Rhyolite Ghost Town

Click here to buy prints from this post

Wide shot of mountains and Rhyolite Ghost Town

The town of Rhyolite, Nevada rose and fell in less than a decade. The town started in 1905 with two men working at the Montgomery Shoshone Mine, with the promise of the mine the town grew to more than 2500 people in six months and had saloons, hotels, restaurants, barbers, and a newspaper.

HD & LD Porter Store in Rhyolite Ghost Town

HD & LD Porter Store

Then in 1906 Charles Schwab bought the mine and invested heavily in the area, by 1907 there was electricity, water, telephone service, a hospital, a school, and the town’s population grew to more than 4000. Then the 1906 San Francisco earthquake hit, and the stock value of the company that owned the mine crashed, by 1909 there was no gold left in the Montogomery Shoshone Mine, in 1913 the post office closed, in 1914 trains stopped coming to the station and in 1916 the power company took down the lines.

Shack and old car in Rhyolite ghost town

A few months after we were there this building, formerly the Rhyolite Merchantile, was struck by lighting and burned to the ground.

Rhyolite Mercantile Building

The Cook Bank Building (below) was finished in 1908 at the cost of $90,000 ($2.36 million today). It had stained-glass windows and marble staircases.

Cook Bank Building in Rhyolite, Nevada

The bottle building was built in 1906 by Tom T. Kelly from 50,000 discarded beer and liquor bottles, it’s the only building in Rhyolite that has been preserved.

Tom Kelly's Bottle House in Rhyolite

The Goldwell Open Air Museum is on the road leading into Rhyolite and Belgian artists, including Albert Szukalski, began making large outdoor sculptures here in 1984

Tribute to Shorty wood sculpture

‘Tribute to Shorty’ by Fred Bervoets

Ghost Last Supper was the first work of art created here by Albert Szukalski using plaster and live models, after the models slipped out of the plaster, Szukalski coated the sculptures with fiberglass.

The Last Supper sculpture

The Last Supper by Charles Szukalski

In 2000, after Szukalski’s death, the property and museum became a public charity.

Ghost Ride Sculpture, bicycle

Ghost Ride by Charles Szukalski

We traveled through North Vegas for our Planet Fitness fix (read: shower) and then continued towards Utah on i-15. We were planning to stay at the rest stop on the Nevada/Utah border, but there was only a daytime welcome center, so we were screwed.

We got on our phones, trying to find a Walmart or a truck stop where we’d be safe for the night. Instead we found a casino that said it had RV parking, it was close by and we headed over. The RV parking was right near the entrance and full of RVs, we snuck our Element in between two of them and settled in for the night. The spot was dark and it was patrolled all night. This remains the weirdest and the safest place we have slept in the Element.

Click here to buy prints from this post

This entry was posted in Julie, Photo, Writings and tagged , , , , , , .