Charleston, Nevada

Gila City, Arizona
May 6, 2016
Vulture City, Arizona
May 9, 2016

CharlestonNevadaThis ghost town was originally Mardis and came up after the discovery of placer gold in the area in 1876. It was a town constructed in the middle of nowhere and had no laws in place governing it and those living there. Stores, an icehouse, saloons, a school and a hotel were put up around this time.

The name Mardis originated from one George Washington Mardis who had a great reputation of honesty to the extent that people trusted him to ferry their ore to the mills located in Deeth and Elko. He was somewhat an interesting personality for anyone encountering him for the very first time.

That was because he had survived a mining explosion accident that claimed one of his eyes and left one side of his face scarred. This was definitely an intimidating sight for most first timers. In what could be termed a dark day for this town, Mardis was hauling ore at one time in his usual trips when he got robbed and shot dead by a Chinese miner. The miner was later executed by his people and both were buried at a cemetery in Gold Creek and after this incidence, the town of Mardis went under in 1883.

Efforts to revive the town saw it come up once again and a post office was established on 28th August 1886. The name of the post office was Bayard but did not last long. It closed down on 2nd February 1889 and the population of the town by 1890 was only 41 individuals. Mardis went down again for a while until 1894 when it experienced another resurgence that saw the post office open its doors once again on 31st January 1895. By this time, the town had already acquired the name Charleston drawn from a local miner by the name Tom Charles.

The census conducted in 1900 revealed that a population of 40 individuals called Charleston home at the time. That same year, a school was opened after Prunty family settled here. It was a large family that continued growing after it had settled at Charleston and descendants of this family have continued to live out their lives here to date.

Mining activities within the region came to life again and continued up to 1942. In 1951 the post office closed down and tungsten mining became the main preoccupation of inhabitants of this remote location from 1954 to 1956. After this period, the town of Charleston drowned into obscurity.

Before Charleston town went down, it was slowly transitioning to a new lifestyle as focus shifted from the mines to cattle. Today, Charleston is a ghost town turned a ranch with most of the ranches in the area under the Prunty family. The interesting history of this town is not the only thing you get to share as you visit the place but more than this, the area is set in an environment with beautiful scenery to behold. An opportunity to access the area is worth more than the history of the old town, setting it apart from what is common with other mining towns of the early days.

Leave a Reply