Founded the first recorded gold discovery in Nevada, July 1849.

Abner Blackburn was a former member of the Mormon Battalion who strayed away from his California-bound wagon party near the site of present-day "Day-Town," (Dayton) when he turned over a rock that assayed at more than eighty percent gold. Blackburn's discovery prompted the immediate "Rush to Washoe" at the foot of< Gold Canyon, approximately one year after the famed gold discoveries in California.

William Prouse, a member of a passing emigrant party, made a second discovery further up Gold Canyon in May 1850, crediting "Mr. Blackburn" to his overwhelming find. Later, the discoverers of these placer gold deposits believed the promised riches of California to be greater and foolishly left behind what valuable ore lay remaining in the canyon. Blackburn returned to Gold Canyon the following year after finding most of California's Motherlode creeks and rivers had already been claimed.