Outside of Las Vegas in the Eldorado mountains at Eldorado Canyon is a tiny town called Nelson. There’s nothing there but a few modest homes with a population of 37. A treat awaits around the bend on Nevada State Route 165, though. There is a spectacular ghost town and abandoned gold mine. It’s a real life Twilight Zone experience of going back in time to 1861.
The grounds are full of antiques literally everywhere. There is a museum, modest gift shop, and a tour of the gold mine. The owners and staff are friendly, knowledgable about the history of the property, and a whole lot of fun. A person could spend all day looking at all of the items on display from historic photographs, mining equipment, old cars, gas station signage–there’s no way to include everything. As an antique lover (in my bygone sticks and bricks days), amateur photographer, and adventure seeker–Nelson Ghost Town and Techatticup Gold Mine was a treasure trove.
The ghost town and mine often hosts school groups for tours. We were told the rattle snakes (yes, they are real) in the freezer are used to explain the dangers of nature around the town and mine.
This little gem location was also used to shoot an explosion scene in the movie, 3000 Miles to Graceland. It starred Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courtney Cox, Ice T, and others (short video of explosion below) and the remnants of the Navy planes used in the film are still on the grounds:
Below are some black and white photos I used for experimentation. I really need to take some photography classes.
Besides all the lovely antiques and miscellaneous items to make this place fascinating, the star is the historical gold mine. Ten dollars for the tour is a bargain and well worth the money.
I enjoyed our day at the ghost town and the tour of the mine. It has a unique history with so many items worthy to collectors. Surprisingly, none of the antiques are for sale. They are property of the owners and belong right where they are. Frankly, Nelson wouldn’t be the same without all the old gadgets.
When we left Nelson, we continued on SR 165. After six miles of winding road through beautiful mountain views, we were blessed with this lovely view.
Have you visited this gem? What did you think? Would this be a place you are interested in seeing if you’re in the Vegas area?
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