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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 4, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 4, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, September 4, 1997 21 Outdoors i' Operation Game Thief." 1-800-992-3030 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800-952-5400 _/ A hunting reminder! Auto history in Nye County by Ed Tomchin January 7, 1905, for the route between Tonopah and Gold- The first automobile arrived in Nye County at Goldfield on field (30 miles). This was a very respectabletime, given the August 10, 1904. It was a 16 horsepower Rambler owned by vehicles and the terrain at the time. The record between G. W. Richard, president and owner of the State Bank and Goldfield and Bullfrog (78 miles) was four hours. In May Trust Company. 1905 the record between Las Ve- The history of Nye County gas and Rhyolite (120 miles) stood can be read in the history of at 10 hours over a wagon road. mining, and that automotive Because everything, including event marked the beginning of spare pans, gas, oil and experi- a new era in mining in both enced mechanics, were few and far Nevada and Nye County. between, fares for these journeys The principal mining com- was extremely high. The route munities after the turn of the between Tonopah and Goldfield century were Tonopah, Gold- charged $6 per passenger, or 20 field, Rhyolite, Bullfrog and cents per mile. Goldfield to Bull- Beatty. The introductionofthe frog cost $25 per passenger or 32 internal combustion engine cents per mile. Las Vegas to Bull- driving machine into those frog ran$40perpassengeror33 I/ communities soon changed the 3 cents per mile. You could hire an face of mining, automobile for $200 aday, depend- While there is no doubt that railroads had a bigger impact ing on the type of machine you chose. on mining, much'of the industry's history in Nye County In those early days, automobiling was very precarious and would not be what it is without the automobile, not many drivers ventured beyond town limits. The auto According to the Goldfield News (August 1904), Richard's stage lines had to overcome numerous problems before being Rambler took three hours to make the original trip from successful, not the least of which was building roads. Gener- Tonopah to Goldfield and the machine could not be started for ally, roads were made by running a few autos back and forth the return trip, even though the driver worked on it for two over the most likely route. days. As auto lines became more successful, toll roads were built During the years before railroads connected these mining by scraping the area clear of brush and rocks and leveling it camps, there was a definite need for some form of transpor- as much as possible. Tolls ran from $1 per car to as much as tation to supplement the stage and freight lines which were $15 per car, depending on the route and its difficulty. The driven by horse and mule power. As a result of this need, highest toll recorded was a charge of $75 for a car and seven automobile companies were formed in each of these commu- passengers. nities, which all them to successfully gain a foothold Freighters were discouraged from using the auto roads by and compete against the railroads over short distances, building the roads awy from known watering places, since The Nevada Secretary ofStat e' ecords show that the first the horse and mule drawn wagons could not go without vented, of these auto companies v/ tr.ol)opah-Goldfield Auto and they could not give up paying cargo to haul their own Company, establis in Odf"i904. In April 1905, the water. company was taken over by the Nevada Mobile Transit Most auto lines made severe modifications to their vehicles Company and placed 20 autos into daily service between before putting them into service. Some tore down the ies ost outlying mining camps radiators On May 3, 1905, Nevada Mobile Tranit, initiated service andreconstructingthecarburetors. Broken axles were frequent between Goldfield and Rhyolite. Shortly rfter they and flat tires occurred with maddening regularity. extended their service line to Las Vegas, w in those days The drivers, however, were the most eccentric part of the was merely a freightstop for railroads supplying the mining early automotive scene in Nye County. Paine, in "Gold fields of southern Nevada. The total distance covered by this Camps of the Desert", described this maverick as "the desert line was 194 miles, chauffeur who opened the trail of traffic between Goldfield Other auto connections were made between Tonopah and and Tonopah is an essentially modern breed. He is distinctly Manhattan, Reno and Tonopah, Tonopah and Ely, and from picturesque and he is as thorough-going a pioneer in his way the Front (a station on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad) as the freighter in his ... I can spot one of these desert to Greenwater. The latter route was the famous Death Valley automotive drivers coming up the street as far as I can see him, route of"Alkali Bill" which started at the Front and extended, said a man i n Goldfield. After he has been at it a year, he looks across Death Valley to the new copper camp at Greenwater. like a sheepherder. He gets that locoed look in his face and the Alkali Bill's advertisement in the both the "Tonopah Daily same kind of wild stare, and he looks as if you couldn't get the Sun" and the "Death Valley Chuck Walla" read as follows: dust out of his system if you ran him through a stamp mill. "Go automobiling in Death Valley with Alkali Bill. The Anyone who traveled by auto in those early Nye County Death Valley Chug Line runs cars daily from the Front on days had to be prepared for the consequences of driving Borax Smith's railroad to Greenwater. Alkali Bill himself through rocky canyons, deep sand and streams. It was highly meets every train and whizzes you over the desert 45 miles by recommended, just as it is today, that a driver carry all way of Death Valley and the famous Amargosa Canyon, past necessary replacement parts and tools, extra tires, chains, a the borax tanks of 20 Mule Team fame to Greenwater in less shovel, block and tackle, Camping gear and plenty of water than three hours. Better writeahead or wire yourreservations and gasoline. if you have time. Alkali Bill's Death Valley Chug Line, The use of the auto in prosting was an important Greenwater, Inyo County, California." development in the mining industry in Ne Count),. It was The record of one hour and 20 minutes was established on almost as important then as it is today. , i Fishing Report by Goff Schneider Nevada Division of Wildlife LAKE MEAD - Excellent top water action for small striped bass is being found throughout the Boulder Basin, according to the Nevada Division of Wildlife. The better success is still taking place in the early morning and evening hours. However, stripers are being seen feeding on the lake's surface during the daylight hours. Boaters are casting a variety of top water baits to catch the fish. These include Zara Spooks, Jumpin' Minnows and Sassy Shad. Jigging and drifting with cut anchovies are also catching fish. Anglers are finding stripers in open water from Pyramid Island to the Hemenway Wall. Stripers are also being caught at Government Wash, coves between Boxcar Cove and Callville Bay, the intake tower and Pumphouse Cove. Rogers Bay in the Overton Arm is holding both stripers and largemouth bass. The Meadows area has also been productive for stripers. LAKE MOHAVE - Trout fishing is reported to be good for anglers drifting and casting spoons and fiat fish above Willow Beach. Fair sucess for striped bass continues around Cotton- wood Cove and at Owl's Point. Most of the fish are being caught by trolling with anchovies. EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR - Anglers reported having little or no success over the weekend. A die off of trout due to low oxygen levels in the water combined with the water's turbidity is being blamed for the poor fishing. ECHO CANYON RESERVOIR - Goo d fishing for small largemouth bass and crappie was found over the holiday weekend. The lake has experienced Some rain in recent days. WAYNE E. KIRCH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA - Trout fishing continues to improve while anglers are having good success for largemouth bass. The better action for bass is taking place at Adams- McGill and Daeey reservoirs while trout fishing has been fair from the dam at Haymeadow Reservoir. Weed growth in the lakes is causing some problems for anglers.