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Rhyolite


Rhyolite began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region's biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.

Industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure including piped water, electric lines, and railroad transportation that served the town as well as the mine. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange. Published estimates of the town's peak population vary widely, but scholarly sources generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000 in 190708. Rhyolite declined almost as rapidly as it rose.

After the richest ore was exhausted, production fell. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the financial panic of 1907 made it more difficult to raise development capital. In 1908, investors in the Montgomery Shoshone Mine, concerned that it was overvalued, ordered an independent study. When the study's findings proved unfavorable, the company's stock value crashed, further restricting funding. By the end of 1910, the mine was operating at a loss, and it closed in 1911. By this time, many out-of-work miners had moved elsewhere, and Rhyolite's population dropped well below 1,000. By 1920, it was close to zero.

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Cook Bank Building

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Porter Brothers Store

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8 Room Two-Story School House

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Railroad Depot For Las Vegas & Tonopah LVTR, Tonopah & Tidewater TTR, and Bullfrog Goldfield BGR RRs.

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Jailhouse

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Mine Shaft

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Tom Kelly's Bottle House

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Tom Kelly's Bottle House

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Tom Kelly's Bottle House

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Tom Kelly's Bottle House

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Bullfrog - Rhyolite Cemetery

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Goldwell Open Air Museum
Sculpture "The Last Supper" by A. Szukalski

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Goldwell Open Air Museum
Sculpture "Ghost Rider" by A. Szukalski

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Goldwell Open Air Museum
Sculpture "Tribute To Shorty Harris" by Fred Bervoets

The miner makes sense, but why the penquin? It seems that the Belgian artist wanted to include in his sculpture an indication of how "alien"he felt in the Nevada desert. The penquin was the most out of place entity the artist could think of to represent his own feelings of displacement under the Mojave sun, a self-potrait then as a penquin in the desert.

 

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