Galena, Nevada – Historic Mining & Ghost Town
Galena is a Ghost Town in Lander County, Nevada near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The population of Galena is 10 people – what draws people to stay while others have already left! Is it the place, the people or the history – what remains in a somewhat deserted town in of all places rural Nevada.
The town was formed in 1869 and the Dutch Creek Mine eeked out about a cool $5 million in silver and lead extracted from the native ore in the area. Once a historic mining town known for the size of its cemetery and that it had a park. Now a deserted ghost town. You could say the town of Galena has had several lives throughout the years.
In the 1870’s the town experienced its heyday. The population increased as well as more businesses opened along with 2 stage lines. The mining activities increased until the 1880’s when those activities started to decline and then increased again in the 1910’s & 1920’s.
Today you can see the mining ruins in the town of Galena. A Word of Caution: When exploring, especially a historic mining camp, be aware of your surroundings. It can be DANGEROUS going into old buildings and steer clear of open shafts.
A Small Town With a Mighty History!
Metropolis, Nevada – Ghost Town
Metropolis, Nevada is a ghost town in Elko County, Nevada. The name chosen for this town just does not seem to quite fit for a rural town in Nevada. Someone was trying to be fancy to attract the city slickers back in the day! I could not imagine moving out west and living the pioneer life in the 1900’s, especially in Nevada with its desert/mountain climate – winds, drought and a variation of cold and hot temperatures.
The town was created as a project for the Pacific Reclamation Company by businessman Harry Pierce (from Massachusetts) and some other investors from Massachusetts and Salt Lake City. Metropolis was to be the hub for a huge farming district. This businessman and the investors purchased 40,000 acres of DESERT land back in 1910 for FARMING – say what! Irrigation would be key, so a dam was built on Bishop Creek to create a reservoir.
The Project consisted of building a meeting hall, a post office, a school, a train depot, and a modern hotel. If you were to visit Metropolis today you would see the ruins of the Lincoln School, the Metropolis Hotel and the Metropolis Cemetery. In 1912 train service helped increase the population of this rural town.
Unfortunately Pierce did not obtain water rights to Bishop Creek and the town of Lovelock downstream sued. The town was left with enough water for the town and a few thousand acres of farmland. This resulted in dry-farming with its share of successes and failures. The farmers experienced drought, an over abundance of jack rabbits due to killing the coyotes and a Mormon cricket invasion.
The town of Metropolis experienced its ups and downs over a 40 year period. Pacific Reclamation declared bankruptcy in 1920 with the railroad discontinuing service to the town in 1922. In 1924 the town had a population around 200 people and in 1925 the meeting hall and hotel burned down – shortly after that the last store closed in 1925. The post office was able to hang on until 1942 and the Lincoln School until 1947 (opened in 1914). The residents then turned to ranching and by 1950 Metropolis became a ghost town.
The desert is not a very forgiving force to reckon with and will claim back what residents have taken from it! You have the survivors who stayed and stuck it out and those whose left for greener pastures. Now the town of Metropolis has its history and maybe some ghosts who still linger to add some mystery to this desolate place.
You NEVER Know What You Might Find Off the Beaten Path!
First you feel like you are driving in the middle of nowhere to reach the park. Then you get to the entrance of the park to pay and you feel like you stepped back in time. The park’s history is interesting if not borderline eerie. The park is in a state of decay but still worth visiting for an afternoon. If the environment and the state of decay continue pretty soon the park will just disappear and go back to its wildness.
Bodie is truly a California gold-mining ghost town. The park has a feeling of desertion and desolation and you stop and wonder “Where did all the people go?”. At one time nearly 10,000 people lived there and mined for gold. The town boomed and on my visit I wondered silently if there was still gold to discover in this area. Or the people stripped the land of gold and disappeared (moved on). I did not experience any paranormal activities while visiting the park, but I wanted to know more about its history and of course where did everyone go.
(Photo by RSheridan)
If you look in the houses the tables are set for a meal and the general store is stocked with merchandise ready for sale. The mannequin in the window of the general store needs to be dressed. The school is probably where I felt something more profound than any other part of the park. Maybe because children are so innocent and carefree and at times eager to learn. The only thing identifying the seedy part of town is a street marker, marked “Maiden Lane Virgin Alley”. The jail is just down from the seedy part of town and the bank is a little further down from the jail and still contains the bank vault.
(Photo by RSheridan)
Bodie is a great part of American History and continues to live on through visitors coming explore the park. You almost want to step back in time during its heyday and really see it come to life.
(Photo by RSheridan)