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The Lost Legacy of Bonnie Claire

Embark on a journey back in time as you explore the fascinating ghost town of Bonnie Claire in Nye County, Nevada.

Bonnie Claire, Nevada, once known as Thorp’s Wells and Montana Station, is a ghost town that encapsulates the rise and fall of mining in the American West. With a rich history rooted in gold mining and milling, this town stands as a silent witness to the fleeting prosperity of the early 20th-century mining boom.

This once bustling mining community, nestled in the rugged desert landscape, now stands as a testament to the relentless pursuit of wealth during the early 1900s. Wander through the remnants of this forgotten town and immerse yourself in its rich history as you uncover the stories behind the mines, the people, and the town itself. 

Bonnie Claire was a bustling mining camp with a mill, a townsite, and various amenities, including a mercantile store, saloons, and a railroad depot. At its peak, the town had a population of about 100, but declined rapidly after the mining and railroad industry faded.

Today, Bonnie Claire is an accessible ghost town with many ruins to explore. Visitors can spot several railroad beds and remnants of the town’s past glory. Notable sites include the remains of Scotty’s Airport and various foundations.

Bonnie Claire Nevada

Bonnie Claire Nevada Overview

Bonnie Claire’s story began in the 1880s, revolving around a stamp mill at Thorp’s Wells, processing ore from the surrounding mines. The town experienced several name changes and a series of booms and busts, reflective of the volatile nature of mining towns.

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

Year Established/Founded

Bonnie Claire was founded in the early 1900s, with its heyday taking place between 1906 and 1918.

Bonnie Claire Nevada History

Bonnie Claire’s history dates back to the discovery of gold and silver deposits in the nearby Bullfrog Mining District. As prospectors flocked to the region, Bonnie Claire became an important stop along the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, providing essential services to the mining communities. However, as the mining boom subsided, so did the town’s prosperity, eventually leading to its abandonment.

Timeline

  • Early 1880s: Initial formation around a stamp mill.
  • Early 1900s: Bonnie Claire is founded.
  • 1904: Construction of the Bonnie Clare Mill.
  • 1906: Renaming to Bonnie Clare and arrival of the Bullfrog-Goldfield Railroad.
  • 1906-1918: The town experiences its peak years.
  • 1907: Peak population and development.
  • 1914: The local railroad ceases operation.
  • 1928: Decline with the folding of the railroad.
  • 1931: The post office closes, marking the beginning of the town’s decline.
  • 1940-1954: Periods of minor activity.

Mines

The district was primarily known for gold mining.

Major mines included those near Gold Mountain, six miles northwest.

Bullfrog Mining District: Gold and silver.

Railroads

Bonnie Claire was a station on both the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad and the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad.

Railroads played a crucial role in the town’s development and eventual decline.

Click here to view the railroads in Nevada.

Post Office

The Bonnie Claire Post Office operated from April 25, 1906, to October 15, 1931.

View the list and history of Nevada Post Offices.

Newspaper

There is no record of a specific newspaper dedicated to Bonnie Claire.

Learn more about Nevada Newspapers

The Population of Bonnie Claire Nevada

At its peak, Bonnie Claire’s population was estimated to be around 100 people.

Elevation

Bonnie Claire is situated at an elevation of approximately 3,773 feet (1,150 meters).

Location

Bonnie Claire is located in Nye County, Nevada, about 40 miles north of the California-Nevada border.

GPS Coordinates

The GPS coordinates for Bonnie Claire are 37.3453° N, 116.7681° W.

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Photos and Videos

None at this time

References Used

Click here to view our list of History of the Southwest – Books and Online Resources to learn more about our amazing area!