6 El Dorado Canyon

on U.S. Highway 95 near Nelson, Nevada

ELDORADO CANYON

HEAD OF STEAMBOAT NAVIGATION IN NEVADA

Eldorado Canyon, the site of a mining boom, runs east from here to the Colorado River. Prospectors began digging for gold and silver here about 1859, forming the Colorado Mining District. The three largest mines, the Techatticup, Wall Street, and El Dorado Rand Group, yielded over $6,000,000.

This portion of the Colorado River was navigable before the construction of Hoover Dam, allowing steamboats and barges to freight goods 350 miles from the Gulf of California to the mouth of Eldorado Canyon and upriver. The steamboat era peaked in the 1860s but continued to the turn of the twentieth century.

In 1867, the US. Army established an outpost at Eldorado Canyon to secure the riverboat freight and to protect miners in the canyon from Native Americans. The military abandoned the camp in 1869. In the 1870s the mines flourished again, producing ore until World War II.

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