Nevada Ghost Towns
The Silver State is home to the remains of hundreds of ghost towns. Some are little more than crumbled foundations or a picked-over garbage heap, but others…
Metropolis ghost town, north of Wells in central Elko County, is distinctive in other ways, too. Unlike Candelaria, Delamar, Rhyolite, and most every other Nevada ghost town, the grandiloquently named Metropolis was never a mining center. Rather, its reason for being was equal parts farming, proselytism, and hope.
Referred to as “the friendly ghost town,” Gold Point has been restored and maintained to provide creature comforts. With all the amenities of a lodge (bathrooms, hot meals, cabins, and a bar), Gold Point creates a happy medium for explorers looking to experience a historic ghost town, and afterward sleep in a warm bed with a full belly.
Berlin was established in 1897 after gold was discovered and the Berlin Mine opened in 1896. By 1911, the town was abandoned. However, what makes this ghost town stand out is a discovery of fossils just outside Berlin in 1928. The fossils were of a Shonisaurus—meaning “lizard from the Shoshone Mountains”—a marine reptile believed to have lived approximately 215 million years ago. Some of these fossils are on display at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and can be viewed by visitors.
Visitors from space notwithstanding, Nevada really hasn't changed that much since its Wild West days. In its nearly-deserted former boomtowns, you can almost feel the presence of the grizzled prospectors who rode in on burros, and it's easy to imagine the thriving gambling parlours, honky tonks, and bawdy houses that catered to their wants and needs. In the desert, you'll find all sorts of ghosts — real or imagined — and relics of the past. By Glen Abbott
A handful of original buildings and some photogenic, rusted cars remain at the site of Nelson, but the primary draw to the area is Techatticup Mine. Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours has excavated part of the old mine and restored some of the original buildings and offers hour-long tours. Photo by Steve Woodbury
The Belmont Courthouse has hosted an unknown multitude of squatters, the most notorious of which spent a few weeks there in the summer of 1969. A doorway on the first floor bears the only concrete evidence of their visit and reads, “Charlie Manson + Family 1969,” the “o” replaced with a peace symbol. Photo by Charlie Johnston
Still standing today, but abandoned, is the Goldfield Hotel in Goldfield. Built in 1907 out of stone and brick, it has about 200 rooms, each initially equipped with a telephone. A rarity during that time, Goldfield was served by three railroads that spanned collectively from 1905 to 1940. Photo by Gary A. Reese