Oreana

(Not to be confused with Oreana Station)

Oreana came into being during 1865, when a five-stamp mill was relocated here from Trinity in order to process silver lead ore from mines at Arabia, most notably the Montezuma mine. A new town quickly developed along the east side of the Humboldt River, aided by the addition of a second mill in 1866. Soon, the Trinity & Sacramento Company (owner of the Montezuma), led by superintendent A.W. Nason, began constructing a large smelting works. Completed at a cost of $300,000, the Montezuma Smelting Works was placed into operation around the end of 1866 or beginning of 1867. There were eight furnaces: two for smelting, four for calcining, and two for cupeling. It was also the first smelter west of the Missouri River to ship lead commercially.

Following the construction of the smelter, Oreana was relocated across the river to a more favorable location. By February 1867, the town had boarding houses, saloons, a post office, hotel, dancing hall, general store, restaurant, meat market, blacksmith shop, livery stable, and population of up to 300. At its peak in 1868, Oreana even had a horse racing track operated by the Oreana Jockey Club. At that time, more bullion was shipped from Oreana each month ($45,000) than anywhere else in Nevada.

Unfortunately, accumulating debt and tax delinquency caused the smelter to cease operations in 1869. It reopened under new ownership in the early 1870s, operating intermittently until it was destroyed by fire. With the loss of the smelter, Oreana entered a quick decline, and was subsequently abandoned. Despite its earlier prominence, little remains of the town save for a solitary cellar.

I Visited Oreana
4.7.2020

See Also
ArabiaSpence Gravesite

Bibliography