Nelson is a ghost town located along the main road near Eldorado Canyon. Here you will see neglected buildings, amazing rusted-out and abandoned cars, deserted road and gas station signs, and even old mining equipment used back when the local Techatticup gold mine was in full swing. We prepared 50 stunning pictures from Nelson Ghost Town, Nevada.
Despite the unruliness, Nelson was home to the most successful gold mining boom in southern Nevada history. This area was first home to ancient Puebloan Indians, and then the Paiutes as well as the Mojave tribes. These tribes used to live peacefully among themselves for hundreds of years until 1775 when the Spanish discovered gold in this particular area.
History of Nelson Ghost Town
Nelson was named El Dorado by the Spanish miners who first settled in the area. Looking for gold, they only found silver and abandoned their efforts. In 1859, prospectors discovered gold and resumed mining.
In 1861, Mojave Chief Irataba directed a man named John Moss to a silver vein in Eldorado Canyon, who then quickly opened a mine 55 miles north of Fort Mojave near Nelson, Nevada. News spread across the Pacific coast, and generations of other people migrated to Nelson looking for the mineral riches that have made Nevada world famous.
Nelson Ghost Town most well known mine, the Techatticup Mine, was established in 1861. It’s the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. Ownership of the mines soon became a hotly contested issue with groups of miners claim-jumping one another or simply murdering their competition. The famous Techatticup Mine remained active until 1943, and produced more than 2.5 million dollars worth of gold, silver, copper, and lead. Eventually the boom subsided and the Techatticup Mine was abandoned leaving behind miles of tunnels and countless rickety sheds and houses.
The name change from Eldorado to Nelson came about when Charles Nelson, a camp leader, was killed along with four others in 1897 by Avote, a local Native American. The majority of its residents were deserters of the Civil War in search of a hard to find place. Many of the men that created this area were deserters from the Civil War. This was one of the first major gold strike areas in Nevada.
Nelson Ghost Town was eventually abandoned when the wharf area by the Colorado River was destroyed by the flash flood and the torrents of gushing water flushed away the high-priced minerals that were responsible for attracting so many people.
The Nelson Ghost Town got its another chance in 1994, when Tony and Bobbie Werly purchased the property. They restored many of the abandoned buildings and even opened up the Techatticup Mine for public tours. The owners do live on premises and Nelson Ghost Town is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Little chapel can be reserved for weddings and there is a BBQ area with picnic tables in Nelson Ghost Town. Nelson Ghost Town is the perfect day trip destination for Las Vegas area visitors who want to get away from the city. One of the highlights in exploring the history here is the extensive abandoned cars collection.
How To Get To the Nelson Ghost Town
Nelson’s Ghost Town is 45 minutes away from Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, take an exit at U.S.-95 and drive past the dry lake bed on the right side. Once you pass the dry lake bed, you will see Exit 165 for Nelson, Nevada on your left. Turn on State Route 165 and follow the two-lane highway. Drive straight for approximately 10 miles before you get to the Nelson Ghost Town.