Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Things You Find in the Field: Sulfur at Sulphur

I recently drove across northern Nevada from Winnemucca to Gerlach to the NV-CA state line in the upper reaches of Smoke Creek, and while the temperature was holding steady at about 89°F, I stopped at Sulphur to take a few quick pictures. It turns out that Sulphur is a bigger place than I had realized on my several stops through the area, and so I spent a little extra time there.

In the first photo, you can see the roof of a building on the ground—this roof has been photographed many times and is easy to find on the internet—and you can see a well-built cabin. I'm not sure where exactly the cabin came from, because it, and the sign, were not present the last time I drove through the area, which was last May (2017). Although I didn't get photos last year showing this precise area, I do have photos from 2013 without sign or cabin, and Google also currently shows the area without either.
The sign says the town was at least 400 acres in size (about 0.625 square miles), and that claims for sulfur were first filed in 1875.
I wandered over to take a closer look at the "new" cabin, which has bars on doors and windows to deter entry.
An interior shot.

Then, having ventured farther than I expected when I first stopped, I decided to brave the slightly above average temperature to wander around. I used only my out-of-date phone for these shots; the photos turned out better than expected. 
Looking east toward the barely active Hycroft gold mine.
Upside down washer?
Remains of a root cellar.
Looking west toward the Black Rock Desert—not visible for the raised railroad bed—we can see the many remains of Sulphur in the foreground and the Granite Range near Gerlach (left) and the Calico Mountains (right) in the blueish background.
Sulfur at Sulphur!
Old bed springs.
Partly shot up old stove.
And then it was time to move on. I had 44 miles to get to Gerlach, and many more miles beyond that.

Strangely enough, very few of the Nevada or western ghost town sites have any information about the place; those with the most info are (1) the Sulphur and Sulphur Mining District wikis by the Friends of the Black Rock Desert, (2) the Black Rock Explorers Society's page on Sulphur, (3) a blurb at the Winnemucca Convention & Visitor's Authority, and (4) an article at Nevada Magazine. I'm not sure who has added the new sign and moved in the "new" old cabin (actually, the signs there are marked National Conservation Lands, part of BLM, and the sign says "Funded by the Hycroft Mining Corporation") but upon my Google search for new sign at Sulphur Nevada, the 6th hit is Zillow reporting it has 0 homes for sale in Sulphur, NV. I'll henceforth be excluding Sulphur from my new home searches!