Time Traveling: Leadfield Ghost Town

Okay, so let's back up to our drive through Titus Canyon again. One of the things I most wanted to see along the way was the ghost town of Leadfield. There are ghost towns everywhere in Nevada. As I've mentioned previously (and over a period of years), there are many stories of some individual or some company going boom and bust here in the harsh environment of Death Valley. Leadfield is another example of that.

Arriving at a parking area, we could see the few remaining structures from the road. You can see mine tailings on the left side of the image below.

Our guidebook mentioned that Titus Canyon Road was used by "Old Dinah," a steam tractor, to carry ore from the Keane Wonder Mine (visited on a previous trip), to the town of Rhyolite (also a ghost town now). You can read more about Rhyolite and see pictures right here. During a walk around Furnace Creek Ranch, I took a picture of Old Dinah and her informational sign. 

Mike is standing there to give you the scale of this thing. And, honestly, it was so difficult driving our four-wheel drive, high clearance truck over the terrain of Titus Canyon Road, one wonders how something like this was able to negotiate what would have been a roughly maintained road in its day.

Getting back to Leadfield...the signs tell the story.

Here's how the town looked in its hey day. Below the next image, you'll find the key to the numbering on the photo. Remember you can make the image larger by clicking on it.

And what I said about Old Dinah? Imagine bringing ninety private cars carrying more than 1,000 people out here. Keep in mind that automobiles were still in their infancy. And what about fuel?

Where we parked was this lean-to shelter. I'm guessing someone lived here at one time.

Here's how it looked inside.

Hiking out to where the structures were located, this is the old post office.

And here's how that looked inside. A little sprucing up, and it could be livable again!

There was a structure some distance to our right, and so we walked out there. Along the way, we passed this massive concrete pad.

There's no information about it, but one surmises it must have been the pad for some piece of heavy machinery.

We were headed out to this structure.

There were some work "tables" inside.

Shooting through the back window to the door, this is how it looked.

There was a mine shaft nearby.

Looking inside, this is what we saw. We believe this was probably some kind of ventilation shaft. And these were lead mines. One can only guess at the level of toxic exposure.

Looking around, think again about those more than 1,000 people visiting here in the early 1900's.

Here's a pano of the surrounding area.

Above the post office was this "warehouse."

Inside, it looked like this.

To its left was another mine shaft.

Most all the mine shafts in Death Valley are gated and locked for safety.

Peering through the opening, this is what we saw.

Looking back toward the road was another structure.

And that's all that's left of Leadfield. You can read more about the town and its history right here.

Okay, so that's all I have for you today. We were out at the Marietta Wild Burro Range today, and oh my...what a fun adventure that was! I have some great pictures of the wild burros to share with you in tomorrow morning's post. As for the time traveling, I have just one more place to share with you, and then we'll be caught up.

We're in Hawthorne for just one more night, and we'll move along to Winnemucca, Nevada, tomorrow. We have reservations for three more stops along the way home, and we expect to reach the Three Cats Ranch on Saturday. It's been a wonderful trip, and it will be wonderful to get home again too.


Barbara said...

Everything was quiet now. It was even too freaky quiet. The house seemed big without anyone else inside. It felt lonely; like a ghost town. ~ Erica Sehyun Song

piecefulwendy said...

That must have been a lonely existence there, and difficult. Always wonder what stories those walls could tell.

SJSM said...

Sounds like a mini Teacup Dome situation. Get rich schemes with the little guy taking it in the shorts. It’s good you are seeing this in winter. Summer would be extremely hot in this barren land.

Let’s hope your travels are easy with no obstacles.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You know I loved seeing those marvelous old buildings. Even when the town was flourishing it wasn't all that big (at least by the photo). Methinks a ride on Old Dinah would have rattled your teeth!