Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Rhyolite: a Gold Mining Ghost Town

Rhyolite Ghost town with Cook Bank building, school house and Overbury Building.
Roadside signage for Rhyolite
Upon leaving Death Valley, we stopped just over the border in Nevada at a deserted gold-mining town for a rather hot picnic lunch. There are a couple of picnic tables by an old train car and a nearby pit toilet but no shade anywhere or we would have perhaps stayed a bit longer to explore. 

Train Car in Rhyolite Ghost town
Then again, maybe not. If your conscience isn't affected by the "protect your heritage" sign, fear will compel your compliance with the second "warning" sign - yikes!

Bureau of Land Management signage at Rhyolite
Cook Bank building
We did enter the chain link fence to check out the house made of bottles. I thought the fence was there to protect the glass from those who would do it harm and that it was probably built recently as a way to draw in tourists. When I read the information on the brochure I was shocked to discover that it was over 100 years old and part of the original town. Apparently it was built as a raffle prize and was subsequently used as a residence by the winning family for many years.
Tom Kelley Bottle House in Ryolite

Tom Kelley Bottle House Built 1906

Close-up of Tom Kelley Bottle House construction
The old train station has a fence around it and the roof looks new. So some effort has been made to at preservation. I would think there is lots of potential for further development as a tourist destination - picnic shelters would be a good start.
Train Station Depot in Rhyolite

Rhyolite Train Station
Overall, Rhyolite made for an interesting diversion if not the best picnic venue on a blazing June day. Considering it was our very first visit to a "ghost town," I thought it well worth a short stop even in the heat.

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