Trek Date: October 12th, 2013
I was driving south on I-95. My next destination was Beatty so I could get a soda and some cookies before heading to Rhyolite and Bullfrog. As it was still early in the day, I decided to head west on Nevada State Route 266 to see if I could find the old mining town of Palmetto. I didn’t make it there, however, as I got sidetracked investigating old mines and stone ruins along the way. I guess I’ll have to save Palmetto for another trip. I did make it as far west as Lida.
The Nevada State Historic Marker alongside the road at Lida told me that the valley was previously a contact point for Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians. And during the 1860s, it was the site of early prospecting for gold. Some further research revealed that the town enjoyed a couple boom periods over the years; the first when it was founded in the early 1860s – 1870s, and the second during the first decade of the 1900s.
The townsite was laid out in 1872 and a post office was established the following year. The town grew, roads were built, steam-powered stamp mills were constructed and things were going great. But when the gold production began to decline, so did the town and in the 1880s Lida was just a shadow of its former self.
When the nearby towns of Tonopah and Goldfield were having their excitement in the early 1900s, Lida experience another small boom and some 300 folks called the town home. A newspaper (the Lida Enterprise) even published here between April 14th of 1905 and October of 1906. The town prospered for a while but began to decline as a result of many of the richest mines being tied up with legal problems. The post office closed in December of 1918 and Lida slowly faded away.
I found Lida a very quiet place. There are still some residents in the area, I imagine most are ranchers. There are a number of old, abandoned buildings but as most of them seemed to be on private property, I didn’t poke around too much. Maybe on the next trip I’ll explore the area a bit more to see what I can find, I think it deserves another look.
Update: Revisited on October 8, 2015
Took a few more pictures
I was glad to see the old car was still there.
This small shack is located across the hwy from the old car.
This abandoned home is next to the old car.
There may be some addition things to photograph, maybe the next time I'm in the area I'll spot something I haven't seen before.