In 1892, Henry Shaffer discovered silver deposits in the area, with the help of local American Indians. The resulting mining efforts led to the creation of the town of White Hills, which reportedly grew to a population of 1,500. The mines consisted of 27 miles (43 km) of tunnels, and a full fifteen mines were being worked within one mile (1.6 km) of the town. In 1894, the White Hills Mining Company was formed to run the operations, but they sold out in 1895 for a price of $1,500,000. The new owners, part of an English company, constructed a 40-stamp mill in the town. However, water had to be piped in from 7 miles (11 km) away, and the supply was never able to meet the mine and mill's demands. Production peaked in 1898, and soon after the mill began operating only half of the time. The town went into decline, and eventually became a ghost town.
White Hills received media attention in 2014 when Charles Vacca, a shooting instructor, was accidentally shot and killed by a 9 year-old girl at a local gun range.