Mina was established in 1905 as a division point on Southern Pacific's Nevada & California Railway (formerly the Carson & Colorado). During this time the former narrow-gauge trackage was changed to standard-gauge north of Mina, and a third rail laid from Mina south to Tonopah Junction to allow for dual operation (standard and narrow-gauge, at Tonopah Junction the line met the standard-gauge Tonopah & Goldfield). Originally, plans called for the division point to be at Sodaville or New Boston, but opportunistic land-grabbing caused these plans to fail and the new location was selected roughly midway between the two. There are a few stories as to how the name 'Mina' was chosen: one claims that it was named for a railroad executive's daughter Wilhelmina, another says that is was named for landowner and prospector Ferminia Sarras, and another states that it is simply derived from the Spanish word for "mine."

By the end of summer 1905, Mina had extensive facilities to accomodate the changeover from narrow to standard gauge, including a ten-stall roundhouse with turntable, machine shops, and depot. A townsite was laid out to the west and soon sported several buildings. In June 1906, the Western Nevada Miner, edited by J. Holman Buck, began weekly publication. Two trains arrived from and departed for San Francisco daily.

Beginning in 1910, railroad activity decreased in Mina, but nevertheless the town of 400 held on. A new $100,000 sixty room hotel, the Hotel Mina, was even built. After the 1920s, however, Mina began it's steady decline as mining diminished. The newspaper stopped publication in September 1930, and in 1938 the narrow-gauge line heading south was abandoned, followed by the link to Tonopah Junction in 1947 (those tracks were removed in 1949). In 1989, railroad service to Mina finally ended and the line truncated to only serve the army base in Hawthorne.

Nevada & California Railway
New BostonMina • Sodaville →