Guns, Ghosts, And Gold!
One way to change gears on your Vegas trip is to leave the Strip for a spell and visit a ghost town or a recreated Wild West town. Some have some pretty interesting stories attached to them.
The Nevada ghost towns that are a day trip from Vegas include Nelson, (A previous article featured Techatticup in Nelson. Review it here. )
Then there are Belmont, Aurora, Berlin, Blair, and Gold Butte to name a few. There are dozens to choose from. Many of these towns were mining towns that sprang up during gold fever days.
Take a look at the Map of Ghost Towns.
One ghost town that I visited on a Vegas trip was Goodsprings, Nevada. It is located about 35-40 minutes south of Vegas. Exit at the Jane, Nevada exit, off of I-15 and go west for seven miles
Goodsprings was established in 1890. It was known for its silver and lead mining at the time. In 1918 the population had swelled to 800 and was a thriving little town. The town experienced booms and busts over its lifespan and finally began to die out after WWII. Today, there are only about 200 residents, mostly retired folks, living in the area.
Goodsprings is also the home of the Pioneer Saloon which has a rich history and is the home of many of ghost sightings. Whose ghost, we are not sure.
There is also another interesting bit of trivia about the Pioneer Saloon. The saloon was built in 1913. It contained a famous bar made by the Brunswick Company that showcased its brass rail like the one so often shown in cowboy movies. This handy rail offered weary feet a place to rest while its owners enjoyed their drinks. Both the interior and outside walls of the Pioneer were made of stamped tin made by none other than Sears and Roebuck.
Part of the saloon’s fame is because numerous movies have used the saloon as a movie set. There were at least three and they include Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Miss Congeniality 2, and one of the Cheech and Chong movies. But, a real life drama took place here too.
The legendary movie star Clark Gable spent three days here as he awaited news of the fate of his wife, Carol Lombard. They had been married only two years at the time. Sadly, the news was not good. His wife died in a plane crash somewhere in the area of Mt. Pelosi.
Today, the owner of the Pioneer has invested some big bucks and brought the saloon back to life. There is a general store, cocktails, brews, and some good food. You can have birthday parties and bachelor parties there. There are also cookouts, camping, and more available. Check out their website below for details.
If you would like to visit a recreated town of the Wild West stop by Bonnie Springs Ranch. It is about 45 minutes west of the Strip. Here you can watch a gunfight and visit some of the old stores and saloons.
You can read about Bonnie Springs Ranch and find prices here.