About 1907, gold was discovered in a remote part of Churchill County, leading to the creation of the Aspen District. According to the Churchill County Standard, a townsite was laid out in April 1909, by which time a camp of thirty existed, complete with saloon, rooming and eating houses, and a general store soon to be completed by H.W. Bruner of Phonolite. Plans were also made - but never realized - to move the post office from that town to Aspen.

Among the first to prospect in the district was Gay Reader, a reclusive miner from Aspen, Colorado. He apparently made arrangements for groceries to be delivered by Firmin Bruner, who frequently made the run from Fallon to Berlin and other camps of the area. In 1911, Reader left Aspen with plans to return later and construct a mill. After he failed to return, Silverino Penelas relocated and worked the property until an accident hospitalized him. Upon his return, it was found that ore he had stored was stolen by John P. Buzane (from nearby Buzanes Camp). Coupled with his failing health, Penelas decided to abandon the property. A last ditch effort to mine at Aspen was made in early 1931, when a group retimbered and extended Reader's workings, but after one shipment they too deserted the place.