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Tonopah

Trip Planner USA  /  Nevada  /  Tonopah
(190+ reviews from 2 attractions)
Sightseeing Museums
Tonopah is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Nye County, Nevada, United States. It is located at the junction of U.S. Routes 6 and 95 approximately mid-way between Las Vegas and Reno. In the 2010 census the population was 2,478 and the CDP has a total area of 16.2sqmi, all land.HistoryThe community began circa 1900 with the discovery of gold and silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler when he went looking for a lost burro he owned. The burro had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at the beast, but instead noticed the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history.While Butler may have been responsible for the first ore strike, it took men of wealth and power to consolidate the mines and reinvest their profits into the infrastructure of the town of Tonopah. George Wingfield, a 24-year-old poker player when he arrived in Tonopah, played poker and dealt faro in the town saloons. Once he had a small bankroll he talked Jack Carey, owner of the Tonopah Club, into taking him in as a partner and to file for a gaming license. In 1903, miners rioted against Chinese workers in Tonopah, which spurred a boycott in China of U.S. goods.
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