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Rhyolite Nevada, Ghost Town

 

 

 

Rhyolite Nevada

Rhyolite is a mining ghost town located just outside the entrance to Death Valley National Park, and one of the most photographed ghost towns in the western United States.  The Rhyolite townsite is maintained by the  Bureau of Land Management  and contains many ruins and a house made from bottles.

 

The Porter Brothers arrived from Randsburg in 1905 with 18 wagon loads of merchandise and built a store. The HD & LD Porter Store was the leading merchant in Rhyolite, Nevada. Customers were able to purchase groceries and fresh vegetables, clothing and assessories, mining supplies, hardware, lumber, furniture, hay, grain, and Studebaker wagons from this store. The store also offered freight animals for rent. Their slogan was, "We handle all good things but whiskey." Their first store in Rhyolite was located at Main and Esmeralda and opened in June 1905. The concrete, one story with basement and huge store front windows, building located on Golden Street was built in 1906. It was opened for business in November 1906. The lot was purchased for $1,200 and estimated building construction is $10,000...The company had warehouses located in Beatty and Rhyolite, selling both wholesale and retail goods...Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. (Greg Disch)

 

What to Photograph:

The ruins of the old buildings, many of which were made of stone, including the 8 room school, a few banks, stores, railroad depot, and a jail.

The Tom Kelly Bottle House was completed in 1906, built from nearly 30,000 beer and liquor bottles collected from the 53 saloons in Rhyloite.

The Tom Kelly Bottle House was completed in 1906, built from nearly 30,000 beer and liquor bottles collected from the 53 saloons in Rhyloite...Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. (Greg Disch)

The Goldwell Open Air Museum is a unique attraction of sculptures created by Belgium Artists.

The Goldwell Open Air Museum is an outdoor sculpture park near the ghost town of Rhyolite...The nonprofit museum was organized in 2000 after the death of Albert Szukalski, the Belgian artist who created the site's first sculptures in 1984 near the abandoned railway station in Rhyolite. The sculpture, The Last Supper, consists of ghostly life-sized forms arranged as in the painting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Szukalski molded his shapes by draping plaster-soaked burlap over live models until the plaster dried enough to stand on its own. In the same year, using the same techniques, Szukalski also created Ghost Rider, a plaster figure preparing to mount a bicycle...Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. (Greg Disch)

Best Time for Photographers:

Just about anytime can be good for photography here, of course midday light can be very high contrast and hard to work with and the use of HDR photography can be the solution.  The ghost town and the Goldwell Open Air Museum are both open to visitors 24 hours a day making this a great location for night sky photography.

Where it is:

Rhyolite is located 4 miles west of the town of Beatty, Nevada on HWY 374, heading toward the East entrance to Death Valley National Park.

Maps:

Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, click and drag the to move the map, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view.

Interactive map of Rhyolite

Click Here

Cost:

Both the Goldwell Open Air Museum and the Rhyolite Township are open to the public with no fees.

 

Facilities:

Hey this is a Ghost Town, there are none!

 

Links:

Rhyolitesite.com  A very extensive site on the history of the town.

http://www.rhyolitenevada.com/ Another great site on the history.

Beatty Nevada Chamber of Commerce

 

Location Contact Information:

Address:

Battle Mountain District Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain NV 89820

Phone:

775-635-4000

Email:

bmfoweb@blm.gov

Organization:

BLM – Bureau of Land Management

 

Nearest City or Town:

 Beatty Nevada

Beatty has a population of approximately 1,000 people. 4 miles from the Ghost town of Rhyolite, NV and The Gateway to Death Valley National Park, located only 7 miles away.

 

Tips for the Photographer:

Equipment:

You can get great photos with just about any equipment, even cell phones.  The buildings are pretty well spread out and you can get a near or far away as needed for the photo you desire.  A polarizing filter for enhancing the sky is a great asset.

For night shots a tripod and cable release are essential, and two flashlights, one to see with, and a more powerful light for illuminating the buildings.

Photography Tips:

Composition is the key to good photos here, use the elements of line and shape.  As with any old photography site texture is a very important element.  To capture texture you need to use side lighting, and since you can move around freely, you can find an angle that will emphasize the textural elements.

If you have a great sky with lots of clouds it can add drama to the photo.  If on the other hand you have  a clear sky, try to keep it out of the photo.

Old buildings and ghost towns are an excellent location for black and white photography as well.  I always recommend shooting in color and converting to black and white in post process to give more control over the image, plus you have both color and black and white images.

 

 


 

Weather:

Find more about Weather in Beatty, NV
Click for weather forecast


Rhyolite Photo Gallery

Click Here for full page gallery

More Photographic Destinations in Nevada:

Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view. Click on a pushpin for more information about the Photographic Destination, then click on the title to go to the location page.

Click Here for Photographic Destinations by State

 

 

 


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Greg Disch
479-414-6889
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Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904
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