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Paradise Valley is one of those living ghost towns, so to speak. Although it truly looks and feels like an unstaged movie set, this building pictured above was once The Micca House—a historic house built all the way back in that went on to be a department store, post office, and government office. A long time ago, a horse broke into the building and got stuck for multiple days; its happy and healthy condition when it was rescued is attributed to the care it received from a long-gone former employee, who was said to still reside there. Despite pumping out actual millions of dollars in gold, silver and copper production and being the richest and most famous gold mine in southern Nevada, this mining camp was known for its wildly debaucherous behavior.
Think shootouts at high noon, one of those iconic red light districts, and, all around, a whole lot of lawlessness. The town itself, now known as Nelson, was founded by deserters of the Civil War, assuming such an isolated location would be the last place military would come searching for them. In true Nevada fashion, the mine dried up and a flash flood wiped the area out. Most of the town was destroyed, with the exception of a few buildings. The folks running tours at the actual Techatticup Mine have made this place their empire, bringing in some serious eye candy from countless movie, TV, and magazine shoots, with props like the plane crash above, left over from the filming of 3, Miles to Graceland.
Like the others mentioned here, Blair got its shot at being a shiny boomtown attracting gold hungry prospectors from near and far, BUT, hers was a bit more short lived. Mining took serious root in nearby Tonopah and spread throughout the region as a result… to places like Blair and Silver Peak. A giant stamp mill was built inwhich just so happened to be the largest of its kind in the whole state.
Just before rolling into the western edge of Austin, look up on the hillside. What are you looking for, exactly? More than 10, people were living in Austinchasing a serious silver vein, but by the time this tower was completed, the mine had dried up and everyone was off to the next place. He and his family lived in his castle for less than a year, and it has been unoccupied since.
Dyer has a few residents still hanging on, mostly on ranches that have been in the family for generations. When the community realized that original settlement— Fish Lake Valley —was falling victim to time and weather, they scrambled to save many of the original buildings and relocated all of them to one handy spot for you to check out.
That place, my friends, is the Fish Lake Valley Heritage Center … and everything there is truly incredible. The best part? Most of these original buildings house the actual relics used to complete the job, too. By the time Nevada State Parks stepped in to manage this property, the ruins were in a perfect state. Not overly eroded to the point of being unable to appreciate them… but not flawlessly preserved either. As with most places in Nevada, that proved virtually unnecessary and the fort was totally abandoned injust 8 years after it was built.
Aurora was just like that, until the s when someone illegally dozed it to steal the locally hewn bricks the buildings were made of. As with many bygone boomtowns, Belmont was at one point a county seat—in this case, of Nye County—during its mining heydey. From there, the miners transported the big, raw chunks of rock to stamp mills in order to break them down and extract the precious minerals they sought.
So make sure that camera is charged. Despite its lucrative prospects, the mining camp was incredibly far from any kind of water. And that was that. Although Candelaria is just about ten minutes off of modern-day USits relatively off-the-beaten-path location helped it remain mostly undisturbed for decades. By the s, a mining company swooped in to test out the old mine tailings here, which, thanks modern-day sophisticated mining techniques, turned out to still be profitable.
Today, not much mining is still taking place, which means you can roll right up to this sweet little mercantile building in its splendid state of decay. There are buildings, mining structures, and relics galore, as well as one of the most immersive and authentic mine tunnel experiences, at the Diana Mine.
But that view. As you make your self-guided walking tour around the townsite, wander into the machine shop and gaze out for that incredible mile vista. Yep, at 6, feet of elevation, thanks to the fact that these mountainsides were once the banks of ancient seas. You can catch a glimpse of the dig site through the windows of the Fossil House, pose next to a massive to-scale mural, camp, before you say auf wiedersehen to Berlin.
Turns out, prospectors could really build stuff. Imagine traveling 2, miles across the nation through all manner of unforgiving landscapes, showing up at a mining camp, knocking out 15 hours of manual labor… then building a house out of rocks—a good one, too. As well as stores, social halls, saloons, you name it—and with whatever materials they could find.
However, even roofless, many of these buildings have withstood the test of time and harsh Nevada elements all these years. But not this one, thanks to a—shall we say—more linguistically inclined postmaster. This northern Nevada locale boomed in the early s and, although the resident ore was in fact gold, and, although the townsfolk did in fact want to call it Gold-something, the postmaster declared that enough was enough. So in order to stand out from all the Gold-everythings—and, likely, to sprinkle in a little inspiration—they named the town Midas, after the famous king in Greek mythology whose touch turned everything to gold.
If you think we struggle with truth in advertising today, read that thing. You be the judge. Then head into the Midas Saloon for a cold brew and a delicious, honest meal—would you like a burger, a steak, or a steak sandwich.
Definitely something to see with your own eyes. Westernophiles know that anything Pony Express packs some serious horsepower. Despite the fact that this ambitious operation—of young, strapping, orphaned bachelors racing mail across the western United States on mustang-back—lasted less than two years thanks to implementation of the telegraphit sure left an impression.
Out of stations from California to Missouri, Nevada was home to 30 Pony Express Stations, like the one pictured above. These stations, positioned between five and 20 miles apart, were places where weary riders could take a breather and exchange their ran-out horses for a more re-energized steed.
This particular one, located at Sand Springs, was completely hidden for over years… buried in sand, like that of nearby off-road mecca Sand Mountain Recreation Area. The remaining foundation was literally uncovered by a team of archaeologists in and is now a pretty nifty spot to literally step into this short but fascinating chapter in American history. After gold and silver was discovered in Tonopah and Goldfield in the early s, prospectors flooded in to try for their piece of the pie.
While those two towns drew the largest influx, many other mining camps sprang up around the region, including Gold Pointwhere someone ironically a boom was sparked by Silver. However, while plenty of people never struck it rich in Nevada, the oh-so-Nevadan story of Gold Point features a man who did, in a much different way. During the s, Herb Robbins, not yet a Nevadan, came to the Silver State to explore ghost towns whenever he could.
He eventually moved to Las Vegas, professionally installing wallpaper in all the big casinos, but not for long. The picturesque, relic-packed town spans multiple blocks, but its centerpiece, hands down, is the working saloon. When you go, check out that whiskey selection. A few ride-or-die residents pledged their allegiance to Ione over any other newer, more profitable boomtown, even after the post office closed for good… a sure kiss of death for any community. Today, a few hardy residents have managed to hang on, and made a pretty sweet to commemorate their audacious pride.
Ione or bust, baby. Dodge City? Certainly, all of these boisterous spots exuded their own level of toughness. But a lesser-known little gunslinging Nevada town called Pioche swiftly beats out all the others by a country mile. To put in perspective, Tombstone only had a couple murders each year, while Pioche found itself with dozens on its hands, not to mention plenty of literal shootouts in the street, on the regular. Almost all of them are now permanent residents of Boot Hill Cemeterywhich is photogenically positioned under the only lasting aerial tramway in the state.
But why the name? Murderers were buried so quickly that the tips of their boots allegedly stuck out of the ground. Not entirely unrelatedly, it later hosted that last stagecoach robbery. As this would-be thief was far from the only nefarious individual to lurk about the canyon, the town had itself a jail—a pretty sturdy one, too. Today you can walk right in off the main drag and thankfully right back out to its cold cell and check out its original prisoner cot, as well as thumb through old mining records.
Heading into southern Nevada from LA? Do yourself a favor and shake things up a bit by taking the slight detour into Goodsprings, less than 15 minutes off of I at the Jean exittake the historic walking tour, and slurp back one of the best Bloody Marys in the Silver State. This community might be quiet now, but when its early s boom was enough to rival Nelsonthe not-too-far-away spot that put southern Nevada on the mining map. We recommend taking your tour before you settle in… we have a habit of not wanting to leave.
When a town was pulling insurmountable wealth out of the ground, people needed a secure place to store it. In short, mining meant banks. One of the best cases in point: Manhattan. Manhattan, Nevada. When things started to slow down in Belmont, located just over the pass, thousands of fortune-seekers beelined it here to get a piece of the hot new boom.
Keeping things locked down was definitely a priority for Nevada Manhattanites—because they knew themselves. Rumor has it that neighboring Belmont is still miffed at Manhattan for sneaking over that one night in and stealing its church—by dragging it 18 miles over the mountains.
Well, Goldfieldnever to be outdone, cranked up the heat with TWO giant fires and a freak flash flood. Garage, shown above. For tasty homemade grub, hit up the Dinky Diner.
In reality, the ferocious bun-buns were really just the result of people killing off the entire coyote population, letting the critters procreate at rabbit-like speed and munch all the crops, predator-free; then, whatever agricultural remains they left on their plates, the crickets swarmed in and licked clean.
Pair this with a shifty water rights scandal and a failed dam attempt and voila! We had ourselves a future ghost town. Its location at the edge of Death Valley certainly helps, but once you get there—especially at golden hour, you instantly get why. With so many fascinating buildings, some fully intact—like the train station… and brothel—others in a nearly perfect state of cracked and crumbling, like the iconic Cook Bank building, shown above.
Not of any haunted buildings that we know ofbut of the Goldwell Open Air Museuma sculpture-filled installation started by Belgian artists in the s, which is now home to a ghostly depiction of the Last Supper, a LEGO-esque woman, a foot-tall miner and his trusty penguinand other surrealist visions rising from the desert, not to mention a free visitor center. Nivloc, another boomtown in the s heyday around Tonopah and Goldfieldemerged after a Shoshone Indian discovered gold here inswinging into full force by the s.
Find out where to go, what to make sure you see, when to venture out, and how to get there. Ghostly street scenes in Paradise Valley 1 hour north of Winnemucca. A super saucy triple window effect in Blair 1 hour south of Tonopah. A desert castle sure to instigate a little travel stoke in Austin Austin.Hot women Carson City ca
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