American Indians lived in Ione Valley for at least 5,000 years.

In 1863, Euro Americans discovered silver, and in 1864 Ione City was the first county seat of the newly-created Nye County.  Over 600 people worked in the prosperous town until a promising ore body in Belmont attracted most of the miners in 1865, capturing the county seat in 1867.

Alternately prosperous and poor yet never completely deserted, Ione suffered mining depressions, milling difficulties, and the loss of miners to other rich strikes throughout its history.