Delamar Ghost Town is about 130 miles north of Las Vegas Nevada and makes a great day trip. It is a place that I had planned to visit for a long time, and I finally made it there during 2015, and I was not disappointed. As with most trips into the backcountry, along with my maps and mapping software, I used Google Earth before the trip to get a better idea of what I might see at the site. So I knew ahead of time that a second trip would be involved, and when I returned home and downloaded my GPS track to the computer I could see that I covered only a small portion of Delamar.
Information on the Delamar Ghost Town is all over the Internet, but what you will see on most of the websites are great photos of the prominent structures and the ore processing area. What I will be presenting here will be the main structures (ruins) plus the more boring parts of Delamar, the ruins of the houses where the miners lived and died. Most of it will be repetition, and because most people would say, “once you have seen one stone house ruin you pretty much have seen them all”, but for me it is all part of the original story.
History in a nutshell: Farmers from the Pahranagat Valley in the early 1890’s discovered gold in the area now known as Delamar. Soon after, as reports of the ore spread more people from Pioche came and it was only a short time before the rough camp of Ferguson was formed. In 1893 Captain John De Lamer from Montana purchased the principal claims and stepped up development. Soon a camp sprung up honoring his name, and by 1894 it outgrew Ferguson. The mine had it ups and downs, but reputedly produced around 14 million dollars in gold before it closed down completely in the 1940’s.
In its heyday Delamar supported a hospital, 2 churches, several mills, an opera house, a school, numerous saloons, many other businesses, and depending which report you read, it had a population of between 1500 and 3000 people. The downside to the mine was due to inadequate ventilation and lack of local water, local milling was carried on in a dry process, creating heavy clouds of silica, or "Delamar Dust," that prevailed in the mines and mills. Over time, the camp also acquired a reputation of being a "widow maker," as many young miners dropped due to the dust filling their lungs.
Note: To make it easier to locate the general area where the structures are located and to see the track we took, I will be dividing Delamar up into several sections plus dividing it into Parts 1 and 2. There will also be an accompanying Google Earth map for reference. This will not give you the exact location, but will give you the general area where we were walking (track) when we located the structures.