Contact: Senior Editor Stuart Rosebrook
The legend goes that Tonopah was founded by happy accident in 1900 when Jim Butler, hunting for his burro, found an outcropping that eventually produced five million tons of silver ore. True or not, Tonopah is a place with a rich history and heritage.
That is one reason Tonopah is #8 among True West Magazine’s 2019 Top Western Towns. Tombstone, AZ took the top spot. They will be featured in the February 2019 issue, hitting newsstands on December 10, 2018.
Halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, Tonopah remembers its founder every year with its Jim Butler Days Celebration, a week of fun that includes a parade, gold panning, live music and a street dance. At the Nevada State Mining Championships, men compete in events like single and double jack drilling, just as early miners did.
The 113-acre Tonopah Historic Mining Park is an outdoor museum that encompasses Butler’s original claims—and it’s been voted best rural museum in Nevada five years running. For a meal or a drink, stop at the Mizpah Hotel, the height of luxury at its opening in 1907. The Central Nevada Museum has an Old West town with miners’ cabins, a saloon and blacksmith shop. Walk through the Old Tonopah Cemetery with a map that tells about the 300 souls buried there.
“Tonopah is a small town—about 2500 people—with a big heritage,” says True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. “The people honor and celebrate their mining history and do a great job of presenting it to visitors. Tonopah truly deserves the designation as a Top Western Town.”
This is the 14th year True West has presented this annual award. Editors base their selection on criteria demonstrating how each town has preserved its history through old buildings, museums and other institutions, events, and promotions of historic resources.
True West magazine is in its 67th year of leading the way in presenting the true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation. For subscriptions and more information, visit TWMag.com or call 888-687-1881.
Contact: Stuart Rosebrook
TONOPAH — Ramsey Cline is poking around inside the guts of the old State Bank and Trust Building. Better known as the Belvada, the five-story edifice is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was once among the state’s tallest buildings. ■ For decades, however, the grand old dame of Nevada’s pioneer heyday sat in disrepair — like this former mining town itself, nearly forgotten. ■ Cline plans to change that.
He’s the point-man on a family project to reopen the Belvada in the spring of 2019 as a high-end 40-room hotel with retail shops and a basement speakeasy, a way to draw tourists to Tonopah.
The building’s name was changed in the 1960s to disassociate it from the old bank, which failed after just a few months, but the Belvada remains a critical piece of the town’s history.
“It’s one of the centerpieces of downtown Tonopah,” Cline said. “Just a few years ago, there was talk of tearing it down. It had water leaks, birds lived there, and the windows were all covered with plywood.” It deserves a second life, he said. Read the entire article…