Carrara, Nevada, a ghost town with aspirations of marble grandeur akin to its Italian namesake, tells a story of ambition and disillusionment. Located in the Amargosa Valley, about 10 miles southeast of Rhyolite, Carrara was a fleeting dream of marble prosperity that thrived briefly in the early 20th century.
Carrara Nevada Overview
Carrara’s history is intimately linked to a marble quarry discovered in 1904, with its townsite established by the American Carrara Marble Company between 1911 and 1913. The town, complete with a hotel, store, and even a town fountain, flourished momentarily, driven by the marble quarry operations. However, by 1924, it had succumbed to the harsh realities of its fractured marble deposits and faded into obscurity.
Named after the famous Carrara marble region in Italy, Carrara was a mining district and town and Nye County, Nevada.
Supposedly also known as Bare Mountain but the references I have found don’t align that they are the same district as Carrara is supposed to be southwest of Bare Mountain and two different districts. More research will tell soon.
Discovered in 1905 and established in May 1913.
Carrara Nevada History
Carrara was founded on the hopes of high-quality marble deposits, akin to those in Carrara, Italy. Quarry operations began in 1913, and the town experienced a brief period of prosperity, marked by community development and marble shipments. However, the inferior quality of the marble led to the town’s decline and eventual abandonment by 1924.
There are LOTS of newspaper articles for us to read through and pull the good stuff from them to share. One article that caught my eye stated that Carrara made Nevada history by being the first townsite to be placed on the market with all the public utilities in place with water piped to the site from Gold Center (about six miles away), electric lines ran from Rhyolite, a huge water fountain in the center of town, a railroad line nearby and more!
In a 1913 advertisement in the Tonopah Daily Bonanza,
“… and now they’ve got a store, moving picture show, cafe, livery stable, newspaper and a bunch of home scattered around.”
“… they’ve got a big fountain with a 25-foot spray, and park with young trees on it, and electric lights, telephone and telegraph.”
- 1904: Marble deposits first located.
- 1911-1913: Townsite established by American Carrara Marble Company.
- May 8, 1913: Grand dedication of the townsite.
- 1914: Completion of a unique cable railway to transport marble.
- 1915-1916: Peak years with over 40 buildings and close to 150 residents.
- 1917: Quarry operations halted; the decline of Carrara begins.
- 1924: Carrara largely abandoned.
- 1929: Brief revival with the publication of the Carrara Miner newspaper.
Carrara’s economy was centered on its large marble quarry, which initially showed promise but was ultimately unprofitable due to the fractured nature of the marble.
Marble was the primary and gold, fluorspar, mercury, tungsten, silver, kaolin, montmorillonite, silica, uranium, perlite, and cinder.
Finding conflicting information about which railroad was in the area. I need to dig out my railroad books to verify and will update this when we add railroad information to all the articles.
The town was served by the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad, and later by a spur from the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad.
I found references it was the Tonopah & Tidewater, Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad, and the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad.
Click here to view Railroads in Nevada.
May 24, 1913 – September 15, 1924
View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.
- Carrara Obelisk: February 7, 1914 – September 9, 1916
- Carrara Miner: July 21, 1929
Learn more about Nevada Newspapers
The Population of Carrara Nevada
Peaked at close to 150 residents during 1915-1916.
Amargosa Valley, Nye County, Nevada, adjacent to US Route 95. on the southwest flank of Bare Mountain. Located eight and a half miles south of Beatty on the east side of US-95.
From Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 47 – Mining Districts of Nevada:
This district lies east of Beatty and includes both Bare Mountain and the northwestern end of Yucca Mountain. The original Bare Mountain district included only the northern part of Bare Mountain, near the old camp of Telluride. Following the discovery of fluorite deposits in 1918, the Bare Mountain district has sometimes been referred to as Fluorine. The Fluorine district of Kral (1951) included all of Bare Mountain, Crater Flat, the southeastern end of Yucca Mountain, and part of Amargosa Desert to the southwest (present Lee district). Carrara, on the southwestern side of Bare Mountain, is sometimes considered to be a separate district. The cinder occurrences are in Crater Flat, east of Bare Mountain.
A study from 1928 states:
The marble property is located in Bare Mountain, about 8 miles southeasterly from Beatty, Nevada. The marble quarry is in the mountain near the northeast side of the Amargosa Desert. The manufacturing plant is at the foot of the mountain on the valley floor near the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad. The automobile road from Beatty to Las Vegas runs near the mill.
36° 48′ 2.81″ N, 116° 42′ 44.21″ W
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Photos and Videos
CARRARA WILL CELEBRATE BIG TOWNSITE DAY
NEW TOWN TO BE DEDICATED IN FITTING MANNER ON MAY EIGHTH.
Townsite day, the occasion of dedicating Pile new town of Carrara in southern Nye, and celebrating in fitting manner the completion of its Improvements, has been definitely set for May 8. It was at first announced that the date would be earlier but. the eighth has been finally fixed upon by the officials in charge of j the townsite. An announcement just issued states that while all the many important improvements may not be completed by that time, the water supply, electric lights and telephone service will have been installed.
The line for the light and telephone service is now being erected and water has been piped from Gold Center, a distance of nine miles to the town of Carrara, and is now being delivered at the rate of over 100,- 000 gallons, daily. The public fountain, in the center of the town, Is completed and consists of a basin 18 feet In diameter and three feet in depth. A column of water will be running continuously by Townsite day.
New buildings are going up daily In the town. The general store Is doing business with a new and complete stock of goods and arrangements have been made for the erection of a hotel building, with twenty rooms, offices and buffet. There has been a good demand for lots and there is every prospect that the town of Carrara will be one of the busiest and most populous In southern Nevada within a short time. A large crowd is expected to take In the celebration from Goldfield and Tonopah and many of the visitors will Inspect the extensive workings of the I American Carrara Marble company. a short distance from the new town.
Today, Carrara stands as a ghost town, its dreams of marble glory long dissolved. Visitors can still find the remnants of its past — foundations, a town fountain, and the railroads’ traces. Yet, Carrara remains a poignant symbol of the fleeting nature of mining booms, a story etched in Nevada’s rich historical tapestry.
- Paher, Stanley (1970), Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, Howell-North Books, pages 321-322
- Tingley, Joseph V., Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 47 – Mining Districts of Nevada, page 26
- The Nevada State Writers Project Administration (1941), Origin of Place Names Nevada, page 55
- United States Geological Survey – Carrara Nevada
- Wikipedia – Carrara Nevada