Today’s visitor to Pioche won’t see staged gunfights for tourists that some Old West towns or certain theme parks are known to exhibit. But there was a time in the days of yesteryear when the mountain mining town was a place full of gunslingers, back in its hectic, nearly lawless history of the early 1870s. And these weren’t staged for tourists; they were real.
It was reported nearly 60 percent of Nevada’s killings in 1871-73 occurred in Pioche.
Mine owners often employed hired guns to protect their mining claims from claim jumpers. Or, in other cases, gunslingers were brought in and they would do the claim jumping. That in itself is another good story.