SECTION: GHOST TOWNS & ABANDONED MINES
BERLIN, NEVADA (2008)
|Berlin is located
in far northwestern Nye County, and is a Nevada
State Park. A unique feature about Berlin is that in addition
to hosting the remnants of a mining camp, it also is home to more
than 30 fossilized remains of prehistoric Ichthyosaurs. Exploring
Berlin provides all-day fun for the whole family! According to the
website, "Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park was first established
in 1957 to protect and display North America's most abundant concentration
and largest known Ichthyosaur fossils at the time. The park also
preserves the turn-of-the-20th century mining town of Berlin as
well as the Diana Mine. The Ichthyosaur fossil area is a Registered
Natural Landmark and the historic townsite is on the National Register
of Historic Places. These national designations speak to the unique
value of the resources preserved here."
In 1895 silver deposits were located here by State Senator Bell,
and he established the Berlin Mine. Soon after Senator Bell sold
the rights to the mine to John G. Stokes' Nevada Company, and the
company began to aggressively purchase & work mines in the area.
The Berlin Mine features an incline shaft and workings on 8 levels!
The Diana Mine was located nearby, and its surface level connects
with the 4th level of the Berlin Mine via a 1200-foot-long tunnel;
tours were offered, but are currently suspended pending a safety
report on the integrity of the Diana Mine (I hope tours reopen soon,
I'm anxious to go on one!) A 30-stamp mill was constructed, and
at its height Berlin featured a population of about 250, a general
store, post office, auto repair shop, and a stage line to other
mining camps. But by 1909 the mines were exhausted and the mill
fell silent. A 50-ton cyanide plant was built to treat the mine
tailings in 1911, but low yields led to its abandonment in 1914.
The town & mine lay silent for more than 27 years until World
War II, when the salvageable materials were removed for scrap drives.
Currently, the State of Nevada is slowly rebuilding the old 30-stamp
mill, and state park rangers live on property to safeguard it. Many
buildings are still standing and many artifacts abound in spite
of the WW2 scrap drives. An entrance fee is necessary (cash or checks
only), but the rates are VERY reasonable [check
the website for fee schedules]. The park also features a 14-spot
campground. If one continues past the ghost town for about 1/4-mile,
the Ichthyosaur Exhibit Hall is reached; inside the Hall is a magnificent
display of up to 3 fossilized remains of prehistoric Ichthyosaurs.
A trip to Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park is highly recommended, especially
for the whole family. The employees are friendly & helpful,
the scenery is spectacular, and there is enough there to keep the
whole family busy all day.
|A nice view
of the entrance to the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park; the large
building to the right of the sign is the old mill, which is being
to Berlin Page |
to Ghost Towns & Abandoned Mines Page
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