Sunday, June 17, 2018

Visit to Tonopah, NV

More of our week long trip through Nevada's mining country. We bypassed staying in Goldfield and continued on to Tonopah to stay. Sorry it is a long one, trying to catch up. The welcome sign.
A mural downtown, with the Stealth bomber pictured.

A memento to the Stealth. Stealth Fighters – in storage at the Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada. It was here that the low observable jets were based during the early years of their operational life, after initial testing at the top secret Groom Lake (Area 51) facility. U.S. military aircraft traditionally retire to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, better known as the Boneyard but the sensitive materials and still-classified nature of some F-117 components demand a more secure storage location.
Tonopah is one of the main urban centers for Geocachers wanting to complete various Power Trails. This region is famous for having thousands hidden in the area.
We stayed at the Tonopah Station Hotel and Casino. It has about 15-20 pull-through RV sites with full hookups and WiFi. About $22 a night. 
This is a plaque inside the hotel near the restaurant. We didn't eat there! Too funny. 
Another mural downtown. 
The Clown Motel has been in operation since the 1980's. It features more than 600 clowns. Kind of creepy. 

Right next door to the Clown Motel is the Tonopah Cemetery. In fact in the office of the motel one can pick up a tour guide of the cemetery. I wish I'd have gone in and got one. The cemetery contains the graves of many miners who died unpleasantly. 
Over the years many of the old graves have received new plaques identifying the person buried there and how they died and where they were from. 
Several motel guests have reported seeing the ghosts of these miners.
Lots of pieces of old mining equipment on display all around the town. 
Some of the original buildings remain and are in use. 
Tonopah was settled 1900 with the discovery of silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler. The legendary tale of discovery says that he went looking for his buttothat had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at it in frustration, noticing that the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history. 
I caught pictures of these two monuments as we were driving down the main street. No information about them.
There are two free museums in town. We visited both of them. This one is right next to RV park we were staying at. Unfortunately no photos allowed in museum. This one is mainly about the people who came here. Who got wealthy and who didn't. Lots of pieces of memorabilia from that time. Well worth a visit if you have time. 
A couple more older buildings.
The Mizpah Hotel is a historic hotel it is a member of  Historic Hotels of America.  
The hotel is said to house a ghost called The Lady in Red by hotel guests who have experienced her presence. Legend says that the Lady in Red is the ghost of a prostitute who was beaten and murdered on the fifth floor of the hotel by a jealous ex-boyfriend. Another widely accepted description of the events is that The Lady in Red had been caught cheating by her husband at the hotel after he had missed a train, who then proceeded to kill her in a jealous rage.
It shared the title of tallest Building in Nevada until 1927. The hotel was named after the Mizpah Mine and was the social hub of Tonopah. 
In early 2011, the hotel was purchased by Fred and Nancy Cline of Sonoma, Calif. They renovated and reopened the building to the public in August 2011. The newly renovated hotel features 47 rooms, a bar, and two restaurants. We decided to go there for lunch. Sure glad we did, it is beautiful inside. The furniture is original, just reupholstered. The restaurant was open but the cafe was not so we got to "belly up to the bar" to eat our lunch. 
When the original hotel was operating the small room was a safe. The original heavy safe door. 
Inside the safe.
All the chandlers are original. Some are bent but they have not been repaired for fear of breaking them. 
Beautiful windows all along the wall behind the bar. 

Just pictures of the main lounge and bar.
We both had fish and chips - very, very good but way too much food. And we both ate it all!
Our waitress, so friendly and she knew so much about the hotel and its past.
Just thought this was a pretty setting in the hotel for mail.
The side exterior of the hotel. 
The second of the free museums. The Historic Mining Park Museum. Learn more about it here.
There are trails to follow and also an inside area, we did not hike nor go inside. Just wandered around the main area. The original structures of the Mizpah Mine are here.

Interesting information about ventilation shafts. 
Don't get too close.

The docent said they are always finding new stuff, especially after a heavy rain. 

The view.

And that is the end of our visit to Tonopah. On to Area 51!


Kathy Tycho said...

Really intresting post with great pictures and lots of info. Looks like somewhere we'd like to visit when it isn't 100 degrees and huge winds!

Kathy Tycho said...


Jackie McGuinness said...

I want to go there, esp. The Clown Motel!