Ready for a weeklong festivity that celebrates a true only-in-Nevada tale? The way history tells it, a prospector named Jim Butler was camping around central Nevada’s Tonopah Springs in the spring of 1900 when his burro wandered off. As Butler chased after his defiant comrade, he picked up a rock to toss its way, beckoning his return, only to discover the rock had an odd weight about it. Looking pretty promising, Butler had the rock assayed in the then-booming Belmont, confirming it was spectacularly lucrative high-grade silver. Butler just so happened to walk across the only place where the silver was exposed—talk about the right place and right time—that would lead to the development of the Tonopah Mining District, eventually producing more than five million tons of silver ore.
To celebrate the Queen of the Silver Camps and its most celebrated forefather and burro companion, get Jim Butler Days and the Nevada State Mining Championships on the calendar—a weeklong festivity with all kinds of events happening all over town. A top annual Nevada event for more than 50 years, Jim Butler Days typically happens in late May, leading up to the Memorial Day Weekend holiday, featuring the Nevada State Mining Championships, kids events, street dances, live music, and much more.
Nevada State Mining Championship competitions kick off this event, immediately following the Jim Butler Parade through town, usually around noon. Men, women, pro and amateur contestants use the physically demanding methods employed by central Nevada’s early hard rock miners to win cash and prizes. Competitions include men’s and women’s single jack drilling as well as men’s and women’s mucking. Cash prizes are awarded for the top three places in each event. Winners receive $100 per inch drilled long with silver hammers! Winning muckers receive silver shovels!
For a complete schedule of events and more information about Jim Butler Days, get in touch with the Jim Butler Days committee directly at (775) 482-9466.