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Located near the Nevada entrance to Death Valley, Rhyolite is one of Nevada's most visited ghost towns. Its sparse ruins provide little evidence of the town's size in the 1900s. Within one year of the discovery of gold in the area, Rhyolite was a booming mining center. Residents constructed buildings of wood, adobe, concrete, and stone, replacing the canvas tents of the initial settlement phase. At its peak, around 1907, Rhyolite was the third largest city in Nevada, with a population between 6,000 and 8,000. The nationwide Panic of 1907 signaled the beginning of the end, and by 1911 the town was abandoned by the people who had recently created it. Few buildings remain, and most of them are falling victim to deterioration or vandalism. The Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad depot and the bottle house are the only extant intact buildings. The ruins and waste piles, standing starkly against the landscape, are evocative reminders of the fleeting nature of mining wealth and the towns that it built.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta

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