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Nelson, Nevada - A Ghost Town, And The Techatticup Mine
Just a short drive from Las Vegas!
Who would have ever known that just about a 45 minute drive southwest of Las Vegas, you will find the ghost town of Nelson Nevada, and a few miles from there, a gold and silver mine called the "Techatticup Mine"? Now this mine is said to be haunted, as well as the town.
Back in the late 1800's, deserters from the Civil War came there and settled, to look for the gold and silver that was reportedly being found there. Because of their differences in beliefs (North vs. South) as well as disputes over land, women, management and labor disputes, this became an extremely violent place. Added to that, in the 1920s, prohibition was being enforced in Arizona, but not as much in Nevada. It was said that there were bootleggers and "rum runners" running moonshine between the two states. .
At one time, this area was a part of Arizona, but later became a part of Nevada and that was when the lawlessness got out of control. Killings and crime were rampant, and soon became thought of as routine and ordinary. It was said that lawmen would not even go near the town, it was so bad.
Despite the mine's bad reputation, millions of dollars of gold, silver, copper and lead were found there. This mine was active from about 1858 until 1945.
In the late 1800's, there were two Indians who were notorious for having killed some of the miners, one of them was said to be Nevada's first serial killer, and it was said that he killed 23 people. He eluded capture, and in 1940, police found what was thought to be his remains in one of the caves there.
This particular area of Nevada, because of the incredibly wide range of historical events that took place there, was said to be the most storied and richest area of history in all of the "Wild West." It is also said to be haunted by the spirits of dead miners, Indians and Pioneers.
Across from the mine, there is a historic building, built in 1861, which is today being used as a museum for the area, and for the Techatticup Mine. If you go there, not only can you see artifacts from the town and from the mine, you are also able to take river tours on the Colorado River.
This ghost town and mine areas have been used as backgrounds in two movies - First was "Breakdown" starring Kurt Russell,and Kathleen Quinlan, that one was released in 1997. You can still see some artifacts from this movie at the site. The second movie was called "3,000 Miles To Graceland," released in 2001, and again starred Kurt Russell, as well as Kevin Costner, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, and Christian Slater. Several scenes from that movie were shot here, including one where a gas station called the "Lucky Strike" is blown up. Another scene filmed here was of an airplane crash, and the crashed airplane can still be seen at the site.
Another legendary story that came from this ghost town of Nelson, and especially the Techatticup Mine was the story of the "Hell Dogs Of Eldorado." A lot of these miners owned dogs, and it was said that they did not treat the dogs right. When they left, they abandoned them, often leaving them chained to die of starvation. One story goes that there were once two brothers who didn't believe the stories of the ghost dogs, so they went to investigate one night. As the evening went on, they came across what looked to be an old weathered chain embedded into some rock.
Then they came across some bones and remains thought to be those of a large dog.They still weren't too alarmed, and set out to build a campfire and settle in for the night... it was then that they heard what they thought was the howling of coyotes, and a scurrying sound as if it was canine "footsteps" running. They could hear the sounds of large dogs panting, and scratching noises coming from the place in the mine shaft where they had found the chain and large dog remains. It was said that they fumbled to pick up their gear, and started to run frantically. Then they came across some blood stains on a rock, and by then they were both pretty well convinced that the "Hell Dogs of Eldorado" weren't just a "tale." There was something to the story.
Who would have thought that such a place with such a sinister reputation as the ghost town of Nelson, Nevada and the Techatticup mine could be found so close to a city like Las Vegas? Take the short drive there to visit while you are here, if you dare. I just hope you don't scare easily.
Read About Another Nevada Ghost Town, Rhyolite, Here....
- Rhyolite Nevada A Ghost Town ~ Or Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer In The Wall
A fun day trip from Las Vegas is to visit Rhyolite, Nevada, a ghost town located near the entrance of Death Valley. Visiting Rhyolite is like a trip back to those famous days of the Gold Rush and the Wild Wild West.