The Ruins of the Bank at Rhyolite, Nevada.

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (6)

Jared J. Myers on November 29, 2009

Good morning Austin,

you've got a really impressive gallery! I like your desert photos as well as the ones from Minnesotan landscapes and lakes (friends of mine are living close to Lake Minnetonka).

I chose this photo to comment on because it tries to tell a story - this bank is ruined, indeed. Was it 1929, or a robbery long before, or witness of a failed attempt to settle and found a city in the desert? Did the inhabitants have to leave it after having been devastated by an earthquake? - Maybe the fate of this bank is well known to every American (or, at least, Nevadan) pupil... but one's for sure: The rhyolithic magma of the extinct volcanoes have nothing to do with it.

I know it's quite a distance between Minnesota and Nevada - but do you know what had happened here?

© Tom Cooper on November 30, 2009

Jared J. Myers,

Indeed, I do know what happened here. Rhyolite is a mineral that frequently contains gold (or, I may be mistaken - it could be silver). Gold was discovered here, and a thriving city soon sprang up. The town started in 1905, and shortly city of Rhyolite went from population 0 to population over 10,000. It was the third largest city on Nevada. But when the gold dried up between 1908 and 1911, that was it - there was literally nothing else to make a living on, and so everyone left.

Because it was in an area where there is no wood available, nearly all wood buildings were taken down and moved. By 1920, the area was nothing more than a torist attraction.

Today, Rhyolite has a population of one, a caretaker paid by the Bureau of Land Management. He sells cold soda pop to tourists on the side.

There is more detail in the wikipedia article here.

joyfotos on April 13, 2010

Great shot and story! I love how the ruins almost fade into the surrounding scenery. I suppose because it was build of the stone and dirt from that very scenery. At first I thought this was going to be Brody, CA but this looks like a very interesting place in its own right.

tommyj on February 23, 2011

Nice picture and interesting story! L Greetings from South Africa

Brent Cooper on October 7, 2011

Naw, I really don't like this....I love it! Been some time since I have been to Rhyolite. Just getting involved with Panramio and I had nearly 70 photos up but all with frames and mats round them. So kinda startin over again! This shot of the bank is a great example of the decay of old bonanzas! Glad I found this group and look forward to seeing more of your work!

Michael Schäffner on September 1, 2012

Cool place inside desert. L4. Michael

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 11, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by © Tom Cooper