The End of Rhyolite: A Timeline

View across Death Valley from Chloride Cliff, 1920s
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, P0126, 1-09.)


  • 1907 marked the beginning of the end for Rhyolite.
  • “When it was evident that the town was going to fold people left in such a hurry, that they took only those things they could carry.”[1]
  • Beatty is the sole survivor of those three boom camps (which included Beaty, Aurora, and Rhyolite).[2]


  • “The years 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909 were really the years of the greatest activity.”[3]
  • Before the depression and in spite of the petering out process, Rhyolite’s record of shipments of ore would seem to justify the opinions of Bob Montgomery, W. M. Stewart, and Charles Schwab, who invested heavily to the express that belief Rhyolite would be permanent.[4]
  • “In 1909 talk of lessening of production and of ore viens [sic] petering out were circulated via grapevine system and wise or faint hearted folks began leaving just 4 years after Rhyolite began.”[5]


  • “By 1920, only an old Frenchman lived in the deserted Rhyolite and he died in 1923.”[6]


  • “only seven people living” in Rhyolite.[7]

Rhyolite started as a gold rusher’s dream town and ended up a town fading like a dream, into the dust. It became a graveyard of dreams. So many had come hoping to strike it rich, and just as quickly, they all left, chasing their dreams of gold somewhere else.

[1] James R. Moffat, Memoirs of an Old-Timer: Rhyolite, Nevada 1906–1907 (The Sagebrush Press, 1963), 4.
[2] Moffat, Memoirs of an Old-Timer, 4.
[3] Betsy Ritter, Life in the Ghost City of Rhyolite, Nevada (Terra Bella, CA: Sagebrush Press, 1939), 7.
[4] Ritter, Life in the Ghost City, 7.
[5] Ritter, Life in the Ghost City, 11.
[6] Moffat, Memoirs of an Old-Timer, 4.
[7] Moffat, Memoirs of an Old-Timer, 5.