Silver was discovered here in 1860, and soon 200 people were making their homes here. Growth continued and there were 500 people and two hundred buildings by 1863. By 1869, it was for all intents and purposes abandoned. [Paher]
LETTER FROM THE HUMBOLDT MINES
Humboldt City, Nevada Territory, July 21, 1861
I rest myself in the principal hotel in this "city" to give you some few items concerning my travels since I left the white settlements. I left truckee Meadows on the 15th day of May, with a company of five men...
The Humboldt Mines are confined princeipally to one chain of mountains, almost surrounded by lowlands, the Humboldt River on the North and West, and an arm of the desert on the East. The mountains are not more than about ten miles wide, running north and south, but are very high. Snow is now lying on the summit of some of the highest peaks. The country is at present divided into seven districts, but there will no doubt be new districts formed. The inhabitants are very much scattered. In my travels since my arrival here, I find that there are a great many quartz lodes in this range of mountains. I presume they will average twenty0five to a district, a grat majority of which show galena in the croppings. I have located three lodes myself, all of which show mineral in the top rock. They have sunk on the "sheba" about ten feet. There is a great deal of mineral in sight, but what it is I am unable to say. The water and grass are the finest I ever saw. The water in some of the creeks is almost too cold to drink. Provisions are very cheap, considering the distance we are from California. Flour can be bought for $12 per cwt. Bacon, 35 cents per pound. Coffee, 37 1/2 cents. Sugar, about the same.
-Correspondence of the Marysville Appeal
1861 July 23, Daily Alta California
"cwt" is an abbreviation for "100 pounds." In 2014 dollars, that's $3.11 a pound for flour, $9 a pound for bacon, and $9.74 a pound for coffee and sugar. Pretty close to what things cost now, actually.
LETTER FROM NEVADA TERRITORY.
[From an Occasional Correspondent.] Star City, Nov. 6, 1862.
There has been mention of a scarcity of provisions in the mountains, but such is not the case. In Humboldt City there is 15,000 pounds of flour in store, besides that in the miners' hands. Thomas B. Smithson has received within ten days 18,000 pounds of choice groceries. T. Ginaca has just received via Honey Lake a large assortment of the necessaries and comforts of life—more than enough to supply the west side of the mountains until July next. The weather is delightful; no rain as yet and no wind storms. This season we have raised large quantities of vegetables, and of very fine quality, thus setting at rest the question that vegetables can be raised here. Humboldt City has taken the lead in gardening, supplying not only her own people, but Star and Santa Clara. As to hotel accomodations, they are good —good beds and good meals. Buena Vista, Star, and Humboldt Cities can supply traders with all that is needed by man or beast. All the buildings are finished except a few in Unionville. which lack roofs; but if the pleasant weather lasts two weeks, everything will be prepared for the coming winter. The health of the people is excellent, and the experience of the past two years prove these mountains to be as healthy a spot as there is on the face of the globe. All we want is capital to pay labor, and working men, and we shall be as rich and happy a people as can be found. The idea that our climate is severe, is exploded; give us as good substantial houses, and the comforts that are enjoyed in the Eastern States, and we should not know when cold weather came on; sleeping in the open air and under canvas would not do in New England, and many of us slept under canvas last winter without any ill effects. ——T. S.
1862 November 14, Daily Alta California
Stations between Virginia City and Humboldt.
Four days traveling time took us to the mines. I will name the stations as they are now, and give the distances as nearly as possible correctly:
From Virginia City to Reids, 10 miles;
to "The Wells," 8 miles;
to McCloud's Wells, 12 miles;
to Bisbey's, 12 miles;
to Centreville House, 6 miles;
to Ragtown, 2 miles.
Here we leave the Carson River and cross the Desert north to the Slough , 30 miles;
to Murphy's Sink of the Humboldt, 8 miles;
to Wilson's, 18 miles;
to Smith's, 16 miles;
to Junction Mouse, 6 miles.
Here the roads fork, one going direct up the river to Humboldt City, 25 miles; the other crossing the mountain by Nightingill & Co.'s toll-road, to Unionville, 28 miles.
I next visited Humboldt City, and fell in love with it at first sight. Here I found a nice little town of about fifty neatly built houses, and an inviting, sociable lot of miners. I was shown many specimens of ore and rock, and after looking at several ledges myself, I left Humboldt district much pleased and wishing I owned an interest; but I would see more yet before I would decide to invest. I saw specimens and ledges [at Star City] and liked them much, and have since purchased some feet in the Star ; but for locations I decidedly prefer Humboldt City. There are now two quartz mills in the Humboldt mines ready to work rocks: one at Unionville, the other at Star City. Also another in the course of erection at Star District, and one at Humboldt City. The owners of the last named have pledged themselves to have it completed by the first of January.
Mail Facilities. We have not had any regular mail or express facilities this summer, but have now a post ofiiec established at Humboldt City, and Messrs. Langton & Co. have put on an express ; so we expect to see letters and news regular.
A Good Word for Humboldt City. In conclusion I will say, with no desire to disparage the inducements offered by the different flourishing districts to the visitor or prospector, that I do think the indications for permanency and future prosperity at Humboldt City are far superior to those at any other point.
1862 November 18, Marysville Daily Appeal
A story mentioning Humboldt City a few times....
"Have you read that dispatch in THE CALL this morning about a rich nickel mine in Nevada," said RObert Trewin, steward at the Receiving Hospital, to a CALL reporter yesterday.
"You will no doubt be surprised when I tell you," he continued," that I was the first one to discover that mine, and if it had not been for a disappointment in an affair of the heart, I would have held on to it and been a rich miner today.
"I first went to that section of the country in April, 1861, and assisted in laying out Humboldt City, which I made my residence, and also the town of Unionville.
"In 1862 I was doing a little prospecting in the locality where the mine is situated. I was the only white man there at the time, and I camped for five days with the Indians while waiting for a fellow prospector, whom I afterward learned got lost in the mountains and perished in the snow.
"On the fifth day I decided to return to Humboldt City, and left the camp to get my horses. While searching for them I came upon the now famous mine, the ledge being from 125 to 150 feet broad and extending right up the face of the mountain.
"Looking at it from the sink of Carson, thirty miles away, it can be seen distinctly running across the mountain two miles from the lowest point of the croppings. The whole width of the ledge is a solid body of ore. "I was puzzled to make out the character of the ore, and gathered together a little and put it in a flour-sack.
"Then I started for Humboldt City, which was booming at that time, and my discovery caused the greatest excitement. I was advised to take the ore to Virginia City. I went there and consulted with Dr. May, now of this city, but who was then agent for the Pacific University.
"He advised me to get the ore assayed, but the assayers apparently did not know that such a thing as nickel was in existence, as they reported that the ore was nothing hut iron.
"I was not satisfied with their opinion and made another visit to the mine in 1863 and did a little work on it.
"During that trip I lost one of my horses, and had to leave my wagon behind till I got another horse.
"I did nothing further in regard to the mine till 1868. I was then in San Jose, and the railroad through Nevada was then being built. Some capitalists in San Jose made an offer to me to go to the locality of the mine and relocate all the mines that were worth working and they would give me an equal interest in the products of the mines.
"I went there, but found all the other mines had been secured by another company from San Jose, with the exception of the great nickel mine. I put up a notice on this mine claiming it, and intending to have it recorded in due course.
"I stayed there for a few weeks awaiting important letters, but none came and i got very uneasy. Finally, I made up my mind that I could not stand the suspense any longer, so I decided to make my way to Humboldt City and find out why none had come.
"On the trip across the desert I nearly died from thirst, but providentially reached a spring while I was in a delirious state. I can assure you I had a terrible experience that trip, and never thought I would reach Humboldt City.
"when I got there I received letters which put all thoughts of the mine forever out of my head.
"The mine was afterward located by Lovelocks, after whom the town of Lovelocks is named, and he sold it to the English syndicate which has now possession of it.
"I think if a town is laid out near the mines one of the streets should be called Trewin street, in view of the fact that I was the first one that discovered the mine. Don't you think so ?"
1893 November 21, San Francisco Call