Bonnie Clare

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Nye County

AKA: Bonnie Claire; Clare; Clair; Thorp's Wells; Thorp; Montana Station; Summerville; Gold Mountain;

Originally founded under the name of Thorp's Wells, mining began here in early 1880's. A small stamp mill was eventually built. By the early 1900's, a company named the Bonnie Clare Bullfrog Mining Company purchased the mill. A small camp now named Thorp was formed. A sister camp named Summerville was formed about a mile away, but quickly faded. Thorp also became a stage stop on the Bullfrog to Goldfield stage route. By 1906, Thorp flourished when it became an official stop on the Bullfrog-Goldfield Railroad, which was called Montana Station. Later in 1906, the town was renamed Bonnie Clare. During this period of time, the mines were producing consistent ore and a bigger mill was built. By the summer of 1907, the Las Vegas & Tonopah also reached Bonnie Clare. With a population of only a little over 100 residents, the town still contained the normal businesses consisting of store, saloons and lodging houses. Bonnie Clare actually had a train wreck in late 1907 when a Bullfrog- Goldfield train derailed here. Many were injured, but no one was killed. Declining mines in area, accompanied by the coming collapse of Rhyolite in 1908-1909, sent Bonnie Clare into decline. A few more attempts at revival occurred over the next few years. By 1914, railroad service coming through the area was on a very limited basis. This area is also the direct route to Scotty's Castle in Eastern California. Bonnie Clare was the supply hub for the building materials being shipped for the building of Scotty's Castle in the late 1920's. After this was complete, no further trains came through Bonnie Clare. The Post Office officially closed in 1931. A profitable revival occurred in the early 1940's. The last revival occurred in 1952. It was over within a couple years.

Post Office: July 15, 1905 to July 13, 1909 (Thorp); July 13, 1909 to December 31, 1931 (Bonnie Clare).

Last Trip: The last time that we looked around was in 2014. I took my kids. They found the two grave markers knocked over. They wanted to stand them back up and fix them. Proud moment. The photos of the upright grave markers are attached. This is a very rural highway with very little traffic. The weather can get cold here, but it is milder than most of the state.