About This Place
Gabbs is an unincorporated community in Nye County, Nevada, United States. The population was 318 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a city. Since then, it has been dis-incorporated, effective May 8, 2001.
Gabbs was founded around December 1941 as a company town for Basic Magnesium, Inc. (BMI), who operated a magnesium production plant in the area. The town grew out of an earlier mining camp named Brucite (after the magnesium oxide brucite that occurred locally), and took the name of the surrounding Gabbs Valley, itself named after palaentologist William Gabb (who had studied fossil specimens from the area). World War II demand for magnesium fuelled the plant's expansion under the direction of the War Production Board, and policing, a jail, and a school district were established during 1942. Gabbs became a township in June 1943, with a population of 426. Settlements at North Gabbs, South Gabbs, and Tent City (which later largely merged into North Gabbs) were served by a library, city hall, parks, and tennis courts, and a succession of local newspapers. The city incorporated on March 29, 1955.
In September 1944 the original magnesium plant was closed, having produced enough ore to meet targets for the projected duration of the war. The local population initially fell, but revived when a new plant administed by Basic Refractories, Inc., producing magnesium for the private sector, was opened in 1955. The town's population climbed to 796 by 1960.