The following morning, we loaded up in our Jeeps and headed on out to visit the old ghost town of Belmont, Nevada.
After a nice drive, we arrived at our main destination of the day.
Taking a stroll along downtown Belmont.
The old bank building.
What's left of the cosmopolitan.
Checking out some of the cool old machinery out on display.
Time to get a drink over at Dirty Dick's.
Lucky for us, they were open.
MTG giving a shot at a game some of the locals taught us - BUTT DARTS!
Oh yeah, time for a round of delicious bloody Mary's that tasted more like lunch in a cup!
Time to do what we came here to do and that was to take a tour of the historic Belmont Courthouse. Once the Nye County seat back between 1873 and 1905, this courthouse cost of $25,000 to build and was intended to be "built for the ages".
Lucky for us, our tour guide not only lives part time in Belmont but has direct connections to the history of it and was very knowledgeable.
Being that there was no wood in the area, it was fascinating to learn that all the wood used to make this courthouse came from Tahoe, was shipped by rail to Eureka, transferred to a narrow gauge rail line, taken as far as a siding known as Alpha and then brought the rest of the way to Belmont on wagons.
After the county seat was moved to Tonopah and the Belmont courthouse was closed, the jail cells inside were removed and sent to Gabbs back in the early 1940's where magnesium was mined during World War II. Being that the population consisted of fine men who had been arrested but agreed to work there as part of a plea deal, it didn't take long before there was a need to lock a few of them up again from time to time. This cell was returned to Belmont so that it could be put on display.
Doug trying to encourage Jackson to step inside.
Before there was Ikea - The jail cells were pre-fabricated and a system was needed to help the installers know what panel went where. Here you can see the matching marks that were used to do just that.
Here you can see the back wall of the courthouse that was removed so that the jail cells could be extracted.
Door to nowhere. It's unknown why this door from the actual courtroom was made being that there's no record of a balcony or staircase having ever been connected to it.
Just inside the courthouse, there are 3 photos that shows what it looked like at its worst in 1964, in 2013 after the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse took over it and then in 2015, pretty much what it looks like today.
Going through and learning about the various rooms in the courthouse.
After the courthouse was completely abandoned in the mid 1920's, people continued to visit it and leave their mark on its walls.
Many of the people who came through it were workers from the USWPA.
Here you can see that a note was left for a Herman Barnes who owes Jaxesine $10.00 for 5 fees.
This is an interesting list of goods that were removed from the courthouse during a small pox outbreak in another town.
So, it should be interesting for some of you to know that well before there were Jeeps, when people were needed to go out and survey a remote area that was difficult to get to, a "Wrangler" was hired and this signature was one that worked for the USGLO.
Here's a love poem with a riddle in it that was left by man heading off to war. Can you solve the riddle?
One of the most famous signatures on the courthouse walls is one that was left back in 1969 and by a man of nefarious origins. At the time, there was only one person living in Belmont and she was tough old lady named Rose. When this man and his family tried to set up camp and not knowing who he was, Rose approached them and explained that the land they were on was private. She let them know that the could go north to Pine Creek and setup camp there. On their way back to their ranch out in Death Valley, Manson and his family stopped in again, thanked Rose for her help and left without incident. Sometime later, Rose went to Bishop and just happened to see a newspaper with a photo that had people she had recently seen. Of course, the photo was of Charlie Manson and his "family".
Over the years, people in the area came to the courthouse and removed whatever it is they could for use in homes and other buildings. Here you can see where the original old floor meets a new section that was recently installed. Apparently, the way this building was built, the floors were put in first and then partitions were added later and so when someone decided they needed some flooring, they cut away a large section of it... by hand!
Heading on up on a staircase painted with faux stonework.
Up in the actual courtroom.
Here's what the door to nowhere from the inside. Notice how low the doorknob is - an interesting example of how much we as people have gotten so much taller over the years.
Way before there was UPS and tracking numbers. During the restoration of the courthouse, many of the original window frames were removed so that new ones with glass could be installed. Here you can see one of the old prefabricated window frames with detailed information as to who ordered it - S. Talman, from Belmont, NV., what carrier it would be shipped on - Care E&P Rail Road and to the destination of Alpha, the end of the rail line at that time.
Climbing up to the attic.
Final staircase to the top.
View from the cupola.
Down in the museum looking at some of the cool artifacts that were found in the area.