Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park April 3, 2012

Looking south at the ghost town site of Berlin

Location: Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park is located approximately 23 miles east of Gabbs (route 844) and 57 miles south of Austin, Nevada, on state road 21 (dirt). It is in an extremely remote location so make sure to bring extra food, water and gass.

General Information: The state park was established in 1957 to protect the highest concentration and largest icthyosaur fossils in the world. It also protects the 20th century mining town of Berlin, Nevada. It costs $10 to camp for one night and $7 to enter the park. A picknick area is available for day users. Nearest services are in Gabbs, Nevada, NO services are in the park. The fossil shelter tour is 40 minutes long and runs Memorial Day through Labor Day. The ranger will make accomodations for anyone who arrives in the off-season. Tours of the Diana Mine are avaliable during the summer.

Hiking: The ghost towns of Berlin and Union, Nevada, have an extensive sign system- about 88- which tell the history of many of the buildings. There is also a five mile trail to a remote mine in the Shoeshone mountains.

This post is about the ghost town of Berlin; the following post will be about the Icthyosaur fossils.

Berlin history: Mining activity first occured in May 1863 when prospectors discovered silver in Union Canyon. Within a year the mining camp of Union had formed. In 1864 the original prospectors created the Union Mining District which encompassed many of the communities in the area including: Ione, Union, Grantsville and later Berlin.

In 1896 the Nevada Company bought all the claims in the area and also established the Berlin Mine.Within a year the town of Berlin became more important than Union. The Berlin and Diana mines produced gold until 1908 when the town began to wane by 1911 Berlin had become a ghost town. At its heighth Berlin and Union had approximately 250 residents. Total gold production was around $849,000. (Information from state park brochure and informational signs).

Original hoist works in the mountains

The 30 stamp mill at Berlin

Side view of the Machinists shop with Assayer's shop in foreground.

Looking inside the Machinist's shop

Headstone in cemetery with valley. Only five people died in Berlin; three of which were children.

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