This three bedroom house was built in 1906 using bottles that were thrown away saloon bottles. Talk about going green even during 1906;) Mr. Kelley only built it to be raffled off. The Bennet family won and lived in it until 1914. Then in 1925 the Paramount Studios wanted to make a movie here and wanted to use the bottle house so they repaired it. Yet from 1925 to 1936 the house remained vacant but taken care of. From 1936 to 1954 Mr. Murphy owned it and had a museum in it for tourist. From 1954 to 1989 the Thompson family lived here. From 1990 the BLM started managing it. Since then caretakers would stay for months at a time in the 5th wheelers. Now up the road is a caretaker of the whole place and they have cameras to keep an protective eye on it.
The first car roared in December of 1906 with supplies and passengers. But, when the town was headed into decline, the tracks were pulled up for use during WWI in 1917. So the building sat abandon until in the 1930's Pat McLauglin bought the building to be his home. Sadly, the San Francisco Corporation took over all his holdings, which including the depot. They converted the depot as a boarding house for the miners who were working still in the area. Then in 1935, a gentleman named Mr. Westmoreland bought it and installed a small casino and bar. Then in the 1950's it was passed down to his sister Mrs. Heisler and her Baptist Minister husband and she put in a gift shop in it. It served as a church for the few locals till the 1960's. Now the BLM owns it and keeps it maintain in rest of decay.
Began in 1984 when Belgian scultor Albert Szukalski created The Last Supper using live models to sculpt in actual size, wrapped them in fabric soaked in wet plaster until the plaster was almost set, then they could slip out. It was originally placed up by the train depot, but was moved to its present day location. Since then, additional artist have created numberous sculptures placed around the last supper. Since his death in 2000, the museum is non profit to care for his work and that of the others.
This is the second school house built at the cost of $20,000, but sadly by the time they finished it, the town was in decline, so only half of the students were attending it. It consisted of three classrooms on the first floor and one classroom and auditorium on the second floor. It must have been grand. With some imagination you can almost see children seated at there desks busily learning reading and writing. The school house remained in service until 1919.
Built in 1908 at the grand cost of $90,000, it had three stories plus a basement. The post office was located in the basement, while the first floor was the bank, and the business offices were the second and third floors. The building had electric lights, steam heating, and beautiful marble floors. If you look closely at the outside, you can get a jest of how grand the detail of the building might had encompass.
Erected in 1906, but was moved during the boom of Transvaal, then after that mining town was abandoned I am assuming it was moved to Beatty to protect it, but was eventually moved back to Rhyolite to hopefully be restored.
The Porter Brothers had three stores in California . They moved their merchantile store from Ballarat to Rhyolite Emporium. Now that all is left is some walls, but the facade if you have a good imagination this store must have been grand.
Before this jail was built, prisoners were kept at the Bullfrog jail just down the hill. What is still neat about this structure is the iron door and the bars on the windows are still in tact. So you can almost imagine what it would be like locked up in here. Still exposed to the heat or cold.
The cemetery is about a mile away from town down a dirt road. It is so surreal because of the vast landscape of the desert with such a beautiful horizon. Many unmarkers graves, but many with some interesting headstones that tells the stories of who is at rest here.
One of the most interesting personas is Panniment Ann~Mary Elizabeth Madison She was one hardy, hardworking and honest soul.
There is a monument dedicated to the pioneers buried here. The plaque reads: Here to the Blessed memory of those who sleep herein and to the remembrance of all others who came this way and opened up this great Nevada desert mining world by those who cared April 1959.
Located in the red district, this cabin consisted of only two rooms and was considered part of many brothels. This building, the depot and the bottle house are the only buildings still intact. Although, this one has been rebuilt to save it.
Bullfrog was another mining town, but not as substanial as Rhyolite. Quartz and gold was discovered in the nearby hill by prospectors Frank Harris and E.L.Cross on 1904. Since Rhyolite had not been discovered, the miners would head to Beatty to celebrate and get their supplies. There is not much left of the ice house, but the jail is enough in tact so you can imagine what it must have looked like.
Let's see... miners and alcohol kind of go together, right? That means there might be a lot of empty bottles around. What a great and unique source of building material! Much cheaper to use the bottles than to side your house with wood where there is none. There are other bottle houses in Nevada, but none are as well-known as this one. The house is still kept up by the BLM. Originally built in the 1920's after most everyone was gone - good reason to put all of those empty bottles to good use! - the house can sometimes be visited though not on the weekday I was there.
Gold is the reason the town sprang up, but the strike didn't last long You can visit some of the old mine entrances though you can't go into the old mines since you might not come out. This mine entrance is on the eastern edge of the old townsite. Recent 'advances' in mining technologly have allowed an Australian mining company to come in and rip apart the neighboring hills in true Appalachian style - the strip mining technique is very obvious as you approach Rhyolite from the nearest town, Beatty, to the east. The area now also boasts two main employers - the mining company and the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facilities.
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.
At the town's height, three railroads came into Rhyolite. The train station is evidence of what once was. After the rail lines left town, the station tried to hang on as a part-time this or that but now it simply stands as a fenced-off mute note to history.