Bullfrog

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom
1/12

Nye County

Note: The adobe relics at Bullfrog that are so popularly photographed belong to the Icehouse. If I'm wrong on that, feel free to correct me. I have also included some foundations and an old cabin that are south of the bottle house. I don't know what township (Bullfrog or Rhyolite) these structures actually belonged to. But Rhyolite has plenty of relics. I've attached a lot of photographs to the Rhyolite page. Therefore, I decided to put these relics on the Bullfrog page. I took some of these photos so that the background of where they are located can be seen. For example, the last photograph looks straight across at the confirmed relics of Bullfrog.

AKA: Orion; Bonanza; Amargosa City

One of the most famous prospectors in western mining history made the first discovery here. In 1904, Frank "Shorty" Harris and lesser-known Ernest Cross made gold discoveries in the hills outside of what would become Bullfrog and Rhyolite. This led to one of the biggest mining rushes in the early 1900's. It would also lead to one of the biggest collapses in western mining history. A version of the name Bullfrog comes from the Harris account of the gold ore. It was speckled with green and reminded him of a bullfrog. Cross stated that it came from an old song that spoke about a bullfrog. You can decide. Paher speaks of the early names of Orion and Amargosa City. Hall speaks of the early names of Bonanza and Amargosa City. These weren't all necessarily the same camp as Bullfrog. Some were sister camps located right near Bullfrog. However, it all quickly folded into Bullfrog and that name would remain until the town was completely abandoned a few years later. Bullfrog quickly established all the normal camp businesses, as well as those associated with a more permanent town. Bullfrog had a jail, hotels, saloons, a general store, bank, water line, post office and even a chamber of commerce. Bullfrog also had an icehouse, which I believe are the ruins that are still there today. By 1906, Bullfrog began to fade to Rhyolite. Eventually, they began moving some of the businesses and buildings from Bullfrog into Rhyolite. Before the decline, the population was estimated between several hundred and a thousand residents at Bullfrog alone. Former Senator William Stewart moved to Bullfrog and established a law practice here when the promise of the camp looked good. The post office finally closed in 1909. Rhyolite would become one of the most substantial cities in Nevada during the period of time described above. Thousands of residents lived at Rhyolite and Bullfrog. All of the businesses and services associated with a real city were built in Rhyolite as well. To include a two-story school, a three-story bank and a stock exchange just to name a small few. Within a few years, Rhyolite would be almost completely abandoned. Today, there is hardly anything left that allows a person to know that Bullfrog was ever there. Rhyolite still has a few good ruins, but also nothing that would indicate its past prominence as a real city. Only a few marked graves are left in the Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery to the south.

Post Office: December 3, 1904 to March 21, 1905 (as Amargosa); March 21, 1905 to May 15, 1909 (as Bullfrog).

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: Bullfrog/ Rhyolite was the first ghost town that I ever went to without being forced by my parents. This was in the early to mid 1990's. I've been there many times since. The main roads in the area are all good. Unlike so many mining camps in central and northern Nevada, you won't have deep snow, mountain passes, or thin, bumpy canyon roads to deal with. This is a great town for those new to seeing ghost towns. It's also a good one for those without as much desire to go deep into the backcountry, or without off-road vehicle capabilities. The photos are from 2013 and 2015.