Belmont came into existence in the wake of silver discoveries in 1865 in what was then called the Silver Bend or Philadelphia district. The allure of high-grade surface ores, boasting values of up to $3,000 per ton, triggered a rush to Belmont in 1866. This rush diverted many miners from Austin and other early Nevada mining camps. The town boasted two notable mines, the Transylvania Number 1 Mine and the Transylvania Number 2 Mine.
By 1867, Belmont had ascended to prominence among mining towns in central Nevada and had the honor of becoming the Nye County seat that year. The boom town served as a thriving mining and milling center, gaining renown for structures like the Monitor-Belmont Mill and Combination mill. In fact, Belmont's growth led it to become a significant trading hub and the administrative center for an expansive mining frontier.
As local mines began yielding lower-grade ore,alongwith another rush to the White Pine district, Belmont experienced a decline in 1868 and 1869. However, newly discovered ore bodies brought Belmont back into focus, leading to another boom period by 1873.
The district's peak production, estimated at $15 million, occurred between 1866 and 1887. Towards the late 1880s, most mines closed down, and while Belmont persisted as a town for some years, by 1900, only a handful of businesses remained. In 1905, the county seat of Nye County shifted from Belmont to Tonopah.
During its heyday, Belmont hosted two newspapers, numerous bars and restaurants, four stores, a livery stable, a telegraph office, and the Cosmopolitan Music Hall, which attracted entertainers from across the nation. With six operational mills during its mining peak, Belmont produced $15 million worth of ore. However, the boom waned by the mid-1890s, and the city witnessed its fair share of murders, lynchings, and occasional gunfights.
Although Belmont faced a downturn, tailing piles from local mills were reworked in 1907-08. The post office closed in 1911, but Belmont was never entirely deserted. A resurgence occurred during World War I, leading to some revival, and the post office reopened in 1915. A new mill, the Highbridge, constructed during this time, processed mine tailings and ore from three small mines. This mini-boom persisted until 1922 when the remaining ore was exhausted, and no new deposits were found.
The Belmont post office closed for good in 1922. Unlike many remote Nevada mining boom towns, Belmont was never entirely abandoned. A small population prevented the town from falling victim to vandalism or salvage. Today, it stands as one of Nevada's most intriguing ghost towns.