Tag Archives: Nye County
The ruins of the Elizalde Concrete Plant are located 7.22 miles down Highway 95 from the Highway 374 and Highway 95 intersection in downtown Beatty, NV.
Built in 1936 to produce Portland cement, the plant was abandoned the same year before production even began due to issues with getting the concrete to the Philippines. In January 1951 the University of Nevada Mineral Resources of Nye County, Nevada reported the rotary kiln and other equipment was still located within the plant. Today, the complex is a crumbling ruin.
At the time of my visit most of the crumbling factory and buildings have been fenced in. If you follow the fence line for a few miles there are signs that designate the area part of a bombing range. So entry past the fence is not advised.
Bullfrog, NV is located about one mile from the ghost town of Rhyolite. To get to Bullfrog take highway 374 until you reach the turn off for Rhyolite. Before you reach the Goldwell Open Air Museum take a left towards the cemetery. Go past the next turn off to the cemetery and you will come upon the few remains of the town of Bullfrog.
Bullfrog came to be in March 1905 when the entire town of Amargosa City packed up and moved to the Bullfrog town site. A short time later Rhyolite was established within just a mile of Bullfrog. The competition between the two towns was fierce as both towns wanted the edge on the other. May of 1905 would end up being the peak of Bullfrog as a town. Lots on main street sold for as much as $1,500. Bullfrog also boasted a three-story hotel, a county jail, a lodging house, a general store, a bank, and an ice house among others.
It has been said that the town of Bullfrog was a violent town, and the violence attributed to the town folks and businesses to begin packing up and leaving for Rhyolite. By 1907 Bullfrog was practically deserted. The post office struggled but stayed open until May, 15th 1909.
Today not much remains of Bullfrog, and Rhyolite is still over shadowing it some 100 years later. The walls of the ice house remain, and a good part of the county jail is still intact. Someone has built a newer home directly beside the jail, and I’ve read that some of the land close to the town site has been purchased to build a resort. I’m not sure how old that news is however and if anything will ever come of it.
Bonnie Claire / Thorp sits near the border of Death Valley along highway 267, and roughly 6 miles from Highway 95. It’s extremely easy to locate as the few remains of the town are situated close to the highway, and the mill is located on the opposite side of the highway.
Mining began in the area around 1880 about 4 miles from what would become the town site of Thorp and later Bonnie Claire. The earliest name for the mining area was Thorp’s Well, which is what the original name of the town is derived from. In the early 1900′s the Bonnie Clare and Bullfrog Mining Company purchased the mill at Thorp’s Well, and soon afterwards began construction of a new mill near the Thorp Stage Station. This new mill would be called the Bonnie Claire Mill.
The town of Thorp was established around 1904, with the first post office opening in 1905. The town would be renamed Bonnie Claire in 1906 after the arrival of the Bullfrog and Goldfield Railroad. In 1907 the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad would reach the town.
1907 saw the peak of the town’s population at about 100 people. The town site now had a two-story hotel, a number of saloons and stores, and houses had begun to be built to replace the tent city. Despite the small boom that had taken place due to the trains reaching the town it wasn’t long before the town began to diminish.
Bonnie Claire would see another busy period in the 1920′s, when Chicago Millionaire Albert Johnson and Walter Scott (Death Valley Scotty) began construction on what would become known as Scotty’s Castle. Most of the supplies for the construction of the castle came through Bonnie Claire via the railroad, and was then trucked out 20 desolate miles to the construction site. When the Great Depression hit construction on the mansion would decrease, which would cause once again an exodus from Bonnie Claire.
Eventually the railroad tracks leading through Bonnie Claire would be pulled up, and train stopped rolling through this once bustling little town. In 1931 the town would lose it post office as the town’s population had moved on.
Today the town site consists of a couple of lonely buildings that have been littered with modern people’s garbage, and a couple of modern era junk cars. A small mining shaft is located directly beside one of the buildings, it’s unclear if this shaft was used in the early days of Bonnie Claire, or if it’s from a more recent time.
Across the highway the Bonnie Claire mill still stands proudly against the mountain as well as a number of adobe buildings. The old mill’s smelting pots rest on the ground beside the mill giving testimony to the mill’s once busy history.
During my visit to Bonnie Claire there where no signs posted about Private Property or No Trespassing, however I’ve now read in a couple of places while doing my research on this site that the property has in recent years been marked with these signs. Please take this in consideration when visiting this location, and if the signs reappear please be respectful of the owner’s wishes.