Silver was discovered in this part of the Gabbs Valley Range in April 1908 by Al Bovard and other prospectors from Rawhide. Within the week, a small boom ensued and a tent camp of a few hundred called Bovard was formed. Several saloons were opened, and the Bovard Booster saw a month of publication. That year the Golden Pen and Blue Sphinx mines were located. High grade ore was sent to Rawhide for milling.

The camp of Bovard was founded primarily by miners from Rawhide, and when miners from Hawthorne and Luning arrived they established the rival townsite of Lorena and opened a tent saloon. Promotors enticed many from Bovard, who moved to the new camp. In an effort to get even with Lorena, Bovard's promotors bribed the water haulers to skip daily delivery to Lorena, and several returned to Bovard nearly immediately. Lorena dissolved soon thereafter.

Even though small amounts of mining continued in the area, Bovard didn't last much longer. The Golden Pen mine was acquired by the Gold Pen Mines Company in 1919, and they started operation of a 20-ton mill in 1920. It only lasted for a few months before closing in 1921 due to financial difficulties. Final production of the Bovard district is estimated at $360,000 and the Golden Pen was its top producer.