Downeyville Nevada

Downeyville Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada.  In May 1877 silver-lead discoveries in the area caused a large influx of start up mining camps and development.  Most people who came to the new and yet to be named town came from nearby Ellsworth.

So many people made the trip so quickly, that frequently, they were greeted with no accommodations. The new towns people were often forced to sleep outside or camp among the sage brush.

The town of Downeyville was founded in 1878 and had a population of 200 men. The small town boasted several stores, stables, saloons, stage lines which included Wells Fargo Express.  A post office was added in March of 1879 and the town was named after the first postmaster, P. Downey.   Mr. Downey

By 1881 ore was shipped to the nearby Carson & Colorado railroad for processing, until a lead smelter was constructed in Downeyville, which did not occur until several years later.  Like many boom towns, Downeyville Nevada passed into history with the next big discovery hit in Tonopah. Downeyvilles production from 1878 to 1901 is claimed to have produced between $7 million to $12 million worth of silver and lead.  By 1901 the post office was discontinued and the town faltered leaving behind stone ruins.

Bonnie Claire Nevada

Located off highway 267 East of Death Valley National Park Gold, Bonnie Clarie Nevada is a mine site and ghost town that is easy to explore from the highway in Nye County, Nevada.   Bonnie Claire began life with a 5 stamp mill located in Thorp’s Well,  in the early 1880s.  The mill in Thorp’s Well processed ore for three active mines in the area for twenty years.  At this point, the mill was purchased by the Bonnie Clarie Bullfrog Mining Company to process materials from the Gold Mountain District.

Long Team in front of the Bonnie Claire Mine, Nevada
Long Team in front of the Bonnie Claire Mine, Nevada

In 1904 a second Mill, the Bonnie Claire mill, was built near the stage stop in Thorp which service travelers from Goldfield and Bullfrog and a post office followed in 1905.

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Carrara Nevada

Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV
Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV

Carrara Ghost town is a small ghost town and marble mine located about ten miles south of Beatty in Nye County, Nevada on the east side of US 95.

Carrara Nevada is restricted to access from barb wire.
Carrara Nevada is restricted to access from barb wire.

First attempts to quarry the marble at the Carrara site were made in 1904, but these initial efforts failed with the inability to produce larger slabs from the highly fractured marble.  In 1911, addition deposits were found more suitable, and the town was laid out in Carrara Canyon by the American Carrara Marble Company.  Rails were already available and water was pumped in from Gold Center, NV.  The town site was officially dedicated in 1913.

 Carrara Nevada is falling the vandalism and time.  Photo by James L Rathbun
Carrara Nevada is falling the vandalism and time. Photo by James L Rathbun

The town boast a newspaper appropriately named the Obelisk, a post office, hotel, store and restaurant to serve the 100 people who called the place home.   In 1914, the rail road was completed, and soon large marble blocks were shipped down to Los Angeles, CA for finishing.   The town and its people saw hardship and soon moved in in the 1920s.

If you are driving to through Beatty, this is a quick stop just 2 minutes off the highway.

Carrara Trail Map

Carrara, Nevada Ghost Town Trail Map
Carrara, Nevada Ghost Town Trail Map

Chloride City California

Chloride City California is located within Death Valley National Park and Inyo County, California. The town arose out of silver discoveries in nearby Chloride Cliff in 1873 and is one of the earliest of the Death Valley mines.

The first road through Death Valley was constructed from Chloride City, California to San Bernardino, California which was the nearest town 180 miles away. In the 1870’s ore was shipped out using trains of pack mules which would return carrying food and supplies to the camp. The mines of this small community struggled on for a few years, but by 1880 no mines were producing and everybody had moved on.

Crowells Mill under construction in Chloride City, CA about 1915
Crowells Mill under construction in Chloride City, CA about 1915

The nearby Bullfrog, Nevada, gold discovery excitement of 1904 brought in new capital. The Chloride Cliff Mine was bought by investors in nearby Rhyolite and re-opened in 1908. Sufficient ore was produced in subsequent years to warrant the construction of a cyanide mill in 1916. By 1918 the camp was deserted again.

The ghost town contains numerous adits, dumps and the grave of James McKay, of whom nothing is known. The town also holds the remains of three stamp mills.

Chloride City Trail Map

Rhyolite Nevada

Rhyolite is a ghost town location just outside of the Eastern edge of Death Valley National monument in Nye country, Nevada.  Founded in 1904 by Frank “Shorty” Harris when he discovered quartz with load of “Free Gold”, Rhyolite started as a gold mining camp in the surrounding Bullfrog mining district. As with many discovery’s during this time period, news quickly circulated and the Bullfrog mining district was formed.

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Assays of $3000 per ton were reported by the mining press of the day, and the fall and winter saw many people converge on the area despite the weather conditions. Tonopah and Goldfield saw hundreds head south in the spring of 1905, and the migration caused “a string of dust a hundred miles long”.

It is an encouraging sign that the Ryolite Jail still stands. Also noteworthy, a brothel crib still stands as well.
It is an encouraging sign that the Ryolite Jail still stands. Also noteworthy, a brothel crib still stands as well.

The townsite of Rhyolite was found in a draw close to the most important mines in February, 1905. To start, the town was a mining camp with tents and canvas walled building. Fuel shortages caused the populous to burn sage brush and greasewood as fuel for their stoves to cook and keep warm. Food and fuel were teamed into the area on daily stages and water was bought over from Beatty for $5 per barrel.

A trains cabose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada
A trains cabose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada

However, as was common with gold rush towns, Rhyolite quickly developed all of the modern amenities of day, including newspapers, schools, hospitals and electrical power. Six thousand people called the town home in 1907. Luxuries unimaginable just two years before include, hotel rooms with private baths, and opera house, dozens of saloons, four banks, a butcher shop were brought to the town by three different trains.

The mines of Rhyolite, Nevada operated from 1905 - 1911
The mines of Rhyolite, Nevada operated from 1905 – 1911

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and a financial panic of 1907 dried up capital investment which doomed the town along with many others in the region. Rhyolite ceased to be and closed in 1911.  

Today, several building shells still exist, along with the infamous Bottle House, and outdoor museum.  The town is accessible via paved roads, which ruins the “ghosttown” effect and detracts a bit from the location.  In spite of this, it is easily accessible and worth a stop when you are in the area.

“The Last Supper” and other art pieces hold court just outside of Rhyolite

Rhyolite is a wonderful place to visit when you are running Titus Canyon and Leadfield trail.

Rhyolite, Nevada 1909
Rhyolite, Nevada 1909

Location Map

Rhyolite Ghost Town Map, Inyo County, Nevada
Rhyolite Ghost Town Map, Inyo County, Nevada