Not a Ghost Town – Unionville, Nevada

Unionville nevada.jpgNot a Ghost Town – Unionville, Nevada

Unionville is the typical silver mining town that was developed in the mid 1800’s, not very big but still, a place called home to a number of people that worked in the mines.  Even Mark Twain came to the community, thinking that he would find silver just laying on the ground he was quite distressed when he found that in order to find the silver he would have to dig for it.  Not being fond of physical labor he abandoned his quest for riches from silver and went to work at a newspaper The “Virginia City Enterprise” to stave off starvation.

In 1861 there were eleven cabins and a liberty pole in the deep canyon.  A few years later the town had grown to nine saloons, hotels, stores, a church, a brewery, and a one room schoolhouse.  The largest the town ever grew was to 3,000 people.  Many of these were Chinese laborers that worked in the mine.

When the mine fizzled out, and the school ran out of children, the town was on its way to becoming another mining ghost town in Nevada.  But there were a few residents that wanted to remain, it was home and they decided to tough it out. Today, Unionville has reverted from a bustling mining community back to a place not unlike that of 130 years ago with no saloons, stores, or churches.  The ruins of the one room schoolhouse still stands, as do the ruins of the Wells Fargo Bank and the J.C. Fall Store.

But the hospitality in the little community is flourishing.  There is a bed and breakfast called the Old Pioneer Garden Inn.  The home cooking and the graciousness of the hosts, Lew and Mitzi Jones, bring people back to this remote area year after year.  There is also the Hadley House which was built in 1864 and has been lovingly restored.  Mark Twain actually ate his super in the older part of the house, which I now a library.  Other guests prefer the Tack Room, where they can watch their horse in the adjoining stable or the Field House with its view of a venerable, old waterwheel standing plum in the middle of Buena Vista Creek.

There are now 20 residents of Unionville.  They would certainly welcome you to visit, you may love it enough to help grow the number of residents!