On a balmy 106-degree day, the jackrabbit resting against the bleached pillar of the ruin remained oblivious to the intrusion of strangers. Born and raised a true city slicker, the thought of a rattlesnake standing as a hidden sentry in the burnt bush nearby prevented a closeup shot.
This may not be Heaven's Door, but it stands solid and strong on a building that was built and soon abandoned nearly a century ago. It seems odd to come across this strong impediment in a place where no one lives, no one works and there is noting inside to protect.
I saw the movie "The Island" only 2 weeks after visiting Rhyolite. This ruin sets the tone for desolation and environmental harshness in that film. I wonder what type of world the construction crew might have imagined their building woujld see 100 years later?
Coming across this statue in the open air museum on the outskirts of Rhyolite adds a strong sense of the surreal to your visit. It woujld be striking enough anywhere, but in this setting of a town with ghosts on thes deserted streets of dirt, it brings a sense of awe and unease.
Anyway, Mr. Cook came from Goldfield, Nevada to Rhyolite in hopes of opening another Cook Bank. He started with a small building on Golden St., and it did not take long for him to decide he needed a much larger place to conduct business.
This one cost him over $90,000 to build! It was the largest building in Rhyolite. No matter where you stood you could see the Cook Bank Building. This building had marble floors imported from Italy, mahogany woodwork, electric lights, telephone and inside plumbing! Well, they had just everything you could put into a modern building. It was almost ahead of its time.
The First Rhyolite National Bank eventually absorbed the Cook Bank and took over the first floor. The United States Post Office was in the basement and operated there until 1919. It was the last business to close in Rhyolite. And that was quite a task for the Post Office, because they were selling parts of the Cook Bank Building in 1910!
This building had large plate glass windows so that you could see everything the store offered for sale. And they sold everything! Except alcoholic beverages of course!
This was the second store that the Porter Brothers built in Rhyolite. This one had a basement, large show windows, and sometimes they used the first floor for dances. By the standards of the day, it was an extremely large store.
One of my favorite stories here concerned one of the Porter Boys and we'll call her Mrs. X to save embarrassment. Anyway, Mrs. X walked her little poodle everyday right by the Porter Brothers Store. And everyday the dog would take a leak on the middle post of the store. Being tired of cleaning up the mess, one of the Porter boys hooked a copper wire and a battery to the center post. Well, I imagine you can guess what happened next. It really was a sight to see that ball of fur yipping and running down Golden St. with Mrs. X behind it. No, the poodle was not injured, but it never, ever, came near the Porter Store again.
The Porter Brothers also owned a warehouse and lumber yard in Rhyolite. They were very popular, but were also known as practical jokers. If anything strange but harmless happened in the town, it was a good bet that one of the Porter Brothers was behind it.
This was one of three bottle houses to be built in Rhyolite. It took Tom Kelly 5 1/2 months to complete this house. Most of the bottles used were Adulphous Busch, (You know, it's known as Budweiser today!) anyway, there are a few patent medicine bottles that were used also.
The station house is still there, but the tracks are gone since long time ago. Rhyolite used to populate a lot of people and you can clearly see the traces..even so on the map since one of the roads that we planned to take..weren't there either. Maybe it left with the tracks?
Built in 1907 at the cost of $45,000. It was considered very modern since it had electric lights and indoor plumbing.
In the middle of nothing you can walk among the strangest of sculptures. On the way to Rhyolite is this rather remarcable re-construction of the last supper.
In the middle of the desert, an exhibition of modern art, including a giant steel miner, the Lego-like "Venus of the Desert" and the Last Supper of the Ghosts.
The railway died with the town, but the depot still stands in reasonable shape. It is now vacant, having housed a casino for some time.
Built of bottles, because there was a shortage of bricks. But their thirst must have been quenched well!