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Rhyolite ghost town gets cleanup campaign

Scores of volunteers descended on the Nevada ghost town of Rhyolite on Public Lands Day to participate in a cleanup sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Many volunteers were Beatty residents, though others traveled from outside the area to help in the effort on Sept. 28.

Young and old carried pick-up tools and garbage bags and scoured the town site for litter.

Some wielded hoes to clear areas of unwanted vegetation, while others used brushes or rollers to paint surfaces that needed graffiti covered or just needed refreshing.

Many donned orange volunteer T-shirts, while others opted to wear their own work clothes.

Volunteers were offered a rare opportunity of looking inside the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad Depot, which is usually kept locked. The volunteers were not required to look inside the depot.

In addition to the cleanup, a fence was installed around the old railroad caboose, across the road from the depot. The caboose has been deteriorating for years and has been judged unsafe for visitors to enter. Past efforts to block entry with barriers on the doors have proven unsuccessful.

Leaders of the cleanup effort were pleased with the sizable turnout and with the work that was done.

More cleanup is needed, particularly the removal of apparent fake blood splattered on the wall and floor inside the Overbury Bank vault by a supposed unauthorized film crew who left quite a mess recently. This will be done by BLM personnel using graffiti removal equipment.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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