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Ione came into existence in November 1863 after silver was discovered by one Mr. P. A. Havens in the Shoshone Range. While most of the mining in the area (the Union Mining District) was closer to communities such as Union and Grantsville, Ione developed as a trade and milling center. Members of the community were shortly petitioning the territorial government for the formation of a new county and in January 1864 Nye county was organized within the Nevada Territory; Ione was granted a stipend of $800.00 with which to construct the county's first courthouse.
Within three years development at Belmont had created enough excitement to lure away a great percentage of Ione's population, and in February 1867 the county seat was removed to that location.
Ione would find its second boom in 1896 when a new 10-stamp mill was built by one E. W. Brinell. In 1897 A. Phelps Stokes arrived in the Union District and purchased the majority of the mining and milling interests in the district, further facilitating Ione's resurrection. July 1898 saw a significant drop in the value of silver, and Ione deflated once again.
The town would see one more resurgence, about 1912, when attention was drawn to abundant cinnabar deposits in the area. This last boom was again short lived, ending in 1914, although the recovery of mercury would persist in the district into the 1930s.
Ione's post office closed for the last time on April 30, 1959.
Named from the mining district which was organized by P. A. Havens in 1863. He named the new district from a mining district in California. Ione, California, name origin and meaning have never been established, various legends and conflicting sources exist.
- "Ione struggles to survive latest setback". Reno Gazette-Journal. September 25, 1988. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ione Post Office (historical)
- "Hard Times Test the Town that Wouldn't Die". Reno Gazette-Journal. September 25, 1988. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- Carlson, Helen S. (1985). Nevada place names : a geographical dictionary. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 142. ISBN 0-87417-094-X.
- Gudde, Erwin G. (1998). California place names : the origin and etymology of current geographical names (4th ed., rev. and enl. ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-520-21316-5.
- Preserving the Glory Days, Shawn Hall: University of Nevada Press, Reno, 1981.
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