Nevada Rock Art Geocaching Historical Markers

Historical Marker #54

Located on U.S. Highway 93, twenty miles south of Ely, Nevada.

Ward Mining District

To the west of you, in the foothills of the Egan Range, lie the Ward Charcoal Ovens; and five miles north therefrom the ghost town of Ward. The six well-preserved ovens furnished charcoal for the furnaces at Ward. Pinion pine was the raw material fed to the ovens. Each oven could produce a $600 batch of charcoal which sold for 18 cents a bushel.

A million dollars worth of silver was taken from a single chamber of the Ward mine. The boom lasted from 1872 to 1882.

Ward was a typical, lawless mining camp in its early years. Imagine, if you will, this camp of 2,000 citizens then, situated at over 8,000 feet in elevation, where winter was a time of deep snow and icy winds; where hogs ran at random on the streets; and where women were known to have roamed and begged for food. A Chinatown came into being. Killings were not infrequent, and early justice was by the vigilante committee and hanging rope.

Reform Gulch, or Frogtown, was located a mile south of the city. Here, ladies of the night set up for business in tents. One abandoned brothel was used for a school house. No movement was ever started to build a church.

There has been recurrent interest in the Ward Mining District as new discoveries were found and better mining methods developed.

Notes on this marker:

As we were on the motorcycles, we didn't go out to the Charcoal Ovens, but they are a must see.

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