In 1859, a prospector named Cord Norst from (and possibly the discoverer of) Dog Town began wandering the area north of Mono Lake in search of the next strike. On the Fourth of July, he found gold and within a week word reached Dog Town and the rush to Mono Diggins, later Monoville, began. It was quickly realized that the availablity of water was unreliable and seasonal, and a 14-mile ditch was constructed to bring water from Virginia Creek to Monoville for use in hydraulic mining.

In addition to mining, Monoville developed importance as a supply stop for those traveling south. By the end of 1860, an estimated thousand or more live in the town, which was replete with hotels, saloons, a post office, and about three dozen wood homes. It was even briefly considered for the Mono County seat. Unfortunately, the rich silver strike at Aurora began to lure its residents away in early 1861, and Monoville quickly declined. Entire buildings were dismantled and relocated, and soon only a few prospectors remained in the surrounding gulches, working intermittently into the early 1900s.

See Also
Conway Ranch