Saturday, September 11, 2010


Hi to Chuck and Anneke, our latest followers! Yay!

Somewhere, out there, in the middle of the Nevada desert --- well, maybe not in the middle of the desert, but certainly halfway between Carson City and Las Vegas --- sits the old silver mining town of Tonopah, elevation about 6200 feet above sea level. Mention Tonopah to some Nevadans and you'll evoke a chuckle and a lopsided smile, but we found the town delightful. Since we don't drive 400 miles in a day, we stopped in Tonopah at the Hi Desert Best Western motel; pricey but they do offer a complimentary full hot breakfast.

The story goes that in May of 1900 a prospector by the name of Jim Butler became angry at his burro; so angry, in fact, that he picked up a rock to throw at the poor animal. Butler recognized that the rock was very heavy, as though it might contain silver ore, but he was too broke to be able to pay for an assay. He sold shares in whatever would develop to gain enough to pay for the assay, and the rest, as they say, is history.

And history is displayed thoughout the town, and especially at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park.

We spent maybe an hour just driving through the mining park grounds for these pictures, and the rest of them you can see if you go to our web album 2010 Tonopah and Beyond by clicking the underlined words. Spending only one night between two full driving days does not leave a lot of time for sightseeing!

There is also history within the town itself. This overview of Tonopah is from the mining park.

Below is the Nye County Courthouse.

The sign in the window identifies the red brick building as the "Belvada Hotel ... Opening Late 2006." Very late, I'd say!

This is the side door (registration entrance) for the seemingly defunct Mizpah Hotel. The biggest mine in the area was the Mizpah mine.

In the mural, the central plane bears the name "Mizpah."

This statue by the VFW post has an inscription : "Freedom Isn't Free."

We moved on south from Tonopah to Las Vegas. Along about the town of Goldfield we came into Joshua Tree country.

Just beyond these trees was this little memorial. The cross bears the inscription "Wolf 1998 2004." You'll have to draw your own conclusions about that!

And those were the highlights of Friday, September 10, in ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. I enjoyed reading you blog today. Interesting little town.

  2. That was an interesting tour of Tonopah. I'm pretty sure I've never been there. I liked seeing the buildings, and I really liked seeing the blue skies!

  3. Tonopah looks like a pretty desolate place to me, but then you have to prime yourself to appreciate the beauty of Nevada - at least I do.

  4. Loved your pictures of the old mining town...What fun!...and the VFW statues...what can I say..awesome..and so true. You two be careful and don't take any wooden nickels!!

  5. Your pics of Tonopah were really nice. You sure captured the old west feel of the place for us. Thanks for the tour of the mining town.

  6. Gypsy may think it's a desolate looking place but that is just how we like it. Give me a few hours kicking around in an old ghost town anyday as opposed to those fancy boo touristy joints. Nice story & pics Benson Bunch. Ya did good Pardner:))

  7. I don't remember ever going to/through Tonopah in the many trips I've made to Nevada. Thanks for the tour!

  8. Thanks for the tour of Tonapah and all the great photos. It sure looked to be an interesting place to visit.


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