High-grade gold was discovered by a group in July 1902, and a camp of twenty was established taking the name 'Pactolus' after the river of King Midas lore. A post office briefly operated in 1904. There was only one major company, the Pactolus Mining Company, which owned the Doctor mine and produced some ore valued at $75/ton between 1905 and 1907, before it finally closed. A few companies tried again in 1908, but failed and Pactolus disappeared.

A short revival began in November 1919, when the Pactolus mines were purchased by a group including Senator L.A. Friedman. More than thirty men arrived and constructed new buildings, but activity was scant and no production was ever recorded before Pactolus again was deserted. Today, a number of mine shafts remain in the area, but not much else.