Well up into the canyon above, the massive stone foundations of a costly and splendid stamp mill as well as the stone walls of an elegant office and mansion are visible. This is the site of Ophir, now a ghost town.
In 1863, S. Boulerond discovered ore at Ophir. In 1864, the Murphy Mine opened and became the leading local producer. In 1865, a 20-stamp mill was completed costing over $200,000. This included the first experimental Stetefeldt furnace ever built. When the Murphy Mill was built, the town of Toiyabe City was established, growing to a population of 400. Through poor management, the work in the mines declined in 1869. Ophir was almost deserted. In the 1880s, the mines were reactivated, and Ophir had another period of prosperity. By the 1890s, the town was deserted but some mining activity at the Murphy Mine continued sporadically into the 20th century.
More than $3,000,000 worth of gold and silver were mined from the Murphy vein and from surrounding properties. Iron, copper and arsenic were also found in the area.
Ophir managed to have all the accouterments of a large community, including a school, a church, various lodges, and, of course, several saloons.
STATE HISTORICAL MARKER NO. 64
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
CENTRAL NEVADA REDEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION