Friday, April 27, 2012

Ione, Nevada April 2, 2012

                                                 The now defunct Mercantile

Location: The unincorporated community of Ione, Nevada, is located approximately 40 miles south of Austin, Nevada, and 15 miles from Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park. For any ghost town enthusiast it is worth a stop. There are a number of interesting buildings and ruins in town. Remember this is remote country. Carry extra water and food. There are NO services in Ione. The nearest services are in Austin or Gabbs, Nevada.

History: Ione came into existence in 1863 with the discovery of silver in the Shoshone Range. While Berlin and Union would be the center of mining for the district; Ione developed as a center of trade and milling.In 1864 the town received $800 to build Nye County's first courthouse. In 1867 the discovery of rich ore in Belmont caused many residents to move away. Soon Belmont would become the county seat. The town soon died as well. Through the years a number of small revivals in mining have occurred but nothing has lasted  more than two years. (Information from

                                         Crumbling building

                                    Sign for a now defunct gas station

                              Boarded up buildings along mainstreet                      

Cold Springs Pony Express Station April 4, 2012

                                   Looking towards Highway 50 with the ruins in the foreground

General Information: Located about 50 miles west of Austin, Nevada, is the the Cold Springs Pony Express Station. This station is regarded as one of the best preserved in Nevada. The ruins are accessible by a four mile round trip hike. The trail head is on Highway 50 and not hard to find. The hike itself is straight forward and the path is not hard to follow. Remember to carry water during the summer months and watch out for rattlesnakes. They will leave you alone if you leave them alone.(info from trail side kiosk and

Short history: The Pony Express was a way to transport mail across the United States- from Missouri to California- before the creation of the Telegraph. It lasted only a year from April 1860 to October 1861. The company charged $5 an ounce to deliver. Along the route stations were built every 10-35 miles to change horses and for riders to rest. Stations were chosen because of their close proximity to water and building materials. Riders typically never rode more than 70 miles however; on a few occasions riders rode over 100 miles if a station was burned down or during an emergency. The Pony Express ceased to exist when the telegraph came into operation. The Cold Springs Station was quite large 116 feet by 51 feet. Workers made the station out of rocks and mud. It was heavily fortified to repel the cold and Indian attacks. This station had 4-6 foot walls and gun ports at various locations.

                                        The station with desert country around it

                                                   The station was large

                                                What probably was the kitchen

                                             One of the gun ports used to defend the station