The town was one of the earliest settlements of the placer gold camps in the Nigger Hill mining district. In 1880, it had a population of around 1,000, but by 1887 the population had shrunk to 200, most of whom were employed in tin mines, quartz mills, a tin smelter and two saw mills. By 1900, the population was down to 100 and the decline continued until there were none. Bear Gulch 1 is 1/2 mile northeast of Tinton and is easily reached by a 5 mile drive eastward from Spearfish Canyon on the Iron Creek road. There was a Bear Gulch II that is now submerged beneath the waters of Pactola Lake.