Welcome to

Mountain City, Nevada

Mountain City is located on State Hwy 225 just 16 miles south of the Idaho border. Originally named Cope, this peaceful town is 130 years old. In April 1869 Jesse Cope's discoveries of gold led to the Cope boom. Cope's main attractions were the Pioneer and Argenta mines. Within months of their discovery a few hundred people had already come to the area. During those early days, a small fort, called McGinnis, provided protection against Indian attacks that never occurred.

The Cope Mining District organized on May 22, and soon afterwards many new mines opened. By June Cope's population stood at 300, and on July 13 the booming camp was officially renamed Mountain City, although many continued to call it Cope.

By the end of summer Mountain City's population had grown to 700, the town had twenty saloons, a dozen hotels, six restaurants, and two breweries had opened.

Construction had begun on a $10,000.00 water ditch from the Owyhee River. The ditch was built to help work placer gold deposits. By October the initial excitement had died down, and around two hundred people left the district. The completion of the Elko and Idaho toll road in October made travel to and from Mountain City much easier.

By the end of 1870 Mountain City contained more than 200 buildings and had a population of 1,000. Mining, both gold and copper, continued to flourish until 1871. Many homesteaders came into the area, and a large ranching industry developed.

With the great copper discovery at Rio Tinto, Mountain City saw a rise in growth and new businesses. The Mountain City Messenger Began publication on June 30, 1933.

In 1945, after owing their store for twenty six years, the Davidsons brothers sold their store to H.C. Read, who renamed it the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule chain grew and eventually became the forerunner of the J.C.Penney Company. When the Rio Tinto boom died out in the late 1940's, Mountain City slowly shrank.

During the 1950's the discovery of uranium on nearby Granite Ridge stirred up some excitement in Mountain City. But despite all the interest, very little uranium ore was ever shipped.

There is much to see in Mountain City and much history to be discovered. Our thanks to Shawn Hall for this portion of Mountain City history. At the older Cope townsite, many foundations and pieces of debris are left. The Chinese camp of Placerville has only a few depressions and dugouts. During the summer of 1992 the U.S. Forest Service extensively excavated two Chinese dugouts in Placerville.

Be sure to stop in Mountain City and discover this part of Nevada.


Stop in and visit our local sponsors for more information on Mountain City

Mountain City Bar

525 Davison St

Mountain City, 775-763-6622
Be sure to tell Bex's, Debbie said Hi!!

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