Posts Tagged ‘Rick Pisio’

Hamilton, NV – A Lincoln Highway Ghost Town

November 5, 2007

Ghost towns fascinate most of us, and many books and web sites chart the rise and fall of these once-booming settlements. Rick Pisio (see previous post) captured some amazing views at Hamilton, NV, a mining town on the original Lincoln Highway east of Ely.

Silver was discovered here in 1868, and within two years, there were more than 13,000 mining claims. Main Street grew to a mile long and the town itself a mile-and-a-half wide, with two banks, two newspapers, post office, courthouse, school system, water and steam company, churches, fire companies, and a hotel considered the state’s most expensive structure. Hamilton even became the first seat of White Pine County. But the ore layer was thin, and folks left as quickly as they had come. An intentional fire in 1873 (for insurance money) destroyed much of the town.

Even though it’s a 10-mile drive from US 50 over bumpy dirt roads, many make the journey, though their visits, and natural weathering, take a noticable toll. Online images show the brick structures crumbling a bit more every year, and soon, little will remain standing.

Two historic views from Ghost Towns: How They Were Born, How They Lived, and How They Died by Tom Robotham (Running Press, 1993) show the Wells Fargo bank as the town’s most prominent structure:
Ghost Towns book

See more of Rick Pisio’s photos from this and other Western ghost towns at rwphotos.

A detailed history of Hamilton is available at White Pine County Nevada History and Genealogy Research site.

For USGS maps on getting there, check The Lincoln Highway: Nevada by Gregory Franzwa and Jess Petersen. The 1913 LH stretches over maps 39-43.

Fan Posts UT-NV Tour on American Road Forum

November 4, 2007

The American Road Forum is a great place to ask questions and get info from roadside experts, including, of course, for the Lincoln Highway. You can browse as a guest, but sign up so you can add your own questions and answers.

In May, Rick Pisio (whose website of impressive photos can be found in my Helpful Links section) asked about driving the LH west from the Pacific, especially the original alignment around the Great Salt Lake Desert. He got some wonderful insights and detailed replies:

Rick made the trip in late July with his father Matt (who turns 70 this month – Pisio on Am Rd Whhappy birthday!) and 14-year-old son Richard, whom he says really enjoyed it: “I talked enough about the history of the roads we traveled and he listened in on the conversations my dad and I had during the trip enough to understand that what we were doing was not your normal vacation. I think he also realizes that opportunities for 3 generations to travel on a trip like we did do not happen that often.” Must have worked – Rick says they hope to take another trip next year.

Rick’s posts to the American Road Forum picked up his journey three days into the trip, starting at West Valley City, Utah, traveling through Skull Valley to the US Army Dugway Proving Ground: Here’s a view from the start of the trip looking south on the original LH in Skull Valley:

Four subsequent entries through Utah and across Nevada can be found on the “Lincoln Highway / U.S. 30 / U.S. 50” board:

Here’s a view looking east to the Goodyear Cutoff, a contentious shortcut that’s been off-limits for more than a half-century. The sign’s faded lettering reads “Dead End Road, No Trespassing, Government Property.” The short post on the right has the Lincoln Highway logo and “Lincoln Highway” down its length:

Days later, he captured sunset at the International Cafe in Austin, where they had the last dinner of their trip:

Anyone wanting to make the trip themselves will enjoy Rick’s storytelling and evocative images, plus maps of each day’s journey. All his posted photos, plus some not in the American Road reports, can be found at

We can’t wait for next year’s trip.