Old cars big building

Nothing beats waking up and deciding that today will not be filled with cleaning, laundry and the grocery shopping! It’s where you look around and yell, ” I will not be a slave…. today!”  And then you laugh out loud and realize you are only punishing yourself.

Last Saturday was as perfect as a day can be – blue sky, gentle breeze, just-right-warm-in-the-sunshine kind of day. So when I asked my husband if he wanted to do something outside he grabbed the water bottles, sunscreen, hats, apples, venison jerky and cookies.

I mean you cannot travel 30 minutes from home without the necessary survival stuff! So with windows down and A Crowd of Small Adventures playing in the car, we ventured down the 93 South towards Boulder City, veered off to the 95 and then in a few miles saw the sign to transport us  back in time at Nelson, Nevada.

Big Building with signs and yellow bus

Nelson was originally called Eldorado in 1775 by the Spaniards who first discovered gold in the the Eldorado Canyon. A hundred years later the prospectors and miners of the day took over and established the notorious Techatticup Mine.

Disagreements over ownership, management and labor disputes resulted in wanton killings so frequent as to be routine and ordinary. Despite the sinister reputation of the mine, it along with others in the town produced several million dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead. The community was later named for Charles Nelson, a prospector who was slain at his mine in 1897 by the Indian killer, Avote.

Wagon wtih coca cola sign

In its heyday, the area established a reputation for being rough and lawless. During the American Civil War, deserters from both the Union and Confederate armies would wander there, hoping that such an isolated location would be the last place military authorities would look for them. ~ Courtesy of Wikpedia

Texaco sign

Nelson is just one of many ghost towns in Nevada to explore. Most started with hoards of miners who created instant towns, made huge sums of money until the mine dried up and then moved on leaving behind remnants of their interesting, and often challenging, lives.

Up until a couple of years ago, most people came to Nelson to tour the mine and wander the grounds of the old town. In the past few years a new couple moved in and brought their 30 years of antiques with them.

Small Building coca cola

They now book weddings and parties as well. While we were there a bride and groom, resplendent in their fancy cowboy finery, were getting ready to get their pictures taken as the family started to arrive with the caterers.

Oil drum siding 2

You can wander for quite awhile and at every turn you’ll find another cool antique sign. The picture above is of a building covered with oil can lids pounded flat and left to rust.  Love it!

Nephi Bevarages

Nehi Beverages! It’s sure been a while since I’ve seen that name.

Front door main building

There is so much to see at the entrance to the main building.

Messy front porch

This is the front porch. Inside is a collection of everything imaginable. It’s here you can book your mine tour or plan your wedding.

We got quite a surprise when asking if they had ice cream bars and we were directed to the freezer only to find frozen rattle snake “popsicles”!  

Inside Barn 

Good Year sign on barn 

3 story barn

Standing inside this giant antique-filled barn your can look straight up to the three stories above!

Bardahl Texaco big door

Ethyl gas pump

The colors on this old gas pump and Skelly Gasoline sign are so vivid.


This piano has seen better days but a few of the keys still worked!

Chollo Cactus

The Chollo Cactus grows every where and gets quite large.  I love the fuzziness of the plants but don’t touch!  Like other desert plants it can be painful if you try to cuddle them.

Colorado River Eldorado Canyon

We took the short 1/2 mile or so drive to Lake Mohave/Colorado River. There is a view point on top or you can park below and take the walk to the water to wade, swim, canoe or just howl at the coyotes.

All in all it was a wonderful day out in the sun!  If you are coming to Las Vegas let me know – I’ll get you away from the bright lights of the City and out to the expansive and beautiful desert where you can calm down, take a deep breath of clean air and find a little bit of heavenly peace.


~ Photos by Denise Wilcox 




10 Responses to A Trip Back in Time | Out and About

  1. Beautiful! Looks like when need to plan a vacation in the west.

    • Denise @BeBetsy says:

      Hi Kris – The West is full of magnificent places to wander. Let me know when you are coming I love to tell people what to do….. just ask my children! 🙂
      Thanks for you comment!

  2. Eileen says:

    Denise, I love days like this. Pure adventure! That old town is quite alluring. Have they made any movies there?

    • Denise @BeBetsy says:

      Hi Eileen – there were a few with the most prominent one being the 2001 crime film 3000 Miles to Graceland starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner.

      It’s a fun place!

  3. Amy says:

    Looks like it was a perfect day! I’d definitely be game to walk around Nelson. Your pictures were great, especially that last one of Lake Mohave. Oh, the rattlesnake pops? Pass!

    • Denise @BeBetsy says:

      Hi Amy, it was a perfect Fall day. Let me know when you get to Las Vegas or Henderson (my City) and I’ll take you! Ya, I didn’t lick the rattlesnake pops. 🙂
      Best wishes,D

  4. Love love love this. Your pictures are fantastic.

    • Denise @BeBetsy says:

      Thanks women! I was so excited to have you see it too. Love reading about your Out and Abouts and wanted to share some Western flavor! Hugs.

  5. Kim Gaynor says:

    So much eye candy to look at! I love posts like this. I loved looking at all the old signs (I collect some myself) … and I love the building that’s covered with oil can lids pounded flat and left to rust.

  6. Denise @BeBetsy says:

    Hi Kim! That oil can lid building was so so cool. I would love to collect old signs but I collect so many things my husband might disown me. 🙂 But he wouldn’t.

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