Not Quite A Ghost Town in Nelson, Nevada – Full-Time RV Life

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.

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A black and white photo of the entrance just seemed appropriate.

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.

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Old cars, old buildings, beautiful setting in the mountains.
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There was so much visual stimulation.

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An old fireplace from a homestead still stands.  They rent this area for BBQ gatherings.
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More outbuildings made charming by the passage of time.
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Old bicycles, gas pumps, and signage add the the authenticity.

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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.

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Snakes or corn dogs?  Mmmmm–it’s a hard decision.
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I had to include this antique–I’m not quite sure what it is, but Gibson is a beloved family name, so I had to put it in the blog.

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.

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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.

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Our friends, Roy and Judy, standing outside the mine entrance.  I’m always the bad child lagging behind to take pictures.
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Some of the items the owners found in the mine when they bought the property.  The original birdcage (photo not included) still hangs where they used parakeets to ensure miner’s safety.
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One of the many tunnels in the mine.
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There were few dramatic props, but this one told a story about a Native American who was murdered in the mine.  They never determined the killer and the spirit was said to haunt the mine and terrify the miners.  After 12 years, evidently a sacred number among the local tribes, the hauntings vanished due to the spirit being released.
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After traversing the dark tunnels and learning about how rusty quartz leads to gold veins in the rock, the light to the outside world finally appeared.

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.

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The Colorado River at Nelson’s Point.
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The colors are real–absolutely real.

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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20 comments

  1. Those shots of the river are stunningly beautiful. Makes me apprehensive for the future, though, when one keeps hearing stories of how little today’s politicians care about the environment except as something to ravage for money …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you find your interesting places to visit? Do you google for things or do you just stumble on them in your travels? If you want to take some online photography classes, there are a lot to choose from on CreativeLive and I am an affiliate so there is a link on my site…just sayin’ 🙂 I think your pictures are terrific, both color and black and white.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes, I find things by chance and others require some research. Nelson was recommended by a dear friend (the best man at our wedding) who is also a photographer. I read a lot of RV and travel blogs to get ideas, too. I always, always find that no matter where we are, there is never enough time to see everything interesting in an area. I will check out the CreativeLive. Thanks for the suggestion–you KNOW I’ll use your link!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so much fun–from a visual perspective as well as historically educational. There were many interesting stories surrounding this mine. It also still has gold in it, but it has to be SCUBA’d through caves and small spaces to get.

      Like

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