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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 Park's 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.

DO NOT ENTER old mines, especially without having the proper equipment. NEVER enter by yourself! We use headlamps for light, with several back up flash lights. We carry a multi-gas sensing meter that measures the oxygen level, as well as methane gas level; however, we do NOT carry rescue breathing equipment. Bad air is a reality for many old mines - carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases collect in lower levels of many mines, as well as in many isolated pockets of the twists & turns of many mines (and you will NOT be able to smell the bad gas before it overwhelms you). We carry extra batteries, rescue ropes, first aid kits, and plenty of water. We also carry a Spot GPS Meter that sends an email w/GPS coordinates via satellite to love-ones before we enter stating our location and that we are OK. We do it again upon leaving the mine to let them know we’re out and safe; this meter also has the capability of sending a help signal and/or alerting 911 via satellite providing GPS coordinates – of course it doesn’t work within the mine itself. The BLM strongly advises to not enter these old mines, so if you choose to do so, it is solely at your own risk. Some mines, have steep & deep drop-offs, as well as difficult-to-see vertical shafts, which could be impossible to get back up out of. Also, even though you may see extensive use of wood ladders, shoring and support platforms inside old mines, this wood is very old and unstable; much of it is rotted (along with corroded nails & bolts) and WILL NOT support your weight. So please enjoy these photos but do not try to enter any old mines.
Looking inside the Ichthyosaur exhibit hall (open during the warmer months of the year); if you look at the bottom of the photo, you can see some fossilized back bones from an Ichthyosaur, and looking carefully around the rest of the photo you can start to pick out fossilized remains.

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Silver State Specialties was created in 1999 to offer quality resin accessories, replacement parts and conversion kits, suitable for many 1/25-scale plastic model kits.  SSS specializes in accessories and parts for plastic model pickup, SUV, 4x4, and heavy truck & trailer kits.  1/32-scale and 1/35-scale parts and accessories will be available in the future for model truck kits, such as the 1/32 Monogram Snap-Tite and ERTL snap-together kits, as well as 1/35-scale Revell, Italeri, AFV Club, Trumpeter, Airfix, Heller, Tamiya, and other military model truck Are You Ready for Deployment? Shop at U.S. Cavalry kits.  Some of these smaller scale model kits are quite well detailed, and a wide variety of photo-etched, resin, and other accessories are widely available for most of these military truck model kits. What's even more exciting is the line of 1/24th & 1/25th-scale military model kits and conversions we are in the early stages of developing, to nicely compliment your ERTL, AMT, Italeri, Revell, and other brands of truck models.

Silver State Specialties is working on resin accessories and complete kits for G- gauge outdoor garden railway trains ("Large Scale") in 1/24th-scale. Some patterns have been completed, and many more are under construction. These kits and accessories will include complete Beyer-Garratt style of locomotives and Narrow Gauge ore hopper cars, as well as 24-inch & 30-inch gauge industrial equipment in this same scale.

SSS also has master patterns partially completed for many 1/16-scale model truck accessories and conversion kits, mainly for the Monogram-Revell 1/16-scale model truck kits.  Some projected accessories for these 1/16-scale kits are front drive axles, different wheels and tires, air cleaner accessories, pusher and tag axles, oil filters and engine accessories, and possibly different engines.  Cab & hood conversion kits remain a possibility for these monsters as well, but are still years away from being offered as there are more pressing projects to push forward with first.  But someday they should be available!

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