Attractions January 10, 2018
The Historic Small Town That Every Nevadan Should Visit At Least Once
Pretty much every single one of Nevada’s small towns has a unique and interesting history that goes along with it. One of the most underappreciated historic towns in Nevada has got to be Ely. It may be the largest city in White Pine County, but with a population of just 4,200 people it still maintains a quintessential small town vibe. Ely has a lot of things going for it despite its remote location. This historic small town is a place that every Nevadan should visit at least once, and here’s why.
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Ely, Nevada is considered one of the most remote places in the continental U.S. However, there's plenty to do and see in this incredibly historic town.
Established in the 1870s as a stagecoach station, Ely soon became a typical Western mining town. Many buildings from Ely's rich history are still standing today including the six-story Hotel Nevada And Gambling Hall which opened back in 1929.
The hotel cost $400,000 to build and was considered Nevada's tallest building at the time. Several popular figures and celebrities have stayed at this magnificent hotel. The structure is still impressive and remains a popular tourist attraction to this day.
Even the White Pine County Courthouse which was built in 1908 still stands.
The beautiful structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. It still functions as a courthouse to this day. However, construction on a new courthouse has begun. When the new courthouse opens, this one will be turned into an administrative building.
Ely is decorated with more than 20 murals memorializing the area's history.
These gigantic murals are painted over the sides of buildings. Artists from all over the world were commissioned to create a mural in their own distinctive style. These murals are found around "the Renaissance Village" which is a cluster of centuries-old homes that display the history of the different ethnic groups that came to Ely to work in the mines or on the railroad.
You'll definitely want to stop by the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, which features a mixture of steam, electric, and diesel-electric locomotives.
Visitors will have the opportunity to go on a 90-minute train ride in one of the authentic 1910 steam engines. The museum even hosts themed train rides like the "Haunted Ghost Train" or "The Polar Express". The museum is incredible and the level of preservation of the locomotives is seriously impressive.
If you feel like wandering outside the town for a bit, be sure to check out the Ward Charcoal Ovens.
Just 17 miles south of Ely are a collection of 30-foot tall charcoal ovens built sometime in the late 1870s. These ovens were used to help process the silver ore that was discovered in the area. After the mines shut down, the ovens became popular hideouts for stagecoach robbers. They remain in excellent condition today and are open to the public for tours.
Visiting Ely is like stepping back in time. A lot of the town feels like it's stuck in the past, but that's what makes this town such an enchanting place to visit.
You could spend all day in Ely and still not experience the town in its entirety. There's something in this small town for everyone. However, it's learning about Ely's fascinating history that makes a visit here so memorable.
Have you been to Ely before? If you enjoyed learning about Ely, then you’ll love our article on
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