I like Beatty. Whenever I plan a trip to Death Valley, if I'm not camping, I'll stay overnight in Beatty. The town was named after "Old Man" Montillus Murray Beatty, a Civil War veteran who bought a ranch along the Amargosa River just north of the future townsite. Over the years, it's had its share of ups and downs, seen several railroads, had its own newspaper (the Beatty Bullfrog Miner), several fancy hotels and casinos.Read More
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave is a desert of wind, temperature extremes, Joshua Trees and solitude. When most people hear the word ‘desert,’ images of tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes and bleak desolation typically come to mind. In reality, the Mojave is anything but a wasteland. Amongst the sand and sagebrush lie many places of beauty and wonder, and of historic importance. Some are the result of time and the elements, some are the result of man and his efforts to live in the Mojave, both in recent and prehistoric times. Let’s go see what we can find.
It was back in July of 1905 that Pete Aguereberry and Shorty Harris ran into each other at the Furnace Creek Ranch, and possibly due to the heat, decided to head up into the Panamints to do some prospecting. When they arrived on the open plateau now known as Harrisburg Flats, one of the men (each of course claiming discovery) saw something that attracted his eye on the north side of a low, long hill. Pulling out a pick and chipping off a sample, the material contained free gold. The two men divided up the outcroppings, with Harris taking claims on the south side of the ridge and Aguereberry staking claims on the north side. They came up with a name for the camp which was sure to boom on the site, they called it "Harrisberry."Read More
The "wells" were originally two shallow pits dug into the sandy floor of the valley basin. With the mining booms of Rhyolite, Nevada and Skidoo, the wells were a natural stopping point between the two camps. Stage and freight service between the two began in 1906 and by the following year, a small settlement had grown on the site. It was also the location of the first telephone office in the valley. J.R. Clark, a superintendent of construction on the Rhyolite-Skidoo road reported that Stovepipe Wells then consisted of a commissary tent, a boarding house, several additional tents, a corral and feeding stable and "accommodations in every respect for pilgrims crossing the hot sands. The spring is now inclosed and the water is consequently much improved."Read More
Rhyolite, Nevada is one of my favorite ghost towns, so much so that when I'm even remotely in the area, I'll stop by to visit and take more pictures for my collection. There is something intangible about the place that lures visitors in from all over the world. Ghosts? Yes, there are ghosts in Rhyolite.Read More
The town of Bullfrog, Nevada got its start soon after “Shorty” Harris discovered gold nearby in 1904. A year later Bullfrog was hopping and some 1,000 residents called the place home. The town boasted a three-story hotel, general store, bank, jail, post office, lodging house, icehouse and a number of other businesses and homes. Empty lots on main street were priced at $1,500. Gunfights were not uncommon, sometimes fatally so. The west was still wild.Read More