A.V. Wilson and R. Chanrock discovered silver at Jefferson Canyon in Nye County's Toquima Range in 1865, but it was not until two large stamp mills were built in 1874 that the town of Jefferson was born. The town's best years were 1875 and 1876 when $1.5 million was produced and its population was around 800. Little else happened there after 1879 until Charles Stoneham, owner of the New York Giants, bought all the mines in 1917. Stoneham built a mill, and Jefferson enjoyed a revival until 1919.
Only sporadic activity took place afterwards until 1933 when all mining ceased after a total production of $2.3 million. A number of buildings, mill ruins, and a cemetery remain. Jefferson is located within the boundaries of the Toiyabe National Forest and any removal of artifacts from the site is a violation of federal law.