Friday, April 5, 2013

Desert Destination: Rhyolite Ghost Town

After a night in pleasant Beatty, Nevada (which has trees and a very different feel from Tonopah--plus the public pool in the town park is great), we headed to the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. It was occupied from 1905-1920. After that, enough buildings remained that it became a popular backdrop for filming movies. It's one of the most scenic ghost towns I've seen.

I had been here before, and what I remembered most was the awesome bottle house built by Tom Kelly with. Most of the house is made from 50,000 green glass bottles, which provide insulation and a unique house. Nowadays a fence surrounds the entire house, so we couldn't get close to it. I was happy to see that it's still in good shape. It had been partially rebuilt in 1925 by Paramount Pictures for a movie. Nearby are a couple shaded campsites for volunteers.

So does that mean it's not quite a ghost town anymore if people live there?

We decided to tour the town by bicycle, which delighted the kids. It was early in the morning so we didn't see many other tourists, and the light was gorgeous.

The old bank--can you imagine constructing a three-story building in a mining town? They were high on hope that the ore would last!

Another view of the bank. Another three-story building in town is the school. Reports say that 250 kids attended school. When I think of early-day mining, I think of lone prospectors climbing through desolate desert canyons, but the reality of those early mining towns was quite a bit different. Lots of families made the trek to remote locations to make enough to eat and thrive.

Railroads made it possible for people to get around, and two railroads came into Rhyolite. The old railroad depot had a fence around it, as it's private property. Most of Rhyolite is managed by the BLM.

We checked out the old brothel. It was quite small, so there must have been others for a town that big.

All that was inhabiting the old brothel was a spider web.

The town may have had as many 5,000 residents during its heydey, and their trash is still around nearly a century later.

We enjoyed Rhyolite. It's easy to get to and is quite scenic. Here's more about its history.

What's your favorite ghost town?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we were there we could go right up to the bottle house and touch it. What an amazing place. Thanks for the memories.

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