In June of 1907, prospector James McDuffy struck gold in north central Nevada, leading to the immediate creation of the mining town of Gold Circle. Over the next few years, the town became filled with miners and, two years later, Gold Circle was renamed to Midas when the federal government refused to build another post office with “gold” in its name.
Following the discovery of gold, Midas immediately grew, expanding to a small town of 5,000 with four real estate offices, five hotels, town dances, a red-light district, and shootouts in Main Street. The mining town thrived for over three decades until 1942, when the boomtown lost its “Midas Touch.”
In the middle of World War II, the unpredictable gold economy in Midas finally ran dry and all mining operations ceased. The town’s post office was permanently shut down and the local school was forced to close after its enrollment dropped below the three student threshold. Nowadays, the doctor’s office, jail, hotels, and feeding stables that were established in the early 1900s have largely rusted over. The remains of the old mines, mills, and cemeteries have been left to erode and decay.
But there is one remnant of Old Midas that remains open to this day in its original form: the Midas Saloon and Dinner House. In recent years, Midas Ghost Town has experienced a minor revitalization and now houses a small population of 20 retirees, leading to a demand for a restaurant in town. Bringing burgers, beers, and history to the table, the Midas Saloon was restored, and to this day it is single-handedly keeping the town’s history alive and well.