existence spanned over a century, leaving a rich tapestry of ruins, from rock foundations to wooden cabins, each telling a story of the town’s past.

Sylvania Nevada Overview

The Sylvania mining district, known for its lead-silver ore, was a bustling area that experienced fluctuating fortunes over the years. The town itself, Sylvania, established in the 1870s, saw various phases of mining activity. Its unique location near the state border added to its mystique and historical significance, with various structures reflecting the area’s long history of mining and settlement.

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

Year Established/Founded

Sylvania was founded in the early 1870s following the discovery of lead-silver ore in the area.

Sylvania Nevada History

The discovery of ore by Kincaid in 1869 led to the establishment of the Green Mountain Mining District, later renamed the Sylvania Mining District. Sylvania, the town, flourished briefly as a mining settlement, with structures made of stone and logs, and included a general store possibly run by Chris Zabriskie, a notable figure in Death Valley’s borax mining history.


  • 869: Discovery of lead-silver ore by Kincaid.
  • 1872: Formation of the Green Mountain Mining District.
  • 1873: Renamed to Sylvania Mining District.
  • 1875: Construction of a 30-ton smelter by Broder and Moffat.
  • 1904: Sylvania Silver-Lead Mining Company purchases the mine.
  • 1907: Ore shipped to Pigeon Springs 10-stamp concentrating mill.
  • 1910: Report of over $50,000 of ore mined and awaiting processing.
  • 1904 – 1970s: Clair family operates the Old Sylvania Mine.


The Sylvania district was primarily known for its lead-silver mines, including the Sylvania Mine, which was operated by various companies and individuals over the years, including the Sylvania Silver-Lead Mining Company and the Clair family.


Unknown at this time

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Post Office

No post office in Sylvania; nearby Pigeon Springs applied for one in 1899, but it was rescinded.

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The Population of Sylvania Nevada

Unknown at this time.


Varies within the Sylvania Mountains range.


Sylvania is located in the Sylvania Mountains, near the border of Nevada and California.

GPS Coordinates

37.397595°N, -117.724459°W

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Photos and Videos

Sylvania’s unique location, straddling the Nevada-California border, adds to its historical allure. The town, with its blend of ruins from various eras, serves as a physical chronicle of the mining activities that once dominated the region. Today, it stands as a silent witness to the changing fortunes of mining towns in the American West.

References Used

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