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Delamar, “The Widow Maker”

John and Olivia Ferguson discovered gold twelve miles south of here around 1891. The original name of the camp they established was Ferguson. However, it was eventually renamed “Delamar” after John DeLamar, an entrepreneur who bought the best mining claims in 1893 for $150,000. Eventually, over 1500 residents settled in this isolated place. The town contained a newspaper, hospital, school, churches, saloons, stores, a theater and professionals. Entertainment included brass bands, dance orchestras, and stage attractions at the opera house.

Water came from Meadows Valley Wash 12 miles away. All other materials were hauled through the mountains by mule team 150 miles from a railroad head at Millard, Utah. For 16 years, most of the bullion was hauled out in the same manner.

The dry milling processes used prior to the introduction of wet methods created a fine silica dust, or “death” dust, causing the deaths of many residents and gave the town its nickname, “The Widow Maker”.

Delamar produced $25,000,000 in gold and was Nevada’s leading producer at the turn of the twentieth century.

This is Nevada State Historical Marker #90, located on Highway 93 west of Caliente, Nevada. See others on this page:

Another sign at the location:

Joshua Trees

Joshua trees are native to the arid southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah) and to northwestern Mexico. Seedlings can grow up to three inches per year for the first ten years. After that, their growth slows down to about 1 1/2 inches per year. Joshua trees can grow as tall as 49 feet with roots reaching down to 36 feet below ground. The trees grow from seeds although sometimes they sprout from rhizomes (rootstalks) which spread out from the parent tree. The tree flowers from February to late April. However, like most desert plants, it does not flower every year. In order to produce flowers, they need a winter freeze before they bloom and rainfall at the appropriate time. The trunk of the Joshua tree consists of thousands of small fibers and lacks annual growth rings which makes it difficult to determine the tree’s age. However, if the trees survive the rigors of the desert, they can live 100s of years, and some can live up to 1000 years.