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Rhyolite Ghost Town





Location: Nye County, NV  Map

Founded: 1904




Description of Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite, Nevada was found in 1904 on a site of golden deposit. The story of Rhyolite starts in August 1904 when two prospectors Frank "Shorty" Harris and Ernest L. "Ed" Cross finally discovered golden ore. A sensible man or a woman would probably keep their mouths shut about the discovery. But not these geniuses. They told everyone about the finding and a new settlement appeared here in November of the same year. Lucky fellows had one hell of a company now. Well, least it was not very boring with 1500 other prospectors here. Three years in 1907 later Rhyolite already counted 6000 residents. However earthquake of San Francisco on April 18, 1906 cut the cash flow short. By April of 1910 remaining 675 citizens of the city were left in the darkness after electricity was cut. By 1920 only 14 people remained in the abandoned ghost town.


John S. Cook bank building was constructed in 1907 for $90,000. It had a bank on a first floor, a dentist and other offices on the second and third floors. Additionally it had a post office in the basement. Interior of the structure was lined by imported marble. Modern plumbing and electricity brought its residents to a new century. Too bad its owners did not foresee quick demise of the town. In early 1910 bank was closed. It was quickly stripped of its valuable and left to the elements.




Barrick Bullfrog Mine

Mining in and around Rhyolite after 1920 consisted mainly of working old tailings until a new mine opened in 1988 on the south side of Ladd Mountain. A company known as Bond Gold built an open-pit mine and mill at the site, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Rhyolite along State Route 374. LAC Minerals acquired the mine from Bond in 1989 and established an underground mine there in 1991 after a new body of ore called the North Extension was discovered. Barrick Gold acquired LAC Minerals in 1994 and continued to extract and process ore at what became known as the Barrick Bullfrog Mine until the end of 1998. The mine used a chemical extraction process known as vat leaching involving the use of a weak cyanide solution. The process, like heap leaching, makes it possible to process ore profitably that otherwise would not qualify as mill-grade. Over its entire life, the mine processed about 2,800,000 short tons (2,500,000 t) of ore and produced about 690,000 ounces (20,000 kg) of gold.