Wonder, Nevada

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May 4, 2016
Elk Falls, Kansas
May 4, 2016

WonderNevadaLocated in Churchill County, this town is currently unoccupied and hence, a ghost town. Prospectors originating from Fairview uncovered quartz veins north of Chalk Mountain in a dry wash in 1906. This period was commonly referred to as the ‘second’ silver rush of Nevada and as was expected, individuals poured into the site where the veins had been spotted in their hundreds and that is how the town of Wonder came into existence.

Soon the town was thriving and bustling with activity. The Wonder Mining News, which was the town’s newspaper, was now available. Other establishments put in place included saloons, a stage line that connected the town of Wonder to Fallon and Fairview, an assortment of stores, boarding houses, assay offices, hotels, a freight depot and restaurants.

A number of mining concerns were built within the town but the most successful of them all was the Nevada Wonder Mining Company that produced the largest volumes in gold and silver. Part of the factors that led to the success of this particular concern was the funding it enjoyed from other concerns based on the eastern region.

Eventually, a large mill for processing the ore from the mines was set up in 1913 on the hillside east of Wonder. This town continued its trend of success for a period of 11 years and as was the case with other towns where mines had been exploited exhaustively rendering them dormant, the vein in the mines of the town of Wonder gave way, marking the start of a downward trend for the town.

As a result, the post office in the town closed down and existing structures were brought down as inhabitants sought settlements elsewhere where there were mining camps. The harsh summers and winters of Nevada did not do the structures that were left standing at Wonder any good; they made these faded away in the course of time.

Though mining activities in the town picked up once again in the 1930, it was only in a small way and did not last long. A visit to the former town’s site will reveal remains of the large mill that had been set up on the hillside, a number of depressions of foundations for buildings and scattered wood remains in the valley where the town was located.

Most important is that all visitors to the ghost town of Wonder are advised to take caution as they explore the place due to the presence of open pits that lead to old mine shafts. These are a hazard that can easily cause injury though some of these pits have been fenced off. Therefore, as you take time to recollect what was happening here many years past, do not forget the danger you might be exposed to.

A dirt road off the Dixie Valley road off US 50 East leading east from Fallon is the route that leads to this once famous town, that was the center of robust activity for a long time and where former structures built in the town can hardly be traced.

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