Contact first became known as a mining town in the 1890s, but its population dropped to 5 residents by 1905. In 1907 the United States Mining and Smelting Company established an interest in the Contact area and the city began to grow again, reaching a population of 300 by 1908.
As of 1915 Contact had a hotel, restaurant and its own local newspaper. Although a new townsite was laid out in 1930, by that time the community was once again in decline. A devastating 1942 fire effectively turned Contact into a near-ghost town. Today one of the main presences in Contact is a Nevada Department of Transportation maintenance station.
Located approximately 8 miles (13.3 km) south of Jackpot on U.S. Route 93, prior to Jackpot's founding in 1954 Contact was known as one of the closest Nevada cities to the Idaho border. Early records of Cactus Pete's (then known as Cactus Pete's Desert Lodge) placed the property in Contact before Jackpot emerged as a separate city.