is a ghost town
in Nye County
, in the U.S. state of Nevada
. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills
, about northwest of Las Vegas
, near the eastern edge of Death Valley
. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting
discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush
, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region's biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.
Industrialist Charles M. Schwab
bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure including piped water, electric lines, and railroad transportation that served the town as well as the mine. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange
. Published estimates of the town's peak population vary widely, but scholarly sources generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000 in 1907–08.
Rhyolite declined almost as rapidly as it rose. After the richest ore
was exhausted, production fell. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake
and the financial panic of 1907
made it more difficult to raise development capital. In 1908, investors in the Montgomery Shoshone Mine, concerned that it was overvalued, ordered an independent study. When the study's findings proved unfavorable, the company's stock... Read More