The History of Rhyolite Nevada

RhyoliteSign (Photo credit: Draxfelton~commonswiki)

 Rhyolite is the name of a ghost town in Bullfrog Hills, Nevada. The town was born in 1905 as a mining camp which sprung up due to prospecting ventures in the surrounding hills. A gold rush ensued, causing thousands of miners, developers, and gold seekers to settle in this district. Many of these people built homes in Rhyolite, which was located next to one of the biggest mines in the region, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.

The Montgomery Shoshone Mine resulted in heavy investments in railroad transportation, electrical lines, and piped water. By 1907, the town of Rhyolite Nevada already had water mains, newspapers, electricity, a stock exchange, an opera house, and a school. The population was estimated at around three thousand to five thousand people during 1907 and 1908.

Old caboose at Rhyolite ghost town 100 0551
Old caboose at Rhyolite ghost town 100 0551 (Photo credit: BetacommandBot)

The decline of Rhyolite was almost as quick as its rise to success. When the ore mines were exhausted, production fell drastically. The 1907 financial panic and 1906 San Francisco earthquake made it very difficult to raise money for continued developments. Investors became concerned about the Montgomery Mine values in 1908, and order a study on its production level. The assessments proved to be unfavorable, causing the company stocks to crash, which restricted funding even more. By 1910, the mine had ceased to operate and it was closed during 1911. Many of the mine workers had moved elsewhere, so the population dropped to less than one thousand. By the 1920s, it was almost at zero.

Rhyolite Cook Bank
Rhyolite Cook Bank (Photo credit: Feydey)

After the 1920s, this town became an area for motion pictures and tourist attractions. Most of the buildings were crumbled because the previous owners scavenged them for building materials before moving to other towns. However, the railway house was preserved and later repaired. A museum lies towards the south of this ghost town, making it a popular tourist destination because it only lies 120 miles outside of Las Vegas.

Rhyolite Bahnhofsgebaeude
Rhyolite Bahnhofsgebaeude (Photo credit: Starscream)

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