View Full Version : Nelson, NV

Next Exit
05-08-2004, 03:10 PM
My wife and I are going to Nelson, NV in a 30' motorhome. Though we travel a lot, we are very new to ghosttowning. I was going to buy a metal detector for kicks until I read that it's a Federal crime.

Has anyone been to Nelson, NV?

Is there anything we should see or do to make the trip complete?

Is it a difficult road getting there? It looks to be about a mile of dirt road.

05-08-2004, 08:19 PM
Buying and using a metal detector is not a crime . . . Removing artifacts from federal property is.

Nelson is in the Lake Mead NRA so access is probably pretty easy. I don't know what, if anything is there.

Next Exit
05-09-2004, 11:02 AM
I'm going to go ahead then and buy a metal detector. But whatever I find I need to leave, is that correct? Not that I have any hopes of finding anything, it's mostly for #%!$ and grins. But where and how does someone learn the laws of ghosttowning?

I'm new to this but it's always been a childhood fantasy to go to ghosttowns and look around. Any and all information is greatly appreciated.

05-10-2004, 01:27 AM
Nelson is just outtside the NRA and much of Nelson is patented land which would require the land owners permission. A 30 Foot motor home will have no trouble getting to Nelson on the paved road but much of the fun exploring is on two-tracks and back roads which there is no way you'd take a 30 foot behemth. The most productive mine (The Techatticup Mine) appears to be open sometimes for tours. There several grat stories about Nelson including one story that suggest that Nelson migfht have been mined when it was Spanish Territory. Mining in Eldorado Canyon (Now called Nelson) can be traced back at least to when it was part of Arizona Territory. I'd be glad to tell you more about Nelson as well as Nob Hill, Camp Dupont, and half dozen other satelite ghosts nearby! Therte were several towns along the river but they are all now uinder Lake Mohave. A trip down the US 95 to Searchlight would be worth while. Been around that area (Nelson/Searchlight, etc.) since the 40s. There about 2 dozen ghosts within 30 miles of Searchlight but Nelson and Searchlight are the only ones I recommend taking a motorhome.

06-26-2004, 05:22 AM
yet another Bob.....you mentioned several ghost towns around Nelson, Nevada. I plan to try to see Nelson in the fall, and I would love to know the names and locations of these ghost towns. Can you please email me
at simmccc@stny.rr.com ?

06-26-2004, 02:20 PM
I hope I haven't mislead anyone but southern Nevada Ghosttowns are not the same as other areas. Wood and bricks were valuable and when a town would fold, they especially the wood would leave with the people.

Let me use Rhyolite as an example. Loads of pictures on the web. When the town folded (1907 to 1910) after the San Francisco Earthquake and subsequent financial panics. (Speculative funding dried up), this town which was approaching 10,000 residents folded. As the people left, so did the wood (hence most structures). The Cook Bank building is an example of a building that otherwise would be occupied today if the joists in the roof hadn't been made of wood and left with the town. The only two remaining buildings in Rhyolite, the bottle house and the railroad depot exists because of fate. The Depot was used until 1918 and was on a RR from Las Vegas to Goldfield. The bottle house was rebuilt to make a silent movie after being abandoned. Otherwise, after less than 100 years there isn't much left but cement, mortar, and foundations of this vibrant large city. Most ghosts don't achieve the success to have cement foundations for many of its buildings. So what remains is rusted cans and broken glass and if a mining oriented community scarred earth, mine shafts and tailings and milling foundations.

There are small cabins, mines, and such still around Southern Nevada but most require some real hiking and/or a good knowledge of the area and a good 4wd vehicle. The towns that didn’t fail like Searchlight, Nelson and Goodsprings still have standing buildings and residents to protect those buildings. Everyone has a different idea of what is a “ghosttowns” but the ghosts I refer to are areas that were once occupied, had residents for a period of time, and have some sort of a history. Many require a trained eye to locate any evidence. I have a four year degree in archeology, a strong passion and knowledge of Nevada history and a love to get out and root in the desert. That I get thrilled at a “ghost” like Eldorado City (A mile from Nelson”, Camp Dupont or Nob Hill doesn’t mean that a few rusted cans and faint remains (cleared soil) of inhabitation will excite all.

08-15-2004, 04:49 PM
I've explored in that area too. Like Bob says, there are many mines out there. We found one tunnel with a concrete slab inside it that appeared to have been used for seismic equipment.