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The city of Ely is the county seat of White Pine County, Nevada. The city was founded as a stagecoach station along the Central Overland and Pony Express routes, and named for Smith Ely, president of the Selby Copper Mining and Smelting Company, as the town’s population growth came as a result of the discovery of copper there in 1906, although some gold mining occurred in the region as well. Today, copper mining continues to be a part of the city’s economy, with the revival of the copper market, but Ely also serves as a center for tourism, due in large part to the nearby Great Basin National Park, Cave Lake State Park, and Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historical Park, and the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, which features the Ghost Train of Ely, a working steam engine passenger train that travels from Ely to the Robinson mining district. Pat Nixon, wife of former President Richard Nixon, was born in Ely in 1912.


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