Belmont sits at an elevation of 7,400 feet. A spring flowing year round made this a gathering site of the Shoshone Indians for rabbit drives and celebrations.
In 1865, silver ore discoveries led to the development of an attractive tree-shaded mercantile community. East Belmont became the mining and milling center. A wide range of nationalities worked the mines, operated businesses, and provided services. At its height, Belmont had schools, churches, a post office, and a newspaper, as well as a Chinatown, a red-light district, and a race track. The town was the Nye County seat from 1867 to 1905, and a courthouse survives from this period.
Belmont had a reputation as a rowdy town. Incidents of saloon brawls, vigilante actions, shootings, hangings, and feuds made the town notorious. Well known Nevadans such as Jack Longstreet, Tasker Oddie, Jim Butler, and Andrew Maute all participated in local early history.
Silver production totaling four million dollars was from high grade but shallow ore. By 1890, most mines ceased to be profitable and were forced to shut down. Belmont’s population dwindled as most residents left for new discoveries in nearby mining camps.