bailey uggs Nevada’s ghost towns

If you stand long enough in a Nevada ghost town, whispering winds may carry the voices of lost souls.

And while staying in a reportedly haunted hotel, as our group did on a recent visit, you may glimpse someone not quite there.

No sound emerged.

“I’ve never experienced her,” dining room manager Bruce Jabbour remarked later.

Then server Nicole Scobee shared her photo of a woman’s shadowy shape beside a smaller figure, who reportedly asked a cook “where’s David?”

It all adds to the mystique of what, in 1907, was the most luxurious hotel between San Francisco and Denver. That was after miners hit paydirt in the former “Queen of the Silver Camps.”

But the good times were fleeting, and the Mizpah eventually closed. New owners re opened it in 2011.

Tonopah Historic Mining Park where prospector Jim”Butler realized a rock he was about to throw at his lost burro was silver still has working machinery, rusting ore cars and minehead buildings.

Would you dare visit a haunted town at Halloween?Much of nearby Goldfield (current population 268) burned in 1923, but many buildings in the former boomtown once home to 20,000 residents survived. A miner’s saloon, vacant hotel, courthouse and high school, rustic cars, plus a mine locomotive date back to its heyday from 1903 40, when gold production totalled $86 million.

Visitors are sure to hear about swindlers and a short term lawman “Virgil Earp who died there of pneumonia, after which his more famous brother Wyatt quit his job as a casino pit boss and left for California.

Despite the decline, gold exploration continues, off and on, in the area.

GOLD POINT

With Herb Robbins maintaining three old fire trucks, Gold Point’s 27 residents feel safe.

Ranchers came first, silver miners in 1902, then gold seekers in 1927. With little water, no railroad and claim jumpers, however, the 1,
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000 population declined except for 17 reported ghosts.

“It’s not open as a tourist resort, but Robbins who bought half the town after winning $222,000 in a Las Vegas casino welcomes visitors.

The fire marshal, sheriff and mayor rents out five cabins and the small home of late Senator Harry”Wiley. Robbins also keeps the post office (closed in 1978) intact and has a memento filled casino bar.

“Everyone has full access to my house for showers and water,” plus meals, the 61 year old Robbins said.

You can also visit false front western shops, including a mercantile.

And if you’ve ever had a hankering to buy a ghost town, for “$2 million cash I’d consider” selling (my share), Robbins said. (Esmeralda County owns the other half.)Just west of the bustling town of Beatty, off State Route 374 in the Bullfrog Hills, Rhyolite is one of Nevada’s most famous “ghosts.”

A boomtown of 5,000 from 1904 08, Rhyolite had several stone and concrete buildings, hotels, 53 saloons, banks, an ice plant, two electric plants, foundries, newspapers, a hospital, an opera house and a stock exchange.

But predictions of gold riches turned to dust, and by 1916 the lights were dimmed and most people gone. Scores of wooden buildings were moved elsewhere. Hollywood later made films and the ruins became a tourist attraction.

Little remains, but visitors can see the ruins of Rhyolite’s two storey stone school, a three storey bank, a 1906 house built with 50,000 wine and beer bottles,
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plus the de railed railway station.