As early as 1883, German immigrant Widdelin "Bill" Zirn and Otto Schultz located a quartz ledge with trace amounts of gold near the ranch of Pete Anderson. They did very little development for nearly a decade, but in May 1891 a rich vein was uncovered and soon word spread, drawing prospectors from Carson City and Virginia City. A townsite, Zirnville, was laid out during the summer, and on August 1st Pete Anderson and Charles Holbrook opened a new saloon near the former's ranch house. A new stage line to Genoa and Carson City was started by Oliver Roberts, but Zirnville unfortunately never took off as many claims failed to produce.

During the next few years, litigation briefly stalled further work by Zirn and Schultz before intermittent production was done. Meanwhile, the nearby Monarch Mine experienced a brief period of development in 1892 when the Raycraft Brothers produced some gold using an arrastra. The Raycrafts eagerly located a new townsite, which they called Delawelta, east of the Anderson Ranch and relocated the old saloon there. A new strike on the Zirn-Schultz property in September 1894, however, shifted attention back to Zirnville and subsequent finds attracted the attention of a New York syndicate, who planned to bond the mine for $70,000. Zirn would attempt and fail to negotiate with the syndicate, and plans were ultimately cancelled. Undissuaded, Zirn began construction of a new five-stamp mill, which was placed into operation April 1, 1896. By this time, several cabins had materialized and Zirnville saw its closest resemblance to a town. From 1891-1895, over $17,000 was recovered from the Zirnville area (including the Monarch), most of which was from the Zirn-Schultz claims.

On June 6, 1896, Bill Zirn was killed while working his claim, when a boulder rolled down and crushed him; he was fifty years old. Zirn's share of the property was later auctioned off to Adolph Livingston, who formed the Heleza Placer Mining Company in 1897. The Heleza Company began extensive development, purchasing the Anderson Ranch and laying a pipe to divert water from the creek there. Water proved to be inadequate, and the Company dried up in 1899. Livingston gave it another attempt in 1905-06, but was met with failure. The same can be said of others who tried to work the Zirn-Schultz claims in 1919 and 1932, before work permanently ceased.