Take it easy
  Eureka (including Vanderbilt, Ruby Hill, Geddes, Pinto, Napias)

N 39.512343° W115.960911° Eureka, NV Quad

VISITED September 10, 2014
September 21, 2018
August 10, 2019
Our breakfast: Jerry's in Fallon
Our lunch: Pony Express Deli in Eureka

Take US 50 east from Fallon for 180 miles

From Fallon: 180 miles


OK, so Eureka isn't a ghost town per se, but it's one of Nevada's most significant mining areas and there is a ton of stuff here, not to mention the remains of several minor mining camps. First, a little history:

The town of Eureka is situated in the county of Eureka, in the eastern part of the State, ninety-one miles south of Palisade Station, on the Central Pacific Railroad, with which is is connected by a narrow gauge railroad. This road was built and equipped without aid from either State or county. It has nowhere a grade of over 100 feet to the mile, and is reported to have cost something more than $1,000,000.

Eureka, which, in the year 1869, had but one or two log cabins, has now a population of 5000 to 6000, with two daily newspapers, two lines of telegraph, a railroad, and many fine buildings. It is the second town of importance in Nevada. The territory now known as Eureka County was formerly a portion of Lander, the "Mother of Counties." The Legislature of 1874 cut off from Lander a narrow strip, running north and south, and formed thereof the present county of Eureka.

Silver ore was first discovered in this locality by some members of the Leathers' party [I believe the name of the party is incorrect - FN] from Austin, on their way to White Pine, in the latter part of 1864, or early in 1865. They had intended to follow the old road, through the pass across the Diamond Range, some three miles north of the present location of the town of Eureka, but some of the laggards of the company, deeming the canyon leading to the south the easier passage, took that direction, and found some rich mineral "float" in what is now called New York Canyon, just south of the present town.

Little was done in the district until the Spring of 1869, when Major W.W. McCoy built, under the direction of Mr. C. Stetefeldt, M.E., a small furnace for the reduction of ore. This furnace was only moderately successful. Meanwhile, the Tannahill Company, an Eastern corporation, had done a little work, but ultimately ceased operations. In the fall of 1869, Mr. G. C. Robbins, as agent for the Buttercup Company, built a small "draft furnace" which was partially successful and subsequently a larger furnace. The Jackson Company also built a small furnace and produced some lead bullion.

All the locations up to the summer of 1869 were in New York Canyon. Cornish miners discovered a promising outcrop about 2 1/2 miles west of Eureka which they named Ruby Hill. From this discovery dates the beginning of the prominence and prosperity of the district.
- THE EUREKA LODE, W. S. Keyes, From Vol. VI Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1879

And another brief history...

Ore was first discovered in this district in 1864, in New York Cañon, near the present "76" mine, and a company was organized in New York to work the mines, under the direction of Major McCoy, one of the pioneers of the region. These discovery claims, although producing some rich ore, were shortly abandoned and the district remained uninhabited until the latter part of 1868 or the beginning of 1869, at which time Major McCoy recommenced mining operations on what is called Mineral hill, an elevation situated a short distance south of Ruby Hill. In the same year, some men in his employ located Champion and Buckeye claims on the southwest side of Ruby Hill, and shortly afterwards the Richmond and Tip-Top ground was taken up. Mr. G. Colloer Robbins, in the early part of 1870, succeeded in smelting ores from the Champion and Buckeye, if not with profit, at any rate with satisfactory metallurgical results. This induced Messrs. Buel and Bateman to bond these mines and organize the Eureka Consolidated Mining Company of San Francisco. Furnaces were then built near what now forms the north end of the town of Eureka,a nd active operations began upon the claims of the company.

Still later the Tip-Top and Richmond claims were sold by Messrs. Dunn and English to a company in London, and smelting works were erected, under the supervision of Mr. English, at the south end of the town. The Jackson and Phoenix companies were also incorporated in San Francisco about this time, and the explorations, which have since resulted in the production of such large amounts of lead, silver, and gold from these properties began in earnest. The maryland and other mines in Silverado District, 16 miles southeast of Eureka, were being opened during this period by an English company, and a large mill was being built at Pinto. The Page & Corwin and the Geddes & Bertrand mines in Secret Cañon, south of Eureka, had been producing rich ore since 1869, and a mill was also built on the spot where the present leeching works stand. Secret Cañon at this time formed part of Eureka District, but has since been severed from it. Mr. Robbins was also developing the Kentuck and Mountain Boy claims about fifteen miles west of Eureka.

It is not necessary to follow the history of Eureka through all the vicissitudes which are incident to the growth of such towns; suffice to say that in the course of twelve years this mining camp has been twice partially washed away by floods, once ravaged by the small-pox, and twice almost completely destroyed by fire, but remains to-day, after thirteen years of prosperity, one of the most productive mining towns on the Pacific Slope.

The number of inhabitants of the district is at present in the neighborhood of 6,000, but, as in other mining camps, a close estimate is very difficult owing to the floating character of the population.
-Silver-Lead Deposits of Eureka, Nevada _ Joseph Story Curtis, U.S. Geological Survey, July 1884

There are 50 producing mines in the Eureka district at the present time and thrice that number could be made productive at a very small outlay. Every share of the Eureka Consolidated (50,000 shares) purchased in 1871 has returned a profit of $82 to the stockholders. The Richmond, only 900 feet in depth, has already returned nearly $3,00,000 in profits. Of the amount invested in the district by outside capitalists, $800,000 has come from England and about $400,000 from the Pacific Coast and other points in the United States. The value of the Eureka mines, as shown by (stock) quotations, is $55,000,555. Ten thousand dollars per month would more than cover the amount paid in prospecting non-dividend-paying mines, and still the district has yielded in gross $68,000,000, has paid over $7,000,000 in dividends, and its bullion production is constantly and rapidly increasing.
- 1881 August 15, Ruby Hill Mining News

Mining began on a small scale in the mid to late 1860's, with the difficult-to-process ore being shipped to Austin. Later, however, smelters began to be constructed locally, allowing ore to be processed without shipping. Towards the end of 1869, about 100 people lived in the area, with most mining activity taking place around Adams Hill, immediately west of the present town site, and McCoy Hill, about 2 miles SW of town.

Lawsuits between The Eureka Consolidated and the Richmond Mining companies began in 1871 weren't decided for another ten years when they finally reached the Supreme Court. Despite that, Eureka continued to grow. In 1875, the railroad connected Eureka and made it into an important shipping point for the entire area, not to mention giving it an easy way to transport its refined ores.

Eureka had its share of fires and floods, like many mining towns of Nevada. But mining activity continued hot and heavy throughout the 1870's. In the 1880's, water began to creep into some of the mines and ore supplies began to run out.

By 1890, ore was depleted to the point where the Richmond Company abandoned its smelter and the Eureka Company followed suit the next year. In 1906 both properties were consolidated by the U.S. Smelting, Refining, and Mining Co. which made shipments of ore up to 1910. Bad rain storms then washed out the railroad spur to the mine and operations were suspended. Small efforts were made in the 1920's and 1930's to open some of the mines, but not much ore was retrieved. The railroad was started up again in 1912 and ran until 1938.

Although Eureka was primarily known as a lead producer, more than half the value has been in gold and silver.

Prospect formed in the mid 1880's around the various mines, mills, and smelters in the area. At one time they had enough folks living there that by 1893 they got themselves a post office, but it only lasted until 1918. They did have stage service, a saloon, and their own school. Shawn Hall's book puts it two and a half miles down New York Canyon, but the USGS and Map Source puts it on the other side of Prospect Mountain. Stan Paher says 5 miles south of Eureka off Secret Canyon Rd. in one book, and agrees with the USGS in another.

Vanderbilt (also known as Geddes) formed in Secret Canyon at the same time Eureka was starting to boom. Many folks left for Eureka but some stayed-- enough to put up a post office in 1871. Major mining and milling activity in the area kept it going, but after the mill burned everyone lost interest and by 1873 it was basically a ghost. renewed activity by the Geddes and Bertrand Co. caused interest to increase and the post office reopened. It closed again a few years later, but activity continued until a fire burned the mill and furnace in 1886.

Pinto burned bright and fast. There were some discoveries in the mid 1860's but despite its mines, there was a lot of smelting activity for Eureka's output. There were stores, saloons, a school, and other businesses. A post office opened in 1875, but with the construction of smelters and mills closer to Eureka, the town was already dying. By 1884 it was a ghost. Location of this one is all over the map as well. Going to assume it's on the main road to Eureka near the Pinto Mill. If we're wrong, go ahead and sue us.

Rice's Station (Spring Valley Station) Can't find any information on this, only a few map clues as to its location. Gonna guess it was run by a guy named "Rice" at some point.

A few newsy items ....

Much sickness in Ruby Hill, Eureka
1870, June 7, Reno Evening Gazette

And the furnaces start operating...

The furnaces of the Phoenix Company started up yesterday and are running successfully on ore from the mines of the company. The Jennie Lynch, a heavy lead mine, was bought today for the Phoenix Company. The Otho mine was purchased this week by Judge Lake, of San Francisco. This is one of the best mines in the district.
1871 June 15, Marysville Daily Appeal

The Jackson furnaces, leased by the Phoenix Company, commenced smelting today. This makes three furnaces in full blast for that Company. Weather showery to-day.
1871 June 24, Daily Alta California

Eureka, June 26th
The Phoenix Company made its first shipment of ten tons of bullion today.
1871 June 27, Sacramento Daily Union

The Eureka mine is busy

Eureka, Nevada August 17th
For the twenty-four hours ending yesterday, the Eureka Consolidated Company's furnace turned out eighteen tons of bullion, assaying 455 dollars to the ton.
1871 August 18, Sacramento Daily Union

A disaster

This morning about 4 o'clock a cave occurred in the Eureka Consolidated mine at Ruby Hill, which resulted in the death of-- Gates, Patrick Leahy, Ed. Duffy, Timothy Leahy and Henry Beckstead. The bodies of Gates and Patrick Leahy have been recovered, and a large force of men are employed in a search for the other three.
1875 June 31, Sacramento Daily Union

Good news...

Eureka, Nevada February 26th. The Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Line is completed to this point.
1875 February 27, Daily Alta California

More good new s....

The work of setting up the new locomotive of the Eureka and Ruby Hill Narrow-gauge Railroad was completed last Saturday, and on Sunday made a trial trip over the road.
1875 July 21, Los Angeles Daily Herald

Like most mining camps, there were a few legal disagreements. This one made it to the Supreme Court.

There as great rejoicing here on receipt of the news to-day of the verdict in the case of the Eureka Consolidated vs. the Richmond. The Eureka Consolidated whistles screamed forth for an hour, miners and citizens grew enthusiastic, and for a time a large portion of the population was given over to demonstrations of approval. The friends of the Richmond were of course correspondingly depressed. One of the immediate effects of the decision will be the starting of two more furnaces by the Eureka Consolidated, and the employment of an increased number of men in the mine. A suite for $2,500,000 for damages caused by the extraction of ore from the Eureka ground by the Richmond will be the next move in this mining litigation. Both companies will be free, however, to prosecute operations, in the meantime, on a grander scale than ever.
1877 August 23, Sacramento Daily Union


All the wells on the Richmond side of Ruby Hill have gone dry. It is supposed that the action of the Eureka Consolidated Company in turning its water to the east has caused the failure.
1879, July 26, Reno Evening Gazette


A telephone connects Eureka with Ruby Hill.
1879, August 18, Reno Evening Gazette

For sale - one church- cheap!

The Methodist Church at Ruby Hill is in a bad way. The Rev. Philo Phelps fell in love with one fair woman of his flock. Unhappily for the pastor, the fair woman had a husband, who, it appears, is an ungodly man and a total abstainer from church, and was exceedingly wroth thereat. So, being an ungodly person, he procured the key of the church, locked the door, and fastened the windows, so that no services have since been held. The congregation has become so demoralized that they offer the church for sale.
1879, September 1, Reno Evening Gazette

You can tell the ore is running out and people are getting restless...

There are probably 500 idle men in the town of Ruby Hill waiting for something to turn up, says the Eureka Leader. Eureka seems to be the Mecca of unemployed men.
1879, September 5, Reno Evening Gazette

Says the Eureka Leader: Ruby Hill claims the belt on a 7 year old who has smoked and chewed tobacco for the past three years, drinks more whiskey that a Richmond miner, and swears like a trooper.
1880 June 11, Reno Evening Gazette

Mars Needs Women! I mean, Eureka.

Ruby Hill should be a good place for marriageable ladies to emigrate to. The Eureka Sentinel says the supply is entirely exhausted there. Should the demand become very active in that section, the Ruby Hill bachelors who are itching for the matrimonial collar should come to Reno. There are plenty of marriageable ladies here, and a few who would not be missed from the local market. Aside from the educational refinery on the hill, the town is full of blooming girls. Let the Reno ladies give the outsiders a chance. Ruby Hill is not so near Paradise as Reno is, but it is not the worst place in Nevada to live in.
1880 November 29, Reno Evening Gazette

Mining is dangerous!

Martis Farrell, who fell from the Ruby Hill Train Wednesday and received such a severe concussion of the spine as to completely paralyze him below the nipples, is reported by the County Physician as still alive, but it is doubtful.
1881 August 29, Reno Evening Gazette

Things have slowed down now, but there is still some activity...

All the machinery for the new mill of Geddes and Bertrand, at Eureka, has arrived at the works, and will be put in place as fast as possible. the mill will probably be completed by the 15th of June next.
1882 May 13, Reno Evening Gazette

Good to know...

On Ruby Hill, there are three dogs to every human being.
1882 November 15, Reno Evening Gazette

Former manager of the Geddes Mill decides it's too much to go on.

Mr. C. L. Strong, who committed suicide near Auburn, Cal., on Saturday last, stated while here, managing the Geddes mill, that he would kill himself if those works were not a success. --Eureka (Nev.) Leader. The Geddes & Bertrand Mill, near Eureka, is referred to. Those who knew Mr. Strong will readily believe that he might do just that-- kill himself rather than meet with failure in any important undertaking.
1883 February 17, Wood River Times (Idaho)

CHarles L. Strong, who committed suicide at Auburn, Cal. last Friday morning, was a native of Massachusetts, aged about fifty-five years, and leaves a wife, one son, and four daughters, none of whom are at Auburn. From papers left by the deceased, it appears he was pressed with the idea that he had been victimized in the purchase of the Belmont mine, in which he had invested his all. But, as the mill was new, it had only run six days and is was not yet in good shape. It is feared he was too hasty in his conclusions.
1883 February 25, Arizona Weekly Citizen

Oooh... did we find something?

The Eureka Sentinel says: Very good rumors concerning the mining situation at Secret Canyon were afloat on the streets yesterday. It is said that two bodies of ore have been discovered in the Geddes and Bertrand mine during the past ten days.
1885 November 12, Reno Evening Gazette

A fatal accident occurred in the Eureka Consolidated mine on Ruby Hill last Tuesday morning. William Peters, while running a carload of waste rock from the workings on the third level of the mine to the station, there to have it hoisted to the surface, ran it into the shaft. Both man and car fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of over 500 feet. The remains of the unfortunate man were found in a horribly mutilated condition. He was highly respected, a native of Cornwall, about 45 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children.
1886 January 7, Reno Evening Gazette

What's going on in Prospect, I wonder...

A postoffice has been established at Prospect, Eureka County.
1893 August 18, Reno Evening Gazette,


Eureka-- While workman were blasting in a big cut on Ruby Hill an exploding charge of dynamite sent a fifty-pound rock crashing thought the roof of the school house standing over a hundred feet away. The rock smashed two desks and going through the floor landed in the basement in which two men were working. They narrowly escaped death. The accident occurred Sunday and no children were in the building at the time.
1905 December 21, Reno Evening Gazette

A minor boom

At Eureka there is a remarkable boom. The sale of the Eureka Consolidated and Richmond to the U.S. Smelting and Mining Company and the proposed extension of the Eureka and Palisade Railway to the mines has galvanized life into the noted old place and people are going back there to try fortune another whirl. No one is leaving Eureka now. They have an abiding faith that the old camp will again become a big producer.
1906 November 6, Reno Evening Gazette

Eureka county is also coming to the front. Two hundred tons of low grade ore is now being shipped each day from Ruby Hill to the Salt Lake smelters. This is giving work to a large force of men.
1908 October 3, Reno Evening Gazette

A report from the state:

At present there is little doing outside the Eureka Windfall and the Cyanide. The Windfall is located five miles east of Eureka and is a free-milling gold property. It is worked through a 500 vertical two compartment shaft. The ore is hoisted in a skip by a 50-horsepower gasoline hoist and trammed to the 120-ton mill adjacent to the mine. This property has been one of the mainstays of the camp and at present is working 90 men in mine and mill. The Cyanide group lies two and one-half miles west of Eureka. It is worked through a 297-foot two-compartment vertical shaft, one compartment if which is used for a manway. The property is equipped with an 18-horsepower gasoline engine, safety crosshead and 7/8" inch cable. Working five men.

The Eureka Consolidated is the most extensively developed mine in the district, and although now idle will no doubt resume operations just as soon as an amicable adjustment of transportation rates can be had with officials of the Eureka and Palisade Railroad. This property is operated through three shafts, one 730 and the others 1200 feet deep. On one of these shafts is one of the largest hoisting engines in the State, 800 horsepower. Power is furnished by four 350-horsepower boilers. The ore is mined by what is known as the slicing system.

The Farmer until recently was worked through a 2,300 foot tunnel which is connected by raise with the Silver Connor shaft. The company has a 100 ton cyanide mill, power for which is furnished by two 80-horsepower steam boilers.
-Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines, 1912

The state of the Lincoln Highway..

Lincoln Highway In Best Condition, Reports Show
Division 19. Gold hill, Utah to Eureka, Nev. 194 miles-- Gold Hill to state line rough: at first sign west of Summit take right fork toward camp ground; at next fork take left road away from camp ground sign; at bottom of valley, turn left, south, to Ibapah; state line to Ely good; Shellburne Pass good; Ely to Eureka, fair, with several rough stretches in flats.
Division 20. Eureka, Nev. to Fallon, Nev., 191 miles-- Flats east and west of Austin badly rutted; balance fairly good.
1922 September 17, Evening Star (Washington D.C.)

And things gradually simmer down and begin to fizzle...

There are only about 25 leasers working at Ruby Hill and other small crews and groups of leasers working elsewhere in the vicinity of Eureka. The holly mine, which was employing about one hundred men, closed down last spring.
1927 October 7, Reno Evening Gazette

The trustees of the Eureka consolidated school district have advertised for sale the ancient Ruby Hill school house, a building well-remembered by many people in Nevada who are now grown up. The Ruby Hill-Holly mine district was consolidated with the Eureka town school in 1926. Five pupils reside at the Holly, but none at Ruby Hill.
1932 March 24, Reno Evening Gazette

Like many mining camps if the day, Eureka was never a stranger to fire.

At 9 o'clock this morning a fire broke out at Widow McCrea's building, on Main Street, north of Silver-- a brick saloon. Nine buildings were destroyed, valued at about $20,000; no insurance. It was with great effort the fire was prevented from spreading.
Goodwin & Co.'s furnace at Frieberg is ready to start up.
Another important development has been made in Eureka Consolidated.
1872 May 31, Marysville Daily Appeal

Austin, August 15th
McCoy's Furnace, at Eureka, was damaged by fire to the extent of $5,000 last Friday

A fire in Eureka, Nev. on the night of the 18th inst., and next morning, burned half the town, including the heaviest business houses, hotels, newspaper offices, telegraph office, masonic building, and a great number of dwellings. Three hundred families are destitute, and 2,000 people without shelter. A relief committee has been organized. Loss roughly estimated at one million.
1879 May 1, Mower County Transcript (Lansing, MN)

Eureka, Nev. has again been devastated by fire. The fire broke out on the east side of Main Street, south of the Odd Fellows building, spread rapidly and traveled over substantially the same ground as the great fire a year ago, but the loss is even more, as the buildings were better and newer. The fire extended south on Main street to Gold street, and swept everything to the northward. The wind was blowing a gale. It is impossible to form any estimate of the losses, but the amount must be about $1,000,000. All the private residences on Spring, Buell, and Paul streets, north of the Episcopal church, were consumed. There can be no doubt that many families are left destitute.
1880 August 26, The Eaton Democrat (Eaton, OH)

The hoisting works of the Wales Consolidated Mine at Eureka, Nev. burned Saturday night. The miners escaped by another outlet.
1880 December 2, The Princeton Union (Princeton, MN)

Eureka, Nev. November 7th-- a fire occurred on Ruby Hill yesterday morning, destroying Mrs. Kavanagh's boarding and lodging house and an adjacent building. A strong wind was blowing, and the fire spread so rapidly the the lodgers barely escaped with their lives, the house being wood. The total loss is about $3,000
1881 November 8, Sacramento Daily Record-Union

A Destructive fire broke out about 12:30 o'clock this morning at Ruby Hill, destroying eighteen buildings, stores, saloons, dwellings, and miner's cabins within one hour. Loss about $20,000, insurance, $5,550. The fire originated in the southeast portion of the town, and soon communicated from building to buildings. There being no water or fire apparatus, only a determined effort of the people in tearing down small houses stopped the flames, as the reached a large two story frame lodging house known as Sweeny's Hotel. The fire was the work of an incendiary, and a strict investigation is being made.
1883 September 26, Reno Evening Gazette

Three two-story buildings were burned in Chinatown at Eureka, Nev. Monday night. James Hughes accidentally shot and killed himself near Eureka, Nev. yesterday
1885 June 10, Sacramento Daily Record-Union

JUL 9th- A fire in Eureka, Nev. burned twenty houses and caused heavy losses
1886 July 23, The Pacific Commercial Advertiser (Honolulu, HI)

The Geddes and Bertrand Mill, situated in Secret Canyon, about 12 miles from Eureka, Nevada, erected in 1881 and costing over $200,000, was destroyed by fire Sunday morning.
1886 August 17, Reno Evening Gazette

Blaze in Albion Shaft on Ruby Hill, Eureka County, Very Spectacular
The main shaft of the Albion mine on Ruby Hill, one of the properties of the Richmond-Eureka Mining Company caught fire sometime Tuesday forenoon and before it was put out Wednesday morning a considerable portion of the cribbing in the 600 foot shaft was burned out.
1913 May 22, Reno Evening Gazette

Nor was it a stranger to crime and mayhem and quackery and other tomfoolery...

Last night about 12 o'clock, a German named Willliam Eitwin, a miner from the Buckeye mine, while on his way home was knocked down and robbed of $300 and other valuables. He was left insensible until he recovered at daylight. The perpetrators have not been discovered. Miss E. E. Henry, keeper of a chop-house, was robbed, while temporarily absent from home, of $100.
1871 August 4, Sacramento Daily Union

E. W. Bourne, President of the Hidden Treasure Mining Company, while on his way to Palisade from this place, had a hand-satchel containing $2,000 in gold note stolen. No clew to the thief.
1873 September 3, Sacramento Daily Union

Stabbing Affair at Eureka, Nevada.
Eureka (.Nev.), May 18th. F. L. Stone, a man from Salt Lake, was stabbed by a Spanish woman of the demimonde, on Sunday night, with a pair of scissors. He received three slight wounds in the abdomen. Stone was intoxicated at the time, and commenced a furious assault on the woman. No arrests.
1874 May 19, Sacramento Daily Union

J.J. McBride, the King of Pain, who was arrested Tuesday for violating the quackery bill, yesterday appeared in a Justice's Court and pleaded guilty. He was fined $50 and costs. He promises to return here next December heeled with proper sheepskin and practice. He left for California at 10 o'clock last night by private conveyance.
1875 July 16, Sacramento Daily Union
[Ed. note: In September of 1875 Mr. McBride was running an ad in the Sacramento Daily Union]

On Monday night a man named H. Green was seriously if not fatally stabbed at Ruby Hill by J. Rowett. The parties are both miners, and the weapon used by the latter was a miner's candlestick.
1876, September 19, Reno Evening Gazette

Denny Ryan, shot by Abe Randolph on Ruby Hill on Saturday night, dies last night.
1880, June 14, Reno Evening Gazette

The stabs received by Charles Lynn, of Ruby Hill, Eureka, caused his death last Thursday
1880 December 28, Reno Evening Gazette

At last Saturday's primaries on Ruby Hill, says the Eureka (Nev.) Leader, a few words passed between one of the judges and a worker on the outside. Both felt aggrieved at what had been said, and concluded that they would settle the affair with pistols at ten paces. On Sunday last, accompanied by their seconds, they adjourned to Cariboo Flat. On arriving, Parker, of the Albion Mine, paced off the ground and stationed his men. Just as the word was to have been given a tin bucket was placed behind each combatant, as Park said, to catch the blood. This frightened the warriors, and by the intercession of friends the two gentlemen were induced to postpone their conflict.
1882 September 4, Sacramento Daily Record Union

The Tunnels
One of the interesting things about Eureka is the existence of underground tunnels in town, or rather, below town. There are many different theories and stories about their existence and locations. Were they built by Chinese or Italians? Was their original purpose a secret place to worship? Smoke opium? Make moonshine? Or simply allow one to travel from one side of the street to the other and bypass a heavy snow? Are they filled with ghosts and spirits, or are they just dusty, empty chambers? One source of information is this link from Raine's Market's self-guided tour. The Colonnade Hotel's Facebook page also has some useful information. The tunnels have been mentioned in various news articles for some time.

Many of the tunnels have collapsed or been filled in, but several large chambers still exist under the old, closed Eureka Cafe, now owned by Eureka County Commissioner Rich McKay. Mr. McKay provided us with a tour of the underground areas, along with the cafe itself and the bar next door. He also filled in several gaps in the history of the tunnels.

While the original purpose of the tunnels is still not certain, we do know that a Mr. Kim Ng. owned and operated the cafe from at least 1975-- when an article was written in the Los Angeles Times about the tunnels-- to 1994, when he sold it to Jerry and Pat Yue. Mr. Yue operated the restaurant until 2013, but continued to own the property and-- shall we say-- conduct business.

The restaurant business is tough, and probably tougher in Eureka. Apparently, Mr. Yue decided that he could make more money selling marijuana instead of egg rolls and sweet and sour pork. So, he constructed a marijuana growing operation in the tunnel areas, hooking up his grow lights and equipment to power he stole from a nearby utility pole. Word also has it that, above the cafe, there were several Chinese girls plying their trade. Mr. Yue's world came crashing down in 2014, when, according to the Eureka Sentinel, he was arrested on several drug charges and theft of utilities. The cafe remains just as he left it, with all the equipment, woks, coffee cups, and the like, waiting for another entrepreneur to open it up.


Ruby Hill - September 23, 1873 - November 30, 1901
Napias* - January 13, 1870 - January 27, 1870
Eureka - January 27, 1870 - March 1, 1873, March 1, 1873 - PRESENT
Vanderbilt** - August 24, 1871 - August 8, 1873,
Geddes - March 17, 1882 - June 18, 1885
Prospect - March 3, 1893 - April 30, 1918
Pinto*** - September 9, 1870 - February 15, 1871
Pinto - August 6, 1875 - November 14, 1884

* Former name of Eureka, name likely never adopted
** On the same site as Geddes, named after the owner of mill
*** In White Pine Co. before border was changed, re-established later

NEWSPAPER Eureka Weekly Sentinel
The Eureka sentinel. (Eureka, Nev.) 1870-1871
Eureka Daily leader
The Eureka Evening Leader
Silver plume
Eureka Sentinel
Eureka Daily Leader
The Republican Press
Eureka Tri-Weekly Standard
Eureka Miner
Ruby Hill Mining News
Ruby Hill Mining Report

First off, our apologies for having Eureka under the heading of "Ghost Town." It is not a ghost town. People live, work, and play here. It is a thriving, active community. Eureka County welcomes ranching, agricultural, mining, and new industries with no existing zoning ordinances, very low property tax rates and no business licensing. Its populace did not reproduce from alien pods, as near as we can tell. The ones we came into contact with were friendly and helpful with our exploration plans, particularly Scott at Raine's Market, which earned the title "Official General Store for Forgotten Nevada When We're Near Eureka" with their outstanding supply of food and general store items. We also have to thank the affable and accommodating Rich McKay, another Eureka resident whose family history goes back many many decades, and who graciously took time out of his weekend to allow us to poke around and take pictures.

We've included some photos of the Ruby Hill area, the Courthouse and the Opera House, which Patty was gracious enough to show us around, and what I'm pretty sure is the old county hospital. Not even anywhere near a complete record. There is so much to see and do in Eureka that this will no doubt always be a work in progress.

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