Rhyolite, Nevada

Just before the gold mining town of Anaconda, Colorado burned down in 1904, miner Bernard Harvey was put on a train and forced to leave the town because of his role in union organizing. The 1910 census finds them in the Death Valley town of Rhyolite, Nevada, but by this time the town’s population was a mere 675 people.

Rhyolite is located just outside of Beatty, Nevada and was founded 9 August 1904 by Eddie Cross and Frank “Shorty” Harris. Rhyolite is one of the largest ghost towns in Nevada. Her history is almost as short as Anaconda’s except her death was stretched out several years and the few that remained hoped that the town would rise to its original glory. This town grew extremely fast after the gold strike and by 1907 even had electricity to light the town that was home to 10,000 people. Three stage coach lines came to Rhyolite bringing supplies and the water shotage became a thing of the past as there were three water companies as well. They had a string of 400 streetlights that lit up the town all night. There were even three public swimming pools.

However, eastern investors stopped supporting the town during the financial panic of 1907 and that meant the closing of the mines. By 1909 the population dwindled to well under 1,000 and by 1920, the population was 14. The last resident died in 1924.

In May, 1905 the town of Rhyolite was merely a town of tents. Growing rapidly the town grew to near completion by January 1908. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad made it’s way through, and the Station still stands today.

Curiously, the little town of Las Vegas was founded in 15 May 1905 as well. It all came down to Location, Location, and Location. Actually, the Union Pacific ran through the tent town of Las Vegas.