Tonopah Historic Mining Park

Useful Information

Location: 110 Burro Street, Tonopah, NV 89049.
Tonopah. 340 km north of Las Vegas, follow U.S. Hwy 95.
(38.069596, -117.225915)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Closed on Holidays.
Fee: Visitor's Center: free.
Mine Park: Adults USD 5, Children (8-17) USD 3, Children (0-7) free, Seniors (60+) USD 3, Veterans free, Military free.
Classification: MineSilver Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Tonopah Historic Mining Park, 110 Burro Street, Tonopah, NV 89049, Tel: +1-775-482-9274. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


19-MAY-1900 Jim Butler of Belmont discovered some promising ore.
1999 Mine Park managed by Shawn Hall, who transfers it into a major tourist destination.



Tonopah Historic Mining Park is the location of silver mining since the turn of the 20th century. Nevada has always been a state based on mining, but around 1880 many mines were exhausted and closed. During the following years income of the state vanished and finally the federal government even planned to withdraw statehood. Then the silver at Tonopah was discovered, making it Queen of the Silver Camps.

The silver was discovered by Jim Butler, who was camping near Tonopah Springs during the spring of 1900. The legend goes, that his mule wandered off, and he picked up a rock to throw at it. This was a piece of ore, and Jim Butler took it with him. Butler talked to a young attorney named Tasker Oddie about his discovery. Oddie asked a friend, a teacher in chemistry in Austin, to analyze the ore. The result was a worth of $200 per ton. Butler returned and filed eight claims.

Jim Butler and his wife Belle had several partners, for example Tasker Oddie and Wilse Brougher, who hauled the ore by horse and wagon to Austin. They were not able to gain venture capital, so after some attempts to mine and ship the ore themselves, they invented a new concept of mine claim leasing. They leased the claims by the foot, the lessor got 75% of all profits from his claim and the lease was sealed by a handshake. This idea sped the development of the mining area, and many of the lessors got rich. Thus, the practice quickly spread to other mining districts.

The Butlers sold their interests some time later to a financier, who formed the Tonopah Mining Co.. Tasker Oddie formed the Tonopah Belmont Development Company with his interests.

The mining park includes the workings of five of the biggest mines and three mining companies. The companies their mines were

  1. Montana-Tonopah Mine of the Montana-Tonopah Mining Company
  2. North Star Mine of the North Star Mining & Milling Company
  3. Desert Queen Mine of the Tonopah Mining Company
  4. Silver Top Mine of the Tonopah Mining Company
  5. Mizpah Mine of the Tonopah Mining Company