The Ghost Town of Bonnie Clare, Nevada – Gunfights, Train Wrecks, and Gold

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Gunfights, Trainwrecks, and Gold. That’s what you’d find at the small, abandoned mining town of Bonnie Claire, Nevada, a junction between the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad and the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad.

The history of Bonnie Claire, put simply, is a mess. There’s a lot that we don’t know. There’s a lot that the history books gloss over, and even meticulous publications of local history can’t give more than a couple paragraphs about the site.

I was drawn to it because of how photogenic the place is; there are some stunning shots I’ve seen photographers take at this ghost town, but the mystery of this town; the lack of documentation, and the

There are scattered ruins here; wooden buildings falling apart, stone buildings dating back farther, and a rusty, creaking old mill on the hillside. A wooden trailer, left behind by one of the last residents, and two lonely graves of young women, their information already partially obscured. The abandoned track beds coming through this railroad stop remind us of the town’s dependency on its two railroad companies, and give us a clue as to where the train wreck occurred, but beyond the immediate ruins, there’s more waiting to be discovered.

Looking back on the excitement and tragedy, the ups and downs, and the humble beginnings and lonely end, can we assemble this town’s story like never before? And can we find the earliest remains of the town-site, currently lost to the history books?

Gold Mountain Nevada by Alan H. Patera (Western Places Volume 7-3)

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