Rhyolite Ghost Town Beatty Reviews
short lived, but was no small town...for ghost town seekers Jan 02, 2015
There is something about the sight of decaying that is so provocative! At Death Valley, there are much Ghost Towns! One of the easiest to reach is the townsite called; Rhyolite.
Located just out of Beatty, Nevada…about 3.8 miles west or 35 miles from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center towards Beatty. A paved road towards north (left) from Hwy 374 will take you to the “town proper.”
Rhyolite Ghost Town may not be as “ghostly” like Bodie in California, but still, has its own character. The town founded with the gold rush of 1904. Contrary to the 10,000 population during its heyday, by 1920s the population had shrunk to fourteen! Only a total of twenty short years of rising glory, before the town collapsed. A handful residents stayed while the rest had slowly left almost every week during the financial panic. The very last town citizen died in 1924 right in that corner of Nye County. “Decaying” of this town began when investors from the East withheld their investments. The (financial) Panic of 1907 spelled downfall for Rhyolite. The town continued to struggle to stay alive hoping for a boom, but never came.
Like any typical modern city of today, Rhyolite had it all then! Well, of course except cell phones and other handheld computer gadgets. ;-) Business establishments like hotels, salons, shops, banks, and so forth to cater the soon to be booming town. Rhyolite had two school buildings; one of which can accommodate even more than the number of students in the community. They even had electricity that ran all over town when neighboring gold towns don't. By all means, the people knew how to socialize and were involved in sports activities. They had an opera house and a baseball field. The number of public swimming pools (there were 3) indicated a well-needed amenity especially in that part of the country. These facts tell us Rhyolite was no small town and yet hard to imagine now because there were only a few remnants; very little reminders that Rhyolite; once a rising town.
There is a small house made of thousands of beer bottles, a proof that besides drinking-water, the town never ran out of beer! A separate review of this peculiar structure is in progress.
The most prominent ruined building is the John Cook Bank Building; cost the townspeople $90,000 to build.
Founders of this town were two gold miner icons namely; Eddy Cross and “Shorty” Harry.
The town was given the name Rhyolite from the silica-rich volcano rock in the area.
*Must for ghost town enthusiasts*
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