Monday, May 20, 2013

Nevada (Ghost Towns)

Nevada’s a funny state.  I think it must have more ghost towns than real ones.  I do know that it has more ghost towns than any other state in the Union.

How’s come?  I put it down to the fact that, other than extracting minerals from the earth, there’s not much else going on economically in the Silver State.  In addition, said extraction of minerals – silver, gold, copper, whatever – isn’t really what you’d call a sustainable industry.  So, what’s here today is largely gone tomorrow.  Boom towns turn into ghost towns here awfully quickly.

Notes on Methodology

I’m doing things a little different on this one.  For one thing, there tend to not be a lot of facts and figures when it comes to ghost towns.  Indeed, the typical town history invariably goes something like this:

  1. Some prospector discovers some deposit of some mineral
  2. Other prospectors flood the place to get in on the action
  3. Hangers on flood the place as well (and build hotels, and banks, and saloons, and brothels, and what not)
  4. The deposit runs dry
  5. Everyone gets out of town
  6. The post office closes
And, believe it or not, that can happen in the space of just a couple of years.

So, given that, I’m not going to pick out and rank individual ghost towns (there's just not info on each one).  Instead, I’ll feature the basic groupings I typically use for my honorable mentions.  If I do find some interesting tidbits – or good pictures – though, I’ll make sure to include them.

Oh, and a couple of other things:

  • If the ghost town has at least one real, flesh-and-blood residence, it’s not a ghost town, and is listed in my previous post
  • I’m not including “camps” where no permanent structures (wood, brick, or stone – vs. canvas) were ever built
  • No pure water or wood stops or just section houses for railroads
  • No “towns” that were really just ranches

By the way, most of these ghost towns come from these incredibly awesome sites:


  • Tunnel
  • Stateline
  • Spring City
  • Canyon City – intermittently occupied for almost 100 years (1863 to 1958); at one time, had 1,600 inhabitants
  • Central City
  • Central

Short and sweet

  • Oak
  • Ray
  • Carp

Not the same carp unfortunately
(though this event is in NV)

Just a little out of place

  • Telluride – after the ore tellurium, a rare metal used in alloys
  • Tacoma
  • Duluth – the post office remained open for only a year
  • Pittsburgh
  • Rochester
  • Bunker Hill
  • Potomac
  • Alabama
  • Guadalajara
  • Barcelona
  • Geneva – founded by Charles Breyfogle (see below)
  • Berlin – the only Nevada ghost town that is also a state park
  • Athens
  • Babylon

There’s no wait,
in Berlin, NV!

Abnormal nouns

  • Joy
  • Wonder
  • Aura – from the Latin for “gold”
  • Mineral
  • Chloride
  • Burro
  • Jackrabbit
  • Veteran – all that’s left is a huge open-pit copper mine
  • Burner – named after prospectors Elijah and J.F. Burner
  • Shafter – I’m sure there’s a Mr. Shafter behind this one
  • Decoy
  • Frisbie – yup, Frisbie’s a last name too
  • Minimums – after A.E. Minnimum (I kid you not!)
  • Sumo

Cool old postcard

Fun to say

  • Moho
  • Cluro
  • Orizaba – though I have no idea how to actually pronounce it
  • Nivlock
  • Pactolus
  • Breyfogle – named for Charles Breyfogle, a prospector who discovered a large gold deposit while wandering through the desert after escaping from Indians.  He spent the next 26 years trying to find it again.  By the way, this was not it.
  • Cocomongo

Prime Orizaba real estate

Just plain weird

  • Patsville
  • Phonolite – “a rare extrusive volcanic rock of intermediate chemical composition between felsic and mafic, with texture ranging from aphanitic (fine-grain) to porphyritic (mixed fine- and coarse-grain)”
  • Steptoe City – after Col. Edward J. Steptoe, “primarily remembered for the Steptoe Disaster,” an ambush of U.S. troops by Indians
  • Stonewall – named after Stonewall Jackson
  • Star City
  • Golden Arrow – founded by two deaf-mute prospectors
  • Silver Bow – Nellis AFB bisects the town
  • Silver Glance – after the Silver Glance Mine
  • Silver City
  • Metallic City – formerly Pickhandle Gulch
  • Tungstonia
  • Mud Springs
  • Black Horse
  • Buckskin – originally known as Gold Pit
  • Rawhide
  • Bruno City
  • Broken Hills
  • Yankee Blade – after a New England newspaper

Yup, it says “Patsville”

I’d like to introduce you to

  • Bonnie Claire
  • Betty O’Neal
  • Ruby City

Available on Zazzle
(for some unknown reason)


  • Divide
  • National – after the National Mine, which produced $8,000,000 worth of gold
  • Seven Troughs
  • Weepah
  • Skookum
  • Metropolis – not too far from Lovelock

No, it's not the Taj Mahal - 
it' a school ruin from Metropolis

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