Nelson Ghost Town: Discover its Dark Past

A mining town once rich in precious golds became the center of murders is now a ghost town. What past does this ghost town hide? 

Located roughly 25 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Nelson Ghost Town is accessible via Nevada US 95. In 1775, the town of Nelson was known as Eldorado by the Spaniards, who first occupied the land. They were the first ones to discover the presence of gold in the area now known as Eldorado Canyon. However, when most of the Spaniards’ attempts only produced silver, they eventually abandoned the place. It was about a century later when Civil War deserters occupied the place and established the Techatticup mine. 

The Birth of the Techatticup Mine

A known area rife in gold, silver, lead, and copper, Eldorado attracted many individuals, most notably the Civil War deserters. Over time, these varied characters fought hard to defend and dispute their ownership of the mine. Often, these disputes would result in bloodshed and murder. Since the nearest sheriff in the area is about 200 miles away, visits from law enforcement officials are rare. But, despite this notoriety, the mines were able to bring in over $10 million worth of ore from 1864 to 1900, making it the site of the most profitable states of Nevada. 

The Demise of Mining

Since the town of Nelson is located directly downstream of the Eldorado Canyon, flash floods are a frequent occurrence, and this has caused the once-profitable village to lose its precious minerals and render it uninhabitable. 

When mining stopped, Nelson became a ghost town. Previous dwellers packed up their bags and abandoned the town. 

The Nelson Ghost Town

After the people left, Nelson only had several ranch houses, old buildings and machinery, and a Texaco station that remind people of what life used to be in the area. In 1994, the town was given a second lease on life when Tony and Bobbie Werly decided to buy the town and restore much of the decrepit buildings. The couple also decided to reopen the Techatticup Mine and accept public tours. Many artists have used Nelson Ghost Town in their photo shoots, feature films, video games, and music videos. When you visit the desolate town, it would not seem that the site has a bloody and murderous past. 

Know Before You Go

  • All visitors headed to Nelson Ghost Town must remember to check-in at their main office. There, they can purchase an hour-long tour of the Techatticup Mine for $15 per person. 
  • Visitors doing a photoshoot must pay a $10 fee per hour. 
  • Guests availing of a photo tour would also be allowed to access the three barns within the property where they are free to take as many artistic shots as possible. 
  • Guests not availing of the photo tour only have access to two barns. 
  • Summers in the area can be scorching, so make sure to bring water and snacks as the area is a “ghost town” and do not have nearby convenience stores. 
  • Similarly, bring your car or rent one. There is no public transportation near the area. 

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