This incredible 1906 photo of Manhattan, Nevada illustrates how a new mining boom camp looks as a tent city transitions to a more permanent settlement. The right part of the photo consists of mostly tents and rudimentary wood floored buildings with canvas sides and roofs. The signs in this part of town read “Assay Office” (there are two of them), “Bar”, and possibly “Montana”. On the left, more permanent wood structures are being built and several scaffolds, ladders, and sawhorses are visible. One building is in the process of being shingled and the unfinished portion reveals what appears to be roof sheathing that was applied with several inches of space between each board – perhaps to speed up the build and use less materials in a remote camp where supplies were scarce.
The boom in Manhattan would be short lived and roughly a year after this photo was taken, most of the businesses in town would close as an economic downturn would take its toll on the mining industry. Another smaller boom in 1909 would bring activity back to the town, but the level of activity seen in this photo would never again happen in Manhattan.