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Old 11-27-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

For the past couple of weeks I've mapped out several trips around Nevada to visit the mining towns and ghost towns throughout the state. This weekend I went on the first of five legs of these trips, a total of 707 miles round trip. I visited the towns of Beatty, Gold Point, Lida, Goldfield, Columbia, Tonapah, Calendaria, Metallic City, Coaldale, Blair, Silver Peak, Montezuma, and Hard Luck City. Here are a few of the pictures I took. Sorry that some are blurry. I still haven't mastered the automatic focus on my camera.

My first stop was at Gold Point. The town is quite fascinating.




There are lots of mines to explore in the Gold Point area. I spent several hours exploring these hills.







I stopped at the only business in town. I don't even know if it has a name. Herb, the owner, asked if I was staying for dinner. He and his wife had prepared a big thanksgiving spread for about 36 of their friends. I made #37. Perfect timing.







I next went to Lida, a spot in the road.





There is, however, an abandoned bordello at the Lida junction if anyone is interested in a fixer-upper. It had some very interesting pictures on the walls.

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Old 11-27-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

I then went into Goldfield. Gold was discovered at Goldfield in 1902, its year of inception. By 1904 the Goldfield district produced about 800 tons of ore, valued at $2,300,000, 30% of the state's production that year. This remarkable production caused Goldfield to grow rapidly, and it soon became the largest town in the state with over 20,000 people. Over $86 million in ore was removed from the mines in Goldfield before the area's eventual decline. A flashflood in 1913 damaged many homes beyond repair and the great fire of 1923 leveled 23 square blocks of the city including many commercial buildings. But there is still enough of the city left to warrant a visit.



You can tell by the size of the abandoned hotel, school and other buildings that is was a booming metropolis.






I found these artful cars at a junkyard at the north end of town





There are lots of old mines around Goldfield. And some are still in operation. They had a very large 100 stamp mill in Goldfield.



I then drove to Tonapah. This is a great town for exploring. The long abandoned Mizpah Hotel has been completely restored and is open once again.




It was getting too dark to see so I found a secluded spot to camp for the night. It turned out to be a gravel pit -- which was perfect for viewing the billions of stars since it blocked out any nearby lights. I took these pictures in the morning as I was leaving. It was 21 degrees when I woke up. Burrrrrrrrr!!!




As I was driving out I saw this roadkill on the road. Amazing what you can see in the desert.

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Old 11-27-2011, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

My next stop was Candelaria and Metallic City.








I then stopped for some ghost gas in Coaldale



Then off to Blair and Silver Peak.





Silver Peak has the only lithium extraction mine in the U.S. They also have alkali ponds in the area right out in the middle of the desert.



My final stop was at Hard Luck City. A guy from Tahoe, named Randy, bought the old mine site and decided to build his home there. It is 10 miles on a winding dirt road from Gold Point (where I met him at the Thanksgiving dinner) or 10 miles on another dirt road from the main highway. In other words, he is out in the middle of nowhere. He's taken boondock camping to a whole new level. He invited me to tour his house. It's called the Hardluck Castle.




The front door entrance



The stairs to the glass observatory at the top of the house. Randy told me the hanging lamp changes positions as the moon moves -- similar to a pendulum (If that is what causes a pendulum to rotate).



This is Randy in the observatory. The inside of the house is not completed, so he works on it every day.



And here is Randy's view from his observatory. It's how he keeps an eye on his neighbors.



Randy told me he is going to complete the home and then sell it. He is selling everything he has, including everything in the house, his massive workshop and all of his tools, his vehicles, his road graders and tractors, etc. etc. for $3.25 million. He then wants to buy a sailboat and just sail around for the rest of his life. So, here's your big chance to live far away from everyone and be completely self-contained. The house has solar, wind and three generators (if needed) for power. It's completely off the grid. Any takers? Here's the link to the real estate ad if you're interested: http://www.farwestrealestate.com/hardluck-mine-castle/
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

The weekend before I visited Goodsprings, just outside of Las Vegas. Here you can find the oldest operating bar in Nevada. Built in 1913, the Pioneer Saloon is known for having wet many a thirsty miner's whistle. It's also known for its patterned tin exterior and interior walls, some resembling bricks. The Pioneer Saloon is one of the nation's oldest stamped-metal building still standing. Notice the Carol Lombard and Clark Gable room. This is the room Clark Gable waited in to hear of the fate of his wife, Carol Lombard, who was killed in a commercial plane crash on nearby Potosi Mountain.





And, of course, there are many old, abandoned mines in the area. This first picture is the foundations of the Argentena Mill. The mines in the area produced a total of 1385 tons of ore. Production ceased in 1928 and never went in production for WWII. Production started in 1926 and ended in 1927 although the mill ran until 1928 to care of the backlog of ore. The 1385 tons of ore produced 129,000 pounds of lead and also 2789 ounces of silver. They only wound up with a total of 1.4 ounces of Gold.



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Old 11-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

Great write-up. Goldfield is now on my list of places to visit. Hopefully is stays just the way it is. That hotel is spectacular.


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Old 11-27-2011, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

Very nice thanks for sharing, +1 thoses "cities" goes on my Nevada to go place.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

Great stuff!

Do you gave a GPS log of your trip? Or approx route you took?
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

ANZAC,

Sorry, I don't have a GPS track of my trip. I am a low-tech guy and don't know how to do any of that fancy stuff. But every place I visited, except Randy's house, is on the Nevada state map. Candelaria, Metallic City, and Coaldale are northwest of Tonapah on Highway 95. Goldfield is just south of Tonapah. And all of the other towns I visited are either due West, Southwest or South of Goldfield.

My next ghost town trip will be in the area to the northeast of Tonapah. It is filled with some very interesting towns and impressive ruins. It's the closest Nevada gets to Mayan-type ruins. Just that area alone -- the Manhattan district -- should take me several days to explore. But, since it is at a higher altitude, I'll wait until March to do it.

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Old 11-27-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

Although I made this trip about a year ago, I thought I'd add it to my Ghost and Mining Town Trip Report. The following pictures are from Rhyolite Ghost Town, just west of Beatty, Nevada. This is perhaps Nevada's most famous ghost town.

The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region's biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange. Published estimates of the town's peak population vary widely, but scholarly sources generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000 in 190708.

Rhyolite declined almost as rapidly as it rose. After the richest ore was exhausted, production fell. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the financial panic of 1907 made it more difficult to raise development capital. In 1908, investors in the Montgomery Shoshone Mine, concerned that it was overvalued, ordered an independent study. When the study's findings proved unfavorable, the company's stock value crashed, further restricting funding. By the end of 1910, the mine was operating at a loss, and it closed in 1911. By this time, many out-of-work miners had moved elsewhere, and Rhyolite's population dropped well below 1,000. By 1920, it was close to zero.

The Rhyolite historic townsite is "one of the most photographed ghost towns in the West". Ruins include the railroad depot and other buildings, and the Bottle House, which the Famous Players Lasky Corporation, the parent of Paramount Pictures, restored in 1925 for the filming of a silent movie, "The Air Mail". The ruins of the Cook Bank Building were used in the 1964 film "The Reward" and again in 2004 for the filming of "The Island" (a great movie). The Rhyolite-Bullfrog cemetery, with many wooden headboards, is slightly south of Rhyolite.

Here are some of the building ruins still standing.







Here is the train depot that was in Rhyolite. Note that this is before I had my SMB lifted and Aluminess bumpers put on.




The most popular attraction in Rhyolite is the bottle house.




The Goldwell Open Air Art Museum lies on private property just south of the ghost town.




This is the beautiful sunrise we woke up to after camping in the Ghost Town on Halloween night.

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Old 12-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #10
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Re: Nevada Ghost and Mining Town Trip - 11/25-26/2011

ANZAC
Google http://www.ghosttowns.com this site will provide all the information you need .
Greggd
incidentally you will find the information to be quite accurate but always research further as many of these towns are just barely on this planet .
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