Belmont Ghost Town
Dominating the skyline in Belmont, a 19th-century mining camp where ruins outnumber residents, is the 1876 Nye County Courthouse. The county conducted its official business here until 1905, when the county seat was moved to Tonopah. The two-story brick building is the centerpiece of the Belmont Courthouse State Historic Site.
Belmont’s old metal jail cells with their heavy iron doors are stashed behind the courthouse. You can step inside the cells to get a feel of how uncomfortable it was to be a jailbird in the old days—baking in the summer and freezing in the winter. The best time to visit Belmont is in the summer. In fact, July 4th is the ideal day to stop by this central Nevada town. That’s when former Belmonters come home for a big Independence Day party.
If in town for Independence Day, note that the crumbling masonry walls of Belmont’s once fine structures make for terrific photos. The ghostly walls and Nevada’s deep blue sky form the backdrop for the annual July 4th parade. Some years the parade is longer than other years, depending on how many people come to town for the holiday and whether they get organized in time. Somehow, the celebration always seems to happen and includes a picnic and other jollities.
Fewer than a dozen people live in Belmont year-round, and there are no services. Call ahead to stay at the five-room bed-and-breakfast, the Belmont Inn. Plenty of motels and other tourist services are offered in Tonopah.
Belmont is 45 miles northeast on Tonopah via U.S.95/6, S.R. 376 and Monitor Valley Road.
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