Year of 2017

Rhyolite, a ghost town near Beatty, Nevada

Rhyolite saw its heyday after gold was discovered in this corner of southwestern Nevada in 1904. By the time steel magnate Charles M. Schwab purchased the nearby Montgomery Shoshone Mine just two years later, the town had built saloons, gambling houses, bunkhouses, and a weekly newspaper. When the gold petered out and the financial panic of 1907 arrived, Rhyolite went from boom to bust. It all happened in just a few short years. These days, it’s one of the most photographed ghost towns in the West.

Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region’s biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.
Montgomery-Shoshone mine panorama
Panorama of the Montgomery Shoshone Mine and its mill as they appeared in early 1907. Rhyolite is in the background to the far right.