The Nevada of today isn’t much different from the Nevada of the past. For over 100 years, people have flocked to the State seek riches. The biggest difference is instead of fighting off indians and surviving days-long desert journeys, now you can stay in a fancy hotel with room service. While we appreciate the amenities of today, we also love the rich (pun intended) history of what are now essentially ghost towns dotted along the Nevada and Arizona landscape. One of our favorites is El Dorado.
Originally home to the Ancient Puebloan Indians and the Paiutes and Mojave tribes, they were intruded upon in the late 1700â€™s by the Spaniards who were on a quest for gold. They made a settlement at the mouth of the Colorado river and named it El Dorado. The Spaniards eventually moved on from the settlement because all they were able to find was silver, and not in great quantities. Unfortunately for them, they missed the gold underneath the canyons. It would be 75 years before prospectors would find their way into this Canyon of Gold.
While the first prospectors to find the gold were able to keep a secret because the location of El Dorado was so remote, it wasn’t long before word about the gold was spread because of the steamboats that travelled along the Colorado river. Before long, El Dorado became a place for miners to travel to in their search for instant riches. This resulted in the establishment of the town of Nelson, which was home to many successful mines including probably the most successful one — the Techatticup Mine. While the town and its mines were very prosperous, it was also the most dangerous area, given the fighting over ownership, management, gunslingers, and plain old greed. In fact, even though it had a population of over 500 miners, law enforcement refused to enter the canyon and town because of its reputation for lawlessness.
See inside Old West gold mines!
While the Techatticup mine was active until 1945, producing more than 2.5 million dollars, it sat empty for 5 decades at which time Nelson slowly died away. Eventually Lake Mohave filled and drowned most of the original campsite of El Dorado. Now Nelson is seen as a ghost town and the area has had reports of sightings of old miners and even their animals roaming around protecting their mining sites. And, obviously protecting the story of El Dorado.
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