Native American History in the Oasis Valley
The primary Native Americans in the Oasis Valley were Shoshone. Because of the area, Europeans had not yet had any influence here. They traveled to temporary seasonal camps and harvested pinion nuts, seeds, grains and plants for medicines. Springs in the Oasis Valley were always the prime encampments for the abundance of water and wild game.
The Ogwe'pi people dominated the area now known as the Bullfrog Mining District. Rich in springs and harvesting materials, they were known to share their abundance with neighboring tribes or family groups. The Ogwe'pi people of the Oasis Valley participated in rabbit drives, and harvesting pinion nuts and grains with the Eso people.
A major event was the fall festival which was hosted every other year by the Ogwe'pi. Not only did both Ogwe'pi and Eso districts participate, but guests from Ash Meadows, Pahrump and further were asked to join in.
According to the "American Heritage Dictionary" the Ogwe'pi people were also known as Western Shoshone. Little is known about the early Native Americans in the Beatty area. By the turn of the century, the Native American mix was Shoshone and Paiute. The area around Beatty could not support a large group of people so by 1875 there were only 29 known Native Americans living in the area. Semi nomad, they collected wild plants and small game that was available. They had temporary camps located at various water sites that extended a mere 1300 square miles. As hunter gatherers the Native Americans of the Oasis Valley wandered during the seasons to collect and process different plants.
With the discovery of gold in the second half of the ninetieth century, white man had started to move into the area. With the new threat of disease and the destruction of native plants and game, most of the Western Shoshone moved to the reservations at Walker Lake, Shultz, Reece River and other areas of Nevada. A few stayed on as part of the population of Beatty.