Rhyolite Ghost Town: From Boom to Bust

The West is littered with ghost towns that tell stories of the gold rush and mining boom of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Although most of these towns only saw success for ten years or less, their importance to American history is significant. One such town is the Rhyolite ghost town located in southwestern Nevada.

The Rhyolite ghost town lies about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Nye County, Nevada.

Where Is the Rhyolite Ghost Town?

On Aug. 9, 1904, someone found gold on the south side of a Nevada hill, later named Bullfrog Mountain. 

Why Did People Flock to Rhyolite in the 20th Century?

During the boom years of 1906 to 1908, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange.

How Prosperous Was Rhyolite During the Boom Years?

He hired more workers, opened new tunnels, and built a huge mill to process the ore. 

What Role Did Charles Schwab Play in the Prosperity of Rhyolite?

In 1908, shares declined dramatically from $23 to 75 cents. By 1909, they discovered no new ore, and by March 1911, the mine had shut down.

What Happened to Cause the Bust Just a Few Years Later?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a department of the U.S. Interior, now manages the Rhyolite ghost town.

Who Manages the Rhyolite Ghost Town Now?

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