Delamar, "The Widowmaker," refers to a ghost town site in the arid Delamar Mountains, 30 miles south of Caliente. This camp came with a well-deserved reputation, and its history is extensive. The camp made headlines nationwide and lured thousands of men toward some of the richest ore ever found in Nevada. Today, it is faintly remembered. In 1889, prospectors John Ferguson and Joseph Sharp discovered gold around a site called Monkeywrench Wash on the west slope of the Delamar Mountains. A mining camp was then born west of the Monkeywrench Mine at first named Ferguson. In April 1894, Captain Joseph Raphael De Lamar bought most of the important mines in the area and renamed the Delamar in his own honor. In that same year, a newspaper called The Delamar Lode began publication and a post office was opened. Soon, the new settlement boasted more than 1,500 residents, a hospital, an opera house, several churches, a school, several businesses and a dozen saloons. The arid mountains supported very few trees, so most of the buildings were made of native rock or moved from neighboring camps.

  • Welcome to Delamar, Nevada
  • The picturesque ruins at Delamar have seen many a Nevada sunset.

By 1896, the Delamar mill was handling up to 260 tons of ore daily. Delamar had its fair share of challenges, though. Water for the camp was pumped from a well in Meadow Valley Wash, some twelve miles away. Supplies and materials traveled even further, by mule team over mountainous terrain from the railroad head at Milford, Utah, a distance of 150 miles to the east. Because water was scarce, the ore crusher ran dry almost everyday that created a fine dust called "Delamar Dust." Miners inhaled the deadly dust, which contained Silica, causing silicosis and hundreds of ultimately deaths. The dreaded dust also pierced the lungs of women, children, and animals. In fact, several dozen women were widowed here, a chapter that ultimately crowned Delamar with its deadly moniker: "The Widow Maker." In 1902, a fire destroyed half the town and Captain DeLamar sold his interest in the mines which had produced an estimated $8.5 million in gold. New owners continued to outproduce all other mines in the state until 1909. but the operation was closed soon after. The site was reopened briefly from 1929-34 and evidence of a mining operation continues there today.

  • Welcome to Delamar, Nevada
  • The road to Delamar, Nevada.  Be sure to bring extra supplies with you.


Status: Ghost Town
Population: None
Founded: December 1893

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How to Get Here:
A ghost town site in Lincoln County, 29.9 miles southwest of Caliente.
- The site of Delamar is extensive, and arguably, one of the best ghost towns in Nevada. Partially standing rock buildings, large mill ruins, and a cemetery make up the majority of what can be found here. If you do visit, be sure to bring plenty of drinking water. One trip to this very dry area will leave you wanting water just by looking at its surroundings. Head west out of Caliente for 17.7 miles to a large dirt road on your left. Here atop Hancock Summit amidxt a stately forest of Joshua trees, there was a sign marking the way to "Delamar" from this turnout. Even without the sign, the road is hard to miss. Make a left here and proceed another 11.2 miles to the townsite. The road to Delamar is good for most passenger vehicles, providing you take caution upon reaching Delamar Canyon which has a few nasty bumps and road dips. In recent years, a mining company has expressed interest in the area, so don't be surprised if you find the road wide and well-graveled to acoommodate mining trucks. Even so, bring extra supplies with you at all times. This is no place to breakdown! Have a picnic lunch, and take only pictures. Enjoy.