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Rhyolite: The Boom Years by Alan H. Patera (Western Places Volume 3-2)

Rhyolite: The Boom Years by Alan H. Patera (Western Places Volume 3-2)

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Rhyolite: The Boom Years by Alan H. Patera
Western Places Volume 3-2

This book tells the story of Rhyolite, Nevada, one of the West’s most prominent mining camps.  It is located on the eastern edge of Death Valley near Beatty NV.

The product of the great Bullfrog mining rush, Rhyolite was a phenomenon, building in three years from a few tents to a city of 3,500, with two 3-story cement buildings, piped water, electric lights, three railroads, two weeklies and one daily newspaper, three swimming pools, a lighted tennis court, and a host of hopes and dreams.  In the lusty days of its boom, some predicted that Rhyolite would become the biggest city in Nevada, its prosperity assured not only because of its inexhaustible mines, but also because it was going to be the great commercial and transportation center of the entire desert southwest. 

This book tells the story of Rhyolite’s boom years. Rhyolite peaked in 1907 and then rapidly declined.  By 1920 only 14 people remained.  Now there are only the ruins of a few of the more substantial buildings to remained of what was and what could have been.   Rhyolite’s  rapid decline is told in Rhyolite’s Demise, which is currently out of print but will be available again soon.

Published by Western Places, reprinted in 2011.  Paperback. 8.5 x 11 inches. 62 pages. Illustrated with maps and both black & white and color photos.

Click on additional images (left) to see Rhyolite photos:

  • The John S. Cook Bank building was Rhyolite’s largest and is today the most photogenic ruin.
  • The late Claudia Reidhead guided the author to the Rhyolite cemetery in 1994.
  • The front of the Porter Brothers store, once a leading mercantile firm of Rhyolite.

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