Nevada Historic Markers in White Pine County: Ward Mining District

Nevada Historical Marker 54
Ward Mining District
Routes 50/93/6
Southeast of Ely

Ward Mining District

To the west of you, in the foothills of the Egan Range, lie the Ward Charcoal Ovens; and five miles north therefrom the ghost town of Ward. The six well-preserved ovens furnished charcoal for the furnaces at Ward. Pinion pine was the raw material fed to the ovens. Each oven could produce a $600 batch of charcoal which sold for 18 cents a bushel. A million dollars worth of silver was taken from a single chamber of the Ward mine. The boom lasted from 1872 to 1882.

Ward was a typical, lawless mining camp in its early years. Imagine, if you will, this camp of 2,000 citizens then, situated at over 8,000 feet in elevation, where winter was a time of deep snow and icy winds; where hogs ran at random on the streets; and where women were known to have roamed and begged for food. A Chinatown came into being. Killings were not infrequent, and early justice was by the vigilante committee and hanging rope.

Reform Gulch, or Frogtown, was located a mile south of the city. Here, ladies of the night set up for business in tents. One abandoned brothel was used for a school house. No movement was ever started to build a church.

There has been recurrent interest in the Ward Mining District as new discoveries were found and better mining methods developed.

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