Downeyville (Nye County) We Visited: 12 July 2003
Our Dinner: Middlegate Cafe - steak sandwiches
38 54' 33"N, 117 53' 55"W - DOWNEYVILLE quad

Directions: Highway 50E from Fallon 47 miles to Middlegate and the junction of Highway 361; Turn S on SR361 for 29.9 miles; left on SR844; 0.5 miles E to local road, turn left; N on local dirt road 1 mile; E on local dirt road 0.5 miles

From Fallon: 78 miles

What Was

Named after P. Downey, the first postmaster and discoverer silver-lead ore in the region. The town was also commonly spelled with an "ie" instead of a "y." As miners were enticed from nearby Ellsworth to populate the town to almost 200, so Tonapah's discoveries in 1901 enticed folks away. A lead smelter was built here after they got tired of hauling ore in wagons to the Carson and Colorado railroad. (Paher) There were small revivals in the 20's and 30's as metal values rose and fell, but eventually the camp died out.

Post Office: March 31 1879 - October 15, 1901

Newspaper: none

What is

Half a mile west of Downeyville, in the desert overlooking the Gabbs Valley, is the grave of Korean War Private Teddie Mack Edwards, born in 1929, and died in 1995, at the age of 65. Why he is buried at the junction of two dirt roads out here in the middle of the desert is anyone's guess, but there he is, alone, with a small plastic Gatorade jar filled with desiccated flowers as decoration for his headstone. It's a lonely spot in a lonely valley.

Downeyville lies on a slightly sloping rocky fan. There are several old foundations left, all constructed of rock. Debris, mostly cans and some broken glass, litters a large area. The site is quite spread out. There is some evidence, such as the chassis of an ancient mobile home trailer, indicating a presence relatively recently.


Typical of the ruins here-
rocks are cheap, after all
What's left of the headframe at the Lead Mine
A view of the site looking west
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