The first discovery of silver ore in the Fairview District was made in 1905 by F.O. Norton, and the Nevada Hills mine was located by P. Langsden in January of the next year. In March, George Wingfield and George Nixon purchased several claims, drawing attention to the district. A post office opened April 23, 1906 and by June a townsite had been platted and boomed. Fairview by 1907 was home to nearly 2,000 and boasted two hotels, banks, 27 saloons, several restaurants, stores, and two newspapers. A daily stage operated to and from Wonder and Fallon, and freight was hauled to the railroad at Hazen.

In 1907 plans were made to connect Fairview to the railroad in Hazen, Austin, and Tonopah. The legislature approved these plans, but they never came to fruition. Also in 1907, a new camp was created further up the canyon and closer to the mines. Nevada Hills, or 'Upper Fairview' as it was sometimes known, held a post office from October 9, 1907 until it was rescinded March 19, 1908.

The excitement of Fairview faded by 1908, although mining did continue. Only higher grade ore was mined, as it was shipped to smelters for reduction until 1911. That year a new 20-stamp mill was erected by the Nevada Hills Mining Company. The mill operated from September 1911 until June 1917 when ore began lacking. The post office closed May 31, 1919. Total production from the district was roughly $4.17 million.

Today the site of Fairview has been fenced off by the Navy, although a State Historic Marker stands along Highway 50 nearby. A lone vault remains at the townsite, visible from the highway.