Nevada Ghost Towns - Aurora, Berlin, Bullfrog, Fort Churchill

Comstock miners in 1880 ~

Notice that guy second fro right - his arm and hand is transparent. Is he a ghost?
Notice that guy second fro right - his arm and hand is transparent. Is he a ghost? | Source

Exploring ghost towns ~

The state of Nevada is a wonderful place to find and explore old ghost towns.The four towns featured in this article, Aurora, Berlin, Bullfrog, and Fort Churchill, are great places to discover what it was like during their 'boom town days'.

Nevada is located in the Western, Mountain West, and Southwestern regions of the United States. It is within the Great Basin area and the Mojave Desert. Most of Nevada is desert and semiarid lands, so the ghost towns are fairly well preserved. The silence of the desert can evoke sounds and connections to the past when one stands still and focuses on what life was like in those early days.

Nevada is the original home of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe Native American tribes. These tribes are a major part of Nevada's culture and history. Mining is also a predominant factor of the history of the state. Most of the ghost towns are remnants of mining camps that once flourished and became towns.

Aurora, Nevada ~

Aurora, Nevada - circa 1937
Aurora, Nevada - circa 1937 | Source

Aurora ~

Founded in 1860, Aurora was a mining town in Mineral County. By 1869 the bustling little town of 10,000 residents had produced $27 million worth of gold.

Not much is left of Aurora. After World War II most of the brick buildings were torn down and the bricks used elsewhere. Vandalism over the years has also taken a toll on the town. The cemetery has suffered a lot from vandalism. The tombstone of William E. Carder is lying around the ground in several pieces. Apparently someone wanted to abscond with the tombstone and dropped it when they got in too much of a hurry. Carder was killed in 1864 by a man he should not have ticked off!

Aurora is twenty-two miles southwest of Hawthorne, Nevada, the county seat of Mineral County. The ruins of Aurora are just three miles from the California border, so hop on over and take a look.

Berlin, Nevada ~

Berlin, Nevada - Historic District
Berlin, Nevada - Historic District | Source

Berlin -

Berlin was established in 1897. The remnants of what remains of the little town near the beautiful Toiyabe National Forest tells of a time when it had some creative people - for, the town was built in a U shape, with an opening to the east. It would be interesting to find out just what they expected to come from the east.

In its heyday, the town had only 300 residents and 75 buildings. Now that was a lot of people to crowd into just 75 buildings!

Berlin was not quite as successful in finding gold as some of the other boom towns. With only three miles of tunnels, they found just a paltry amount of gold and silver, less than $1 million. By 1911 most of the residents had abandoned their homes. For a ghost town, it is considered to be in an excellent state of preservation and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Oh, about that quaint little car, it does not work any more, but it sure looks nice sitting there. Makes one ponder on how it really was back in the old days, puttering around the place in a fancy little car, part of the upper class and looking so proud.

Bullfrog, Nevada ~

Bullfrog, Navada - ruins of town Jail
Bullfrog, Navada - ruins of town Jail | Source

Bullfrog ~

Sitting in Nye County are the remnants of what used to be the town's jail. Located at the north end of the Amargosa Desert, Bullfrog is only 4 miles from the ghost town of Beatty, so you can float back and forth between the two. There is not much left of Bullfrog, but, if you won't mind staying in an old jail with no roof on it, hey! go for it!

There is some good news though. It seems as if someone purchased 800 acres of land just outside the limits of what used to be the city. Rumors are that a retreat center may be built on that land. Now there is a thought to ponder! Spook the retreat center people at night when they are all relaxed, then just float on back to the jailhouse in the morning. Sounds like a plan.

Fort Churchill, Nevada ~

Fort Churchill State Historic Park, Nevada
Fort Churchill State Historic Park, Nevada | Source

Fort Churchill ~

Alrighty, then - like forts? Here is one you will love. In Lyon County are the adobe ruins of Fort Churchill. It is a State Historic Park that sits on 4,461 acres. Forts are a lot of fun! You can make up all kinds of games when haunting such a place. Visitors often stop by, so they can be the bad guys and you can be the protector of your fort. Hooeey! Imagine what fun that would be. Oh! Hey! With a fort already set up, you can have snowball fights in the winter!!!

The fort was established in 1861 for the purpose of protecting early settlers, as well as the mail route along the Pony Express. Now there you go! You can be a Pony Express rider in some of your games. During the American Civil War, the fort was a really important depot for Union Army supplies. Now, I doubt very much if there are any supplies left out there, but if you are pretending, then you can whip up any sort of supplies you may need. After the Civil War ended, it was not long before the fort was abandoned.

The fort was named after the Inspector General of the U.S. Army, Sylvester Churchill. The fort has a Visitor Center. There is also a campground along the Carson River in a lovely shaded area of cottonwood trees. Lots of ways here for haunting. Plus a large fort to rest in during the day or play your games. I mean, Dude!, look at the opportunities there!

Well, that is all we have time for today. Maybe we can come back some other time and explore more ghost towns of Nevada. Happy haunting!

~ ~ ~ ~

Do you like visiting and exploring ghost towns and have you ever been to Nevada to find ghost towns?

See results without voting
show route and directions
A markerAurora -
Unnamed Road, Nevada, USA
[get directions]

Aurora, Nevada

B markerBerlin -
Berlin, Nevada 89310, USA
[get directions]

Berlin, Nevada

C markerBullfrog -
Pioneer Rd, Beatty, NV 89003, USA
[get directions]

Bullfrog, Nevada

D markerFort Churchill -
Fort Churchill State Monument, Silver Springs, NV 89429, USA
[get directions]

Fort Churchill, Nevada

Nevada Ghost Towns ~

Note from author ~

Living in Nevada is really enjoyable and interesting. We often go on day trips around Washoe County and sometimes come upon ruins of old buildings in the middle of nowhere. It makes our minds wander as to what the building once was like and who built it or lived there. Some times we drive through little towns that are not considered ghost towns, for people live and work there - yet, the town has not changed since it was first founded in the 1800s.

Thank you for reading my hub. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite type articles to read. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2013 Phyllis Doyle Burns

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Comments 16 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. Saw a lot of ghost towns as a kid.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

You are most welcome, Mhatter. I love ghost towns and they are scattered all over Nevada. Thanks for the visit and comment.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Very interesting, never heard of this one. Thanks for writing it!

Voted up:)


sheilamyers 3 years ago

Thanks for more great information about your area of the country. I need to start writing down all of these places so if I ever make it back out that way I can go visit them all.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Nice hub, Phyllis. I liked the photos and the stories of these ghost towns.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Michelle, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the vote.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Sheila, you are most welcome. Ghost towns have always been a huge attraction for me -- I find the fascinating. Thanks for the visit and comment.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Mike, thank you so much. Ghost towns hold so much history that just lingers with time. Thank you for your visit and comment, I really appreciate it.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I would very much love to visit a ghost town, Phyllis! Thanks for sharing this and I am passing this round.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Michelle, thanks for the visit and comment. There is a special magic in ghost towns and they are fun to visit. I like to ponder on the people who once lived there and what their life was like.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for this interesting and informative look at Nevada ghost towns. Ghost towns are so interesting to visit. I haven't visited many, but the ones I've seen have been so full of history and have such interesting atmospheres.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Alicia, ghost towns in Nevada are numerous and very interesting. I love to walk through such historical places. Thank you for the visit and comment.


Joel Diffendarfer profile image

Joel Diffendarfer 22 months ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

Tremendous article and well worth adding to my vacation planner. Thanks to you, Phyllis, I have several "new" stops on my cross-country agenda. Great descriptions and well organized. Thanks! A big "thumbs up"!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Oh my gosh, Joel - how exciting about your cross-country plans. I do hope you visit some ghost towns here in Nevada. I have another hub on some other ghost towns here and will be editing that shortly to bring up to par. There is a great little book on Nevada ghost towns that I think you might enjoy reading.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting - I greatly appreciate it. Thanks for that big "thumbs up"!


Dip Mtra profile image

Dip Mtra 22 months ago from World Citizen

Great hub Phyllis. But why do they preserve them even after a century? Is it mainly for the tourists, or is it the counties don't care, or is it that the vastness of the US makes such towns insignificant and to better let it rot than spend money on redevelopment? Just curious.

Very interesting. I was fascinated by these towns when I was a kid and would love watching Western cowboy movies.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Dip. Good questions. Usually the state does nothing to preserve the ghost towns, they just let time and Nature take them. They are a great attraction for tourists, which brings in money when the tourists stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, play in the Casinos and visit other attractions. Most of the ghost towns are very isolated and not conducive to redevelopment, which would involve new highways, bringing in water and sewer lines, electricity, bringing in new businesses, encouraging new residents - many factors would be involved in redevelopment. I never really thought about these things, Dip. Thanks for bringing it up and making me think. Another good reason for those old towns is writing hubs on their history. hahaha

Oh my gosh, I love old western cowboy movies, especially with John Wayne, who was one of the finest actors ever. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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