In 1859, gold was discovered at Monoville. A conduit was constructed to divert water from Virginia Creek to aid hydraulic mining operations. This canal, termed the Mono Canal, was at its time the only such project in the county, and cost $75,000 to build.
A post office operated at Monoville from 1859 to 1862. At its peak, Monoville had a population over 1,000. By 1868, however, the town was abandoned and such buildings as remained were in ruins by neglect and lack or repair after heavy snowfalls.