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Rioville Nevada

Rioville Nevada

Rioville Nevada Overview

Rioville, originally known as Junction City, was a Mormon settlement founded by Daniel and Ann Bonelli in Clark County, Nevada.

Also, known as Junction City and Junctionville.

Learn more about Ghost Town in Nevada and Ghost Towns in the Southwest.

Year Established/Founded


Rioville Nevada History

Rioville, Nevada (first known as Junction City) was a settlement founded by Latter-day Saints in what they thought was Utah Territory in 1869, now under Lake Mead and within Clark County, Nevada.

From then until 1887 when silver mining activity declined, steamboats in high water, and from 1879 to 1882 the sloop Sou’Wester in low water carried locally mined salt to process silver ore in El Dorado Canyon.

Brigham Young visited the Muddy Mission settlements in early 1870 and advised the Mormons to abandon their homes and farms due to the combination of political and physical difficulties, particularly the devastating summer heat. One caretaker resident was to remain behind in each community.

Daniel Bonelli and his wife chose to stay. They continued to farm in St. Thomas, even after they established a ferry at the junction of the Colorado and Virgin rivers (then called Rioville instead of Callville). The slightly stubborn, Swiss immigrant Bonelli always maintained that “the (Mormon) Church had left him, and not the other way round.”

By the 1890s the settlement was virtually abandoned but the post office lingered until 1906 and the ferry until 1934.


  • 1869 – Established as Junction City by Mormon settlers
  • 1870 – Stone’s Ferry was purchased in 1870 and moved to a location adjacent to Junction City in 1876 and renamed Bonelli’s Ferry after its new owner Daniel Bonelli.
  • 1871 – Deserted by its first Mormon settlers
  • July 8, 1879 – Rioville became the uppermost landing for steamboats of the Colorado River, when Captain Jack Mellon piloted the steamboat Gila upriver through Boulder Canyon to the town, making it the highwater head of navigation on the Colorado River.
  • 1880s – Mormons settlers return and repurchase the land they used to own and the area became a large farming district
  • 1881 – Renamed the town Rioville
  • 1881 – Post office opened
  • 1906 – Post office closed
  • 1934 – Ferry closed
  • Late 1934 – Lake Mead submerged the town of Rioville
  • 1935 – Graves were removed from the local cemetery to be reinterred at other cemeteries. (Daniel Bonelli, unknown child, Merry Grigg, W. L. Brooks, and Iven LeRoy Bundy)





Post Office

1881 – 1906

Daniel Bonelli was the postmaster.

View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.



The Population of Rioville Nevada

  • 1900 – There were 3 dwellings and 11 residents living in Rioville, Lincoln County, Nevada




Junction City was located on the Colorado River, above its confluence with the Virgin River (also known as the Rio Virgin).

Just like the town of St Thomas, the site of Rioville has been submerged under Lake Mead since the 1930s.

GPS Coordinates

36° 9′ 0.94″ N, 114° 23′ 57.90″ W

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Photos and Videos

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References Used

Rioville Nevada