Sandy Valley

Sandy, Ripley, Platina, and Boss - What is today known as Sandy Valley began as a collection of small, impermanent camps that came and went as a result of mining in the Spring Mountains. The first of these was Sandy, a small milling settlement which grew around the ten-stamp Keystone Mill built September 1893 at Taylor's Well to treat gold from the Keystone Mine. The next year, John McClanahan opened a store and saloon, followed by a post office in 1896 (of which McClanahan was postmaster). Eventually, even a hotel, feed lot, and school opened in town. In addition to milling, Sandy proved to be an invaluable source of water for travelers between the Bullfrog district and the Nevada Southern Railway in eastern California. In 1905, the Nevada Keystone Company ceased operations and the mill was shuttered the next year, leading to Sandy's demise.

By 1911, the Sandy post office was moved to neighboring Ripley, which is little else documented, but does still show up on USGS Topographic Maps. In May 1914, an assayer located platinum ore at the Boss mine, about three miles east. High assays of the ore gave the impression that the supply was plentiful, which generated much excitement. Soon two townsites were platted: Boss was ½ mile west of the mine, while Platina was laid out in early 1915 adjacent to Ripley. Boss never amounted to more than a single tent, while Platina within a year had a hotel, post office (from Ripley), Broadway Department Store, and businesses to serve a reported 200 people. Unfortunately, the platinum proved to be insufficient, and the boom went bust in 1917. The promoted townsite was publicly denounced by the Los Angeles Realty Board, and by 1918 was deserted.

Lincoln City and Mandolin - While the previous four townsites that grew and diminished due to mining, two others came and went as a result of promotional schemes. The first was Lincoln City, about three miles south of Sandy, laid out by a Los Angeles promoter in 1904. With the railroad to Salt Lake City under construction to the east, he billed Lincoln City as a place with great agricultural opportunities and mining resources. A store was built and numerous lots sold, but when investors finally arrived they determined that they had only purchased worthless scrubland.

The second promotional town, Mandolin, got its start in August 1908 about two miles west of Sandy, near the California state line. Like Lincoln City, lots were purchased sight unseen, and all that ever materialized was a single tent before Mandolin too returned to the dust.

Sandy Valley today - Never truly vacated, Sandy Valley has always held a small population scattered amongst the sagebrush. A school was reported in operation in 1918, and a school district organized in 1926. In 1935, the thirty-ton Shenandoah mill was built to treat molybdenum ore from mines in the area (operated until at least the 1990s). About 2000 people live in the valley today, and only scant remains can be found of the earlier developments.