Latitude / Longitude:
37°00′19″N 116°47′02″W / 37.00528°N 116.78389°W / 37.00528
4,222 ft (1,287 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Pioneer is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. Beginning as a mining camp near the Mayflower and other gold mines in northern Bullfrog Hills, it became a formal town in 1908 and flourished briefly until fire destroyed much of its business district in 1909 and litigation delayed mining. Population peaked at an estimated 2,500 in 1908, and the community survived at least through the closing of the Pioneer post office in 1931. Mining continued near the town site through 1941. Few remnants of Pioneer structures survived through the end of the 20th century.
Pioneer is on the north side of the Bullfrog Hills along Pioneer Road, a gravel road off U.S. Route 95. It is about 7 miles (11 km) north of Beatty, 8 miles (13 km) northeast of the ghost towns of Rhyolite and Bullfrog, and 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Las Vegas. Desert springs in or near the Oasis Valley of the Amargosa River are 2 to 4 miles (3.2 to 6.4 km) east of Pioneer. Donovan Mountain in the Bullfrog Hills rises to 5,597 feet (1,706 m) above sea level near Sarcobatus Flat slightly west of the ghost town, and the northeastern corner of Death Valley National Park is about 3 miles (4.8 km) further west.
As of 2004, little remained of Pioneer aside from “quite a bit of debris, levelled building sites, a few boards, and perhaps some foundations” and, nearby, remnants of the Mayflower headframe and ore bin.
Pioneer developed from a primitive mining camp near the Mayflower, Pioneer, and other gold mines on the north side of the Bullfrog Hills. These mines were part of the Bullfrog Mining District, which included mines on the south side of the hills in places like Rhyolite and Bullfrog. Industrialist Charles M. Schwab, who invested heavily in the Montgomery-Shoshone Mine near Rhyolite, also invested in the Mayflower in 1906. A Pioneer town-site company was formed in 1908 and began grading roads and selling lots. In that year, a daily stagecoach began making runs between Pioneer and the mining town of Springdale, about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the northeast along the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad. Another daily stagecoach linked Pioneer and Rhyolite in 1909 along a road constructed for the purpose.