Tonopah, is about halfway between Reno and Las Vegas on SR-95, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It gets baking hot in the summer. Population is about 3,000. Tonopah got clobbered when mines shut down and is rebuilding itself. The Mizpah Hotel has been lovingly restored to its former 1900’s glory. The Belvada across the street is in the process of being converted into a high-end hotel with ground floor retail. Another hotel is opening this year too.
Sure, there are abandoned, boarded-up homes and businesses. However it definitely feels like Tonopah is resurrecting itself. It’s also, like many small towns, genuinely friendly. However, leftied take warning, this is dark red country where lots of folks probably think Trump is just a wee bit too liberal. So, might want to keep quiet about politics if you’re a leftie. Also, there are lots and lots of guns here. That’s part of rural West culture and isn’t ever going to change. Period.
The Mizpah Hotel was named after the Mizpah Mine, named from the biblical place by, I believe. the wife of one of the founders of the mine. They became very rich, gave back enormously. were completely honest, and hugely respected by the community.
The European-American community began circa 1900 with the discovery of silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler. The legendary tale of discovery says that he went looking for a burro that had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at it in frustration, noticing that the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history.