My tiny escapes Ghost TOWN Rhyolite, on the edge of death valley

I’ve had a number of encounters with the supernatural throughout my life; it has always been somewhat of an irritation and something I’ve tried hard to distance myself from, rarely talking about it out of fear that I’d be perceived as a slightly “out of touch little lady”. It is for this reason that when the love of my life suggested we visit a ghost town called Rhyolite near Death Valley (Nevada, Las Vegas), I immediately declined not really keen to attract additional “out of touch little lady” experiences.

But, my love for travel and discovering places not necessarily trodden down by tourists, all things old, historical and mysterious got the better of me and so we drove ... passing interesting signs; stopping at places where time seemed to take a long pause.


Rhyolite started in1905 as a mining town. It’s population was between 3,500 - 5,000 but by 1920, only one resident remained, a 92 year old man who died in 1924.

Skeletons and bones of buildings once lived and worked in, jutting out against the late afternoon sky were scattered all over the site. I wondered about the people who lived in the little homes I was now boldly trudging around in; what were their stories? How I wish I knew.

To our great surprise, there were signs of a very sophisticated electricity system, pavements, a bank, a saloon, school, railroad and yes, even a brothel

A restaurant with tables still in tact

Most of the homes were tiny with only one bedroom and small entrance. One of the homes still had an old chair, another a really vintage mattress. The mattress I found just so beautiful for some reason. One could conjure a whole story just around the mattress.

The vintage mattress. Sigh. Let’s not talk - let’s share this magic moment in silence.

My personal favourite was the caboose which is a small galley or cookhouse and the last car on a freight train. It had cooking and sleeping facilities for the crew of the train. Wow! My heart still misses a beat recalling that fabulous chipped wood, vintage blue hue and seeing relics of door handles, nails and craftmanship that has stood the test of time was just priceless.

Ted and I had so much fun photographing this rich display of history. Imagining how it must have been to ride this train looking out of the window and peering down gaping holes where once an engine was.

The caboose from outside; I loved the details ... imagined a lady standing on the little front “balcony” hair waving in the desert breeze, long white dress reflecting the sun beautifully and little laced up booties in refined leather. I had to make up my own stories - there were no stories shared.

The train station. Unfortunately, I did not give it the attention it deserved. It is a big building with almost European like details and grandeur. The train station definitely echoed effort and big investments. It is closed to the public because of course, humans feel the need to destroy (ranting).

Many of the buildings originally from rhyolite were moved to the nearby town of Beatty. The old brothel and saloon can be seen in what looks like the main road of Beatty and one can even over night in there ... I wanted to so badly but time ran out on me, just as it did for those who once inhabited Rhyolite.

The brothel. I peeped through the windows, somehow eerie and again, I wondered about all the people who passed through it’s doors.

Make your moments count, share your story, try not to wait for a perfect picture, a flawless write-up. who knows if time will wait for perfection. You might not think your story matters but it will mean a lot to someone, somewhere, sometime. The world is a very magical and beautiful place. Go out and discover it.

Created By
Rozanna Giannakis (Rozanna Giannakis.com)


Rozanna Giannakis.com

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