Wednesday, November 28, 2012


DSCF0304 During the Thanksgiving holiday with Sean, we visited Death Valley and, just outside the park entrance, the ghost town of Rhyolite, NV.  This is not just any ghost town---The interesting thing about Rhyolite is the fact that it went from a bustling town of about 8,000 people to 14 folks from 1904 to 1920! DSCF0309

Gold was found by Shorty Harris and Ed Cross in 1904 and by 1905, a township was established and platted.  Mining was the reason the town grew so fast, with a large mine right on its outskirts.  The entrance is still there, but blocked off by fences (mostly for safety reasons!). DSCF0315  DSCF0317 The economy began to fail, due to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, and people began to leave the town by 1910.  But by this time, the town had a jail,DSCF0316 a new school, DSCF0327 a three-story bank building complete with a Post Office, DSCF0333 DSCF0334 and three railroads DSCF0336 with a depot (way in the background).DSCF0310  DSCF0330  DSCF0332 This mercantile was quite an attraction with its large plate-glass windows---the only one in town!  People visited just to see the glass! 

Probably the most popular place to see is this bottle house, DSCF0306 which was erected by Tom Kelly in 1906.  It has survived well DSCF0305 as it was refurbished back in the 1960’s and was most recently a curio shop.

DSCF0314 We enjoyed walking among all the ruins, looking for small treasures (but finding mostly tin cans and broken glass!) and unusual items.  There were lots of deserted bedsprings, broken dinner ware and metal pieces from woodstoves and chimneys.  All in all, it was a lot of fun exploring this piece of western history!  DSCF0325