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Rhyolite: A Nevada Ghost Town
Right outside Death Valley National Park is a very interesting ghost town that's been featured in numerous magazines and books about ghost towns. It is called Rhyolite and it is right on the border of California and Nevada.
Rhyolite was a flourishing town in the early 1900s when gold was discovered in the surrounding area. Miners flocked to the area and soon there was a real boomtown. But like all boomtowns, when the gold ran out, so did the gold miners.
There are no people left, but there are several neat buildings, a train station, and a house made of beer bottles, plus an open air art museum. It is a wonderful place to visit, and if you're going to be in the area, you should definitely stop by.
Location of the Ghost Town of Rhyolite
Many people arrive at Rhyolite from the nearby town of Beatty. It is 4 miles west of the town, along Highway 374. The other way people arrive at Rhyolite is from Death Valley since it is just east of the park.
The Old Train Station
Beatty, Rhyolite, and Salt Creek Video
Rhyolite, Nevada Ghost Town Video
Rhyolite Nevada Ghost Town Drive Video
Books About the Ghost Town of Rhyolite
Ghost towns are always more interesting if you can picture the town in its heyday and learn about the people that once lived there. Rhyolite had its share of characters, and these books will help you get to know a few of them, as well as really put you in the mood to visit this interesting old town.
Rhyolite Ghost Town Video
Old Railroad Car
HD&LD Porter 1906
The Old Rhyolite Merchantile
Mercantile Burns Down
- Fire destroys historic building in Rhyolite
Sadly, the Mercantile in Rhyolite was struck by lightning and burned down on September 20, 2014
See Ghost Towns Before It's Too Late
Make time to learn about and visit ghost towns before it's too late. They may not be there tomorrow.
The Tom Kelly Bottle House
In Rhyolite, there is a house made almost entirely from glass bottles.
Though there were three bottle houses known to have been created in Rhyolite, the only one still standing is the Tom Kelly bottle house.
As you would expect from a mining town, most of the bottles used to make the bottle house were beer bottles, primarily Anheuser-Busch, now Budweiser. There are thousands of bottles that make up this bottle house and it was repaired just a few years ago to prevent it from falling apart.
I think it must be lovely inside with the light shining in through the bottles, but we are not allowed to go in since the building could be damaged.
The Rhyolite Bottle House
Close-up of the Bottles that Make Up the Bottle House
Bottle House Video
All along the sides of the Bottle House are interesting little buildings and decorations, most made using broken pieces of glass. They are very cute and must have taken a long time to construct.
Interesting Art Near the Bottle House
Goldwell Open Air Museum
Just adjacent to the ghost town itself is a very odd spot filled with figures. It's an open air art museum filled with many interesting pieces. It stands outside in the rain and the wind and so the art is added to by nature itself. It has a very odd feel to it, very interesting and worth a stop.
Goldwell Open Air Museum Video
Ghost Towns of the West
The west has lots of ghost towns, pick up this book and learn more about them, or even plan a trip to visit some of them.
© 2009 Alisha Vargas