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Rhyolite Nevada  -  Bullfrog - Ghost Towns of Nevada

Rhyolite Nevada

A couple prospectors by the names of Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross searched the harsh southwest land in search of their fortunes. Forty years after Nevada was admitted as a State, October 31, 1864, the land of the southwest was rich with minerals and sparsely populated. In 1904, the two prospectors discovered a small hill containing quartz with gold streaks throughout.

When Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross found this legendary gold field, unfortunately not many people resided in that area to help celebrate. In fact, the only person in the nearby area was an elderly man living five miles away with his family by the name of Beatty, the same man after whom today’s Beatty, Nevada is named.

Seemed like overnight, thousands of people from hundreds and even thousands of miles away had heard of the gold strike and had migrated to Rhyolite area. Rhyolite is named after the silica-rich volcanic rock in the area. Now the gold rush was in full strides. Nearby several mining camps were set up including Bullfrog, Jumpertown and Amargosa.

Within months, miners had established more than 2000 mining claims covering everything in a 30-mile area. The miners were hard at work trying to strike it rich. Probably the most promising mine was the Montgomery Shoshone mine, this caused everyone to move to the new Rhyolite town site

In 1906 marked the grand opening of the celebrated Alaska Glacier Ice Cream Parlor by Countess Morajeski. This addition to the parched land of Nevada was a huge success. That same year Tom T. Kelly, an enterprising miner, constructed the famous Bottle House. The Bottle House was built from 50,000 beer and liquor bottles. Paramount pictures in January 1925 restored the Bottle House.

The nationally known Montgomery Shoshone mine was the landmark of the Rhyolite area. Owner, of the Montgomery Shoshone mine, Bob Montgomery was brought into the light of United States investing when in 1906 he sold his legendary mining operation to Charles Schwab, for approximately 4 million dollars.

In 1907 the thriving town of Rhyolite Nevada was a city of 12,000 inhabitants. Today a Ghost town, Rhyolite once had a full telephone service, school with 250 student, several saloons, water companies, stock exchange and Board of Trade, an ice plant, miners union hospital, hundreds of homes, electric street lights, and an opera house.  Keeping with the wild west, Rhyolite even had a red light district.

Within four years of the peak of Rhyolite’s prosperity, 1910 saw the mining operation slowing to an output of only $246,661 and there were only 611 residents in the town.

On March 14, 1911, the directors of the Montgomery Shoshone mine voted to close down the mining and milling operations. Five years later, 1916, they turned out the lights literally, the power and light company closed.

Today only a few brick building fronts remain, The Bottle House and the train depot are the only complete buildings still surviving. Rhyolite and nearby ghost town Bullfrog are found approximately five miles near the present day city of Beatty, Nevada. Beatty Nevada is also famous for the local hot springs that average a water temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and the springs are open year-round.

Directions:
4 miles west of Beatty on NV 374.

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