Discovery of silver in the area in 1905 led to several claims and the creation of a boom town in 1906. The community took its name from Fairview Peak.Fairview changed locations twice, once to move closer to the mines and mills in which the town's residents worked, and once because the town outgrew the narrow canyon in which the second town was sited.
From 1906 to 1907, the mining camp's population expanded dramatically. Fairview had multiple hotels, banks, assay offices, 27 saloons, a newspaper, post office union hall and a population of 2000. After 1908. outside interest in the mining camps and town declined, and the newspaper closed. The town stayed prosperous until 1912, and afterwards was abandoned.
Fairview is currently a ghost town. One of the few remnants of the old town is the bank vault from the first town site's bank; the vault can be seen from the nearby Austin-Lincoln Highway.
A very large earthquake doublet occurred on December 16, 1954. The Dixie Valley/Fairview earthquakes occurred four minutes apart, each with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). The initial shock measured 7.3 Mw and the second shock measured 6.9 Mw . Damage to man-made structures was minimal because the region was sparsely populated at the time, but oblique-slip motion on a normal fault resulted in the appearance of large fault scarps.
- Federal Writers' Project (1941). Origin of Place Names: Nevada (PDF). W.P.A. p. 11.
- ghosttowns.com. "Fairview". Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- Paher, Stanley W (1970). Nevada Ghost towns and mining camps. Howell North. pp. 96–99.
- Carlson, Helen S. (1985). Nevada place names : a geographical dictionary. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0874170948.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fairview Cemetery
- "Pony Express Map William Henry Jackson.jpg". 1951.
- Stover, C.W.; Coffman, J.L. (1993), Seismicity of the United States, 1568–1989 (Revised), U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, pp. 287, 288, 295, 296