Latitude / Longitude:
38° 14′ 36″ N, 118° 20′ 19″ W
4,947 ft (1,508 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Marietta, Nevada, was a town in Mineral County, Nevada. It is now a ghost town. The area was extensively prospected by the well-known prospector F.M. “Borax” Smith, and Teel’s Marsh near Marietta is often credited with providing Smith his start in the borax business (having earlier been a more common silver and gold prospector). However, before Smith came to the area it had been periodically mined for salt, which was used in the processing of ore in the Virginia City, Aurora, NV, and Bodie, CA mills. The use of camels to transport salt to Virginia City has often been quoted, although there is some dispute whether this actually took place. Mule teams were the more usual method of transporting the salt. F.M. Smith began serious scraping and processing of the borax and salt deposits starting in 1872, mainly from deposits on nearby Teels Marsh.
Marietta was formally established as a town in 1877, and soon contained several hundred people. Exact figures are hard to verify, because many of the workers involved in the scraping process, and at the processing plant on Teels Marsh were Chinese, whose population figures were not accurately kept. The town soon boasted 13 saloons, a post office, several stores (including the one owned and operated by ‘Borax’ Smith), and many stone and adobe structures. Marietta was a rowdy camp, despite its size, and seemed to garner more than its fair share of criminal activity. The stage service working to and from Marietta was reportedly robbed 30 times in 1880, within one week of that year alone it was robbed 4 times. The town’s isolated site made it an easy target for robberies, and for criminals to run freely.
Since 1991 the area is a federally (BLM) managed Wild Burro Range. This 68,000-acre (280 km2) range, which includes the site of Marietta and Teels Marsh, is home to about 85 burros. Small groups of the burros can often be found roaming among the ruins of Marietta.