Tenabo was founded after silver was discovered in the Bullion Mining District in 1907. After the townsite was platted, several wooden buildings were erected and soon Tenabo had a population of 1000. A tri-weekly stage ran to Beowawe, and a mill was built in nearby Mill Gulch to support the largest mine: the Little Gem.


Before 1909, the Tenabo Mining and Smelting Company acquired control of most of the mines around Tenabo. By 1911, however, the expense of production exceeded the value of the ore, and Tenabo went into decline. In 1920, the Company sold its holdings the Tenabo Consolidated Mines Company, which in turn folded in the early 1930s.

Placer mining occured in Mill Gulch, after gold discoveries were made by A.E. Raleigh. A short-lived camp, Raleigh, was formed in 1916. Though the camp didn't last, placer mining continued in the gulch. In 1936, the Raleigh property was purchased by the Mill Gulch Placer Mining Company and from May 1, 1937 until April 3, 1939 a dragline dredge and washing plant were operated. In 1938, Mill Gulch was reportedly the top placer producer in Nevada.

In the 1930s, a huge floating dredge operated near Tenabo, recovering significant amounts of gold. A few other dredges were operated in the 1940s as well. In 1972, the mines near Tenabo were acquired by the Mid-West Oil Corporation, who in turn sold to the Tenabo Gold Placers Limited Partnership. Today the mines are still actively worked by the Flowery Gold Mines Company of Nevada.