In March 1865, the location of silver was shown to prospectors by Indians in the Pahranagat Valley, and Hiko - then also spelled Hyko - was born. The name Hiko comes from an Indian term meaning either 'white man' or 'white man's town.' Before long, word of the discovery reached Austin and the rush was on. By early 1866, a few hundred people had moved in. In spring, William Raymond purchased several claims and laid out a townsite. Raymond also had a five-stamp mill shipped on the Colorado River to Callville and then hauled by oxen to Hiko. The mill went into operation in November. The following March, the Lincoln County seat was moved to Hiko from nearby Crystal Spring. Overall, Raymond put around $900,000 into Hiko's development, but due to unskilled labor and high freighting costs, the return was only about $150,000 before it ultimately failed. In 1869, Raymond dismantled the mill and took it with him to Bullionville. Mining in Hiko quietly faded after that, and it lost its status as county seat in 1871 when it too moved to Pioche. A glimmer of hope was found when the Eureka & Colorado Railroad was proposed to run through in the 1880s, but it was never realized. For more than a century following, Hiko has held onto a small agricultural existence, and around 100 people live there today.

Special thanks to Kelly of the Cannon Ranch, who allowed me to visit and photograph the old J.F. Murphy Store.

See Also
Crystal Spring