Status: Active Town
Current Population: 1,100
Peak Population: 6,000
Primary Mineral: Silver
Silver ore was discovered in this range of moutains in 1864, but no important development took place until 1869 when mines were opened and the town of Pioche appeared. Pioche soon became the scene of a wild rush of prospectors and fortune seekers and gained a reputation in the 1870's for tough gunmen and bitter lawsuits. Over five million dollars in ore was taken out by 1872, and by 1900 Pioche was nearly a ghost town.
Designated as the seat of Lincoln County in 1871, Pioche survived hard times as a supply and government center for a vast area. In later years, notably during World War II, profitable lead-zinc deposits were developed.
-From a sign in town
Pioche is known for its "Million Dollar Courthouse," built in 1871. The original cost of $88,000 far exceeded initial estimates and was financed and refinanced with bonds totaling nearly $1 million. Pioche currently contains the county administrative offices and has one of the oldest grade schools in the state.
Next door to the Court House sits the old Mountain View Hotel, where President Herbert Hoover is said to have stayed in 1930. Built in 1895, the old Hotel served the lodging needs of dignitaries visiting Pioche on court business. Although the building no longer serves as a hotel, it still serves as a superb example of turn-of-the-century western architecture. There is another hotel, the Overland, which is still operating, with 14 themed rooms, on the second floor over the main saloon. Local lore is that it is haunted by one or more ghosts.
An aerial tramway carried buckets ore from the mines to the Godbe Mill. The tramway ran during the 1920s and 1930's, but was only used for the transportation of silver and nickel ore. Although the tramway is abandoned, it's cables still stretch over parts of the town, and it's ore buckets still hang to this day.