Shellbourne photo

Schellbourne, in the foothills of the Schell Creek mountain range, was a Shoshone Indian village site long before it became a Pony Express station. In 1859, Captain James Simpson passed through the site looking for a short route across the Great Basin. That same year an Overland Stage and Mail station was built at Schellbourne. In 1860 the Pony Express used the same facilities and when the telegraph arrived in 1863, it passed over the same route.

During the rush to Virginia City mines in western Nevada in 1859 and 1860, it became necessary for the Army to send troops to this point to protect the travelers.

Silver ore was discovered in the mountains immediately to the east of Schellbourne in the early 1870s and it became part of the Aurum Mining District in 1871. An active mining camp developed with a population of more than 500. But by 1885, the ore had been mostly depleted and the camp was abandoned.

Shellbourne photo 2

The Aurum District and the adjacent valley were then acquired by “Uncle Billy” Burke as a ranch. Schellbourne has operated as the headquarters for various ranches since that time.

Sources: Schellbourne Historic Marker.

Nearest town: 
McGill, Nevada

North of McGill on paved Highway 93.