Ely Nevada

Nevada Northern #81, built in 1917

This year our journey began from Oceanside, CA, on May 1st, 2022, heading north and eventually all the way to Alaska. Our first stop is Ely, Nevada, where we are staying at the Ely KOA Campground for 4 days. We explored the town of Ely and the Ely Murals. The walking tour of Ely’s Murals is a great way to understand the history and cultural significance of the town. Like many Western towns, Ely, has experienced major highs and lows thanks to the mining industry. Mining, primarily for copper, founded the town in the late 1800’s and has long been its largest employer. In 1999 the town’s leading copper mine shut down and many downtown shops closed and went dark. The Ely Murals were inspired by the murals in Chemainus, BC, and today the 28 murals are focused on the history of the town – mining, ranching, railroading and scenic beauty, with the cultural diversity of the community as a central theme.  Check out the video. Click on thumbnail to view image

Ely Museums

We visited the White Pine Public Museum that offers a unique look into the past of Eastern Nevada. It was established in 1959 and houses a wide variety of exhibits. The first people in White Pine County were the Shoshone Indians. In 1860, the Pony Express Telegraph and the Overland Stage brought explorers and prospectors into the county. Between 1860-1900, gold, silver and lead discoveries were quickly followed by dozens of boomtowns. The year of 1906 marked the arrival of the Nevada Northern Railway, and made possible the development of the copper industry and was instrumental in the economic growth of Ely. Click on thumbnail to view image

Railroad Museum and Train Ride

Now a National Historic Landmark, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum takes you back to a time when the iron horse ruled the rails. It is America’s best-preserved standard-gauge short line and a complete rail facility. We walked around the entire outdoor museum, not confined to a single building, the museum complex includes a full-service rail yard, encompassing fifty-six acres with sixty-three structures. We saw original locomotives and railcars, maintained by original tools, in the original shops and operated on original tracks by original procedures. Before we left we bought tickets to come back and ride the train. Click on thumbnail to view image

Ward Charcoal Ovens

In 1872, two brothers stumbled upon silver ore, triggering a mining boom that was characteristic of early Nevada. Martin and White Company of San Francisco purchased several claims and built smelters to process the ore in the new Ward Mining District…but these were worthless without a hot-burning fuel. The answer was Coke Ovens. Each oven cooked 35 cords of wood for 12 days to create the perfect batch of charcoal. The ovens were 30 feet high and 27 feet in diameter, with a wall thickness of 20 inches.  Click on thumbnail to view image

Lincoln Highway US Route 50

U.S. Route 50 is a transcontinental highway in the United States, stretching from the Sacramento region of California in the west to Ocean City of Maryland in the east. The Nevada portion, which goes through the center of the state, was named The Loneliest Road in America by Life magazine in July 1986