Ghost Towns and Mines


The Bonnie Claire townsite was built in 1904 on the valley floor near the Thorp stage station, and replaced an earlier camp called Thorp’s Well. At first the town was called Thorp, then Montana Station. In 1906 the newly built Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad arrived, followed about a year later by the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad. The LV&T built a depot there.

A new, larger mill was built north of the townsite, on the slope of a hill. This was the Bonnie Claire Mill, and it was built to process ore from several mines in the Gold Mountain area a few miles away. The town boomed briefly after the arrival of the railroads, but the mines it supported never turned into big producers. The LV&T was abandoned in 1928 and the town soon followed. There was some minor activity between 1940 and 1954, but nothing since then. Currently there is a small sand and gravel quarry at the site, right next to some of the old stone buildings.

The remains of several stone buildings still stand at the mill site. These were likely living quarters for the mill workers, and possibly a store or office.

When I was first here in 1988, one of the stone building still had a roof. Now that roof has collapsed. Two others are roofless, without even any debris remaining. Only one structure here is more or less intact. It’s a thick-walled, stone and adobe shack set partly into the hill.

Updated September 2014.

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Bonnie Claire, NV - The Stone Buildings