Goldfield Nevada State Historic Marker #14

Goldfield is Nevada State Historical Marker number fourteen and is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Goldfield was a boomtown  between 1903 and 1940. Goldfield’s mines produced more than $86 million at then-current prices. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923, although several buildings survived and remain today, notably the Goldfield Hotel, the Consolidated Mines Building, the schoolhouse.

Photograph of half-tone print of a busy main street in Goldfield, Nevada, ca.1905. The dirt street is crowded with horse-drawn wagons, and pedestrians. Stores and other commercial ventures front most of the small buildings lining the street. A hill is in the background at the end of the street. - Photo Credit “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library.
Photograph of half-tone print of a busy main street in Goldfield, Nevada, ca.1905. The dirt street is crowded with horse-drawn wagons, and pedestrians. Stores and other commercial ventures front most of the small buildings lining the street. A hill is in the background at the end of the street. – Photo Credit “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

For a 20-year period prior to 1900 the mining in Nevada fell into a slump that cast the entire state into a bleak depression and caused the loss of one-third of the population.

The picture brightened overnight following the spectacular strikes in Tonopah and, shortly afterwards, in Goldfield. Gold ore was discovered here in December, 1902, by two Nevada-born prospectors, Harry Stimler and Billy Marsh. From 1904 to 1918 Goldfield boomed furiously. The city had a railroad that connected into Las Vegas and a peak population of 20,000. Between 1903- 40 a total of $86,765,044 in metals was produced here.

Neada State Historic Marker #14

Summary

ID14
NameGoldfield Nevada State Historic Marker
LocationEsmeralda County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.7076, -117.2335

References

Beatty Nevada State Historic Marker #173

Beatty NSHM 173 is Nevada State Historical Marker number one hundred and seventy three five and is located just off of highway 95 in the town of Beatty in Nye County, Nevada. This marker is posted just off the highway on an island. Its orientation is such that when travelling north through town, it is quite visible, but may be difficult to find when travelling south. Beatty, Nevada was an old mining town and served as ta border town for old Nevada. The boomtown was provided passengers, frieght and mail service by three railroads, Tonopah and Tidewater Road, Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad and the Bullfrog and Goldfield.

Nevada State Historic Marker #173 - Beatty
Nevada State Historic Marker #173 – Beatty

In 1867, the Nevada Legislature approved the action of Congress to add that portion of the Territory of Arizona which lay to the south of this line, west of the 114 degree west longitude and the Colorado River, and to the east of the boundary of California. This action, taken on January 18, 1867, gave to the State of Nevada the permanent boundaries as they are today.

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Nevada State Historic Marker Summary

ID173
NameBeatty
LocationNye County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude 36.5922, -116.7558

Nevada State Historic Marker Map

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

During 1906-’07 three railroads were built in this area. The Las Vegas and Tonopah built from Las Vegas through Beatty and Rhyolite to Goldfield. The Bullfrog Goldfield built south from Goldfield to Beatty and Rhyolite. The Tonopah and Tidewater built north from Ludlow, California to Gold Center and used the BG tracks from Gold Center to Beatty and Rhyolite until 1914.

Rancher M.M. Beatty drove the last spike here on April 18, 1907, marking the completion of the first and only north-south railroad system in the state. Rails were torn up at Beatty beginning on July 18, 1942.

Nevada State Historic Marker #165

References

Bullfrog Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun
One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada – Photo by James L Rathbun

Located at the northern end of Amargosa Desert, Bullfrog is a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Bullfrog mine was discovered on  August 9, 1904 by Frank “Shorty” Harris and Eddie Cross. This discovery lead to many new townsites being platted out in the following seven months. It is said that Ed sold his interest in the claim for $125,000. Shorty Harris claimed to have discovered that he sold him claim during a 6 day celebration. Claims where made for miles surrounding the original mines.

Main Street in Bullfrog Nevada - 1905
Main Street in Bullfrog Nevada – 1905
Frank "Shorty" Harris
Frank “Shorty” Harris

The name Bullfrog was chosen either because Eddie Cross was fond of singing ‘O, the bulldog on the bank and the bullfrog in the pool…’ or due to the ore rich gold ore sample was green and frog-shaped.

Regardless, Bullfrog was the towns name and quickly grew to a population of 1,000. The town supported post offices, newspapers, telephones, hotels, saloons and all of the common businesses which appeared in these dusty destinations in the desert. Advertisements from Los Angeles promoted the town as a new metropolis in Nevada and “The Greatest Gold Camp in the World”.

The formation of the town of Rhyolite led to a brief and wild race for commercial viability and supremacy. By 1906, Rhyolite succeeded and businesses in Bullfrog either closed or moved up to Rhyolite on wagons. Despite this blow, Bullfrog continued on for another three years before its inevitable collapse in 1909.

Bullfrog (eights months old) has post office, express, telegraph and telephone facilities, a $20,000 hotel, a $50,000 water system, a thoroughly equipped pavilion, one of the best equipped banks in the state, an electric light plant in process of construction, a newspaper, population of 1,000

1905 Advertisement – The Los Angeles-Bullfrog Realty & Investment Co.

Today, the town site has little to show of its past. Again, it is superseded to its neighbor up the valley. A small cemetery still exists to mark the lives of those who lived and died there.

Town Summary

NameBullfrog Nevada
LocationNye County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude36.890278, -116.833611
Elevation3,580 Feet
Population1,000
Post Office1905 – 1909
NewspaperBullfrog Miner Mar 31, 1905 – Sept 25, 1909

Bullfrog Nevada Trail Map

Bullfrog Personalities

Frank "Shorty" Harris

Frank “Shorty” Harris

Frank Harris was a prospector, desert rat and perhaps the best known character in western mining history. He looked the part, often travelling the desert…

References

Rhyolite Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

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
Cook Bank Building, Rhyolite Nevada, Photo marked 1908 and "Courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society"
Cook Bank Building, Rhyolite Nevada, Photo marked 1908 and “Courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society”

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 train caboose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun
A train caboose as found in Rhyolite, Nevada – Photo by James L Rathbun

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, and 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 Town Summary

NameRhyolite
LocationNye County
NewspaperRhyolite Herald May 25, 1905-Apr 26, 1907; Oct 11, 1907-June 22, 1912; Mar 1909 Special Ed
Rhyolite Daily Bulletin Sept 23, 1907 – May 31, 1909
Death Valley Prospector Nov – Dec 1907

Rhyolite Map

Rhyolite Points of Interest

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Cook Bank Building

The Cook Bank Building is the most iconic image and popular images of the Rhyolite ghost town, in Nye County, Nevada. When John S. Cook…
Rhyolite Train Depot is located at the north end of town in Rhyolite, Nye County, Nevada. - Photo by James L Rathbun

Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad

The Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad was a standard gauge railroad which operated along 197 miles between the town of Las Vegas and Goldfield, NV.…
Overbury Building, Rhylote, Nevada. - Photograph by James L Rathbun

Overbury Building

The Overbury building is a general office building built by John Overbury, in Rhyolite, Nye County Nevada in 1906. The building was one of two…
Porter Brothers store front in Phyolite, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun

Porter Brothers Store

The Porter Brothers store is a ruined storefront on the main street in the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nye County, Nevada. The Porter Brothers were…
Rhyolite Train Depot is located at the north end of town in Rhyolite, Nye County, Nevada. - Photo by James L Rathbun

Rhyolite Train Depot

The town of Rhyolite boasted three train services using the Rhyolite Train Depot which is completed in June, 1908. The depot services the Las Vegas…

Rhyolite Personalities

Frank "Shorty" Harris

Frank “Shorty” Harris

Frank Harris was a prospector, desert rat and perhaps the best known character in western mining history. He looked the part, often travelling the desert…
James Crysanthus Phelan

James Crysanthus Phelan – Rhyolite Shopkeeper

James Crysanthus Phelan James Crysanthus Phelan was a business man and early pioneer of the desert southwest, who like many others followed the boom towns…
John S Cook overseeing bars of gold bullion. Photo Goldfield Historical Society

John S Cook

John S Cook overseeing bars of gold bullion. Photo Goldfield Historical Society John S Cook is the founder and builder of the Cook Bank Building…
Walter Scott (1872 - 1954)

Walter Edward Perry Scott – “Death Valley Scotty”

Walter Edward Perry Scott  (September 20, 1872 – January 5, 1954), also known as "Death Valley Scotty", was a miner, prospector and conman who operated…

Resources

Bonnie Claire Nevada – A Nye County Ghost Town

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.

The railroad reached the area in 1906 and the Bonnie Claire Nevada townsite was founded.   First a tent city house the population until 1907 when the first wooden structures were built which hosted 100 people and several saloons.  The location languished with the founding of Rhyolite to the south.  The town survived serveral years past it prime and served to ship building materials for Scotty’s Castle.

Bonnie Claire Trail Map