Right in the heart of the Silver State is Nevada’s Big Smoky Valley, home to several small, friendly communities that embody the spirit and heart of the American West. One of these rural towns is Round Mountain, which began as a mining town in 1905. All these years later, that’s what the small community remains.
Although gold was discovered in 1905, it wasn’t until the following year that the big bonanzas began and with them, the flood of prospectors, settlers and major mining companies. Six mills would set up shop in the following decade, as well as much-needed amenities that ranged from hotels, restaurants and general stores to lodging houses, banks, a school, hospital and library. Despite the booming gold discoveries and all of the amenities, Round Mountain’s remote location was a factor in keeping the population down.
Today, Big Smoky Valley is home to about 2,000 residents and most of them can be found in the planned community of Hadley. It’s a subdivision built by the Round Mountain Gold Corporation, and its existence is the result of the continued expansion of the mining operations in Round Mountain. Much of the ore was situated under the town’s namesake, Round Mountain, which has been carved away over time. Hadley, in the valley below Round Mountain, offers amenities such as a grocery store, community center, library, schools, athletic facilities, several churches, a swimming pool and the seasonal Round Mountain Golf Course.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood, spend some time exploring Round Mountain. The town still has many structures left over from its earliest days, but as the open mining pit expands, their fates are uncertain. One thing is for sure – these passports to history won’t be here forever, so make sure to see them while you can.