Tonopah is an oasis of sorts in an otherwise desolate section of Nevada. It has the only gas stations, motels and grocery stores in a large area. It's 100 miles or more to the nearest services in almost any direction out of Tonopah. Tonopah was a silver mining boomtown founded in 1900. The population of Tonopah peaked in 1920 at 4,144 and sharply declined after that. After mining activity decreased Tonopah survived as a services center for people traveling on highway 95 between Las Vegas and Reno, as a commercial center for the surrounding area and providing off base housing and services for the nearby Tonopah Test Range. Tonopah's current population is 2,478 and it seems fairly healthy economically.
Tonopah has a few attractions for curious visitors. The Tonopah Mining Historic Park preserves a large extent of the silver mine that spurred Tonopah's growth. There is a museum in a mine building, an improved walking trail around the mine grounds and underground mine tours are offered. The headframe and many other mine structures are still standing and old mine equipment is strewn around the park. The park does charge admission. Tonopah is also home of the Central Nevada Museum which is free. There are several "casinos" in Tonopah as well as bars, a few restaurants, a small grocery and a few hotels. The Mizpah Hotel, built in 1905-08 looks nicely restored and is open for business. The Clown Motel (pictured below) seemed like a popular choice when I passed through town in 2014.
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