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nvexpeditions last won the day on January 7 2018

nvexpeditions had the most liked content!


About nvexpeditions

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  • Birthday 06/27/1992

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  1. As of the 12/17/2018 aerial view on Google Earth, it's still there. From Kissimmee, if you're heading SW on Orange Blossom Trail (US-17), turn right on Labor Camp Rd; not far past Osceola-Polk Line at the electrical substation. Labor Camp ends at Old Tampa Highway, turn right. It should be on the left, hard to miss. There was some degree of construction the last time I was there, but I don't think it should have affected the monument.
  2. I know there are a couple of forts here and there, notably Fort Jackson in Plaquemines Parish...but AFAIK, it's a state park so I don't know if you'd consider that 'exploring.' The only place I've managed to make it to (outside of New Orleans) is the old Rosalie Plantation Sugar Mill, south of Alexandria and about 80 miles north of Lafayette.
  3. I'm not sure if any 'average Americans' would be searching for history, ghost towns, and the like anyway; I prefer to think of it as a 'special interest.' That being said, I think I do eventually plan on having a separate offshoot site geared toward places outside Nevada. I just have to get around to actually making that happen...
  4. While my website has always been focused on Nevada, I've really been giving thought as to what to do in regards to places elsewhere. I have a few others in Florida too, and in California of course....I figured until i come up with a solution I'd just post stuff here. As far as my handle, I thought of changing it to something more generic, I just don't know *what*
  5. Toyah takes its name from an Indian word meaning 'flowing water'. It is the oldest townsite in Reeves County, and began as a trading post for ranches in the area. Prior to the Texas and Pacific Railway's arrival, W.T. Youngblood and his family arrived in a covered wagon and opened an adobe store. In 1881, Toyah saw first train and a post office was open. By the end of the year, Toyah had tents, saloons, restaurants, and a six-times weekly stage service provided by the Overland Transportation Company connecting to Fort Stockton and Fort Davis. In 1886, the A.M. Fields Hotel was opened, and in 1894 Toyah's first school was built. By 1910, Toyah had a population of 771 and had become an important cattle shipping point (although the shipping point soon moved to Toyahvale, some 25 miles south as the crow flies). A handsome new brick school was erected in 1912, and by 1914 Toyah had over a thousand residents, where it remained until the Crash of 1929. Two years later, only 553 remained in Toyah, and only 17 businesses were open. Since then, Toyah has been in a steady decline. By 2010, only 90 people remained in the quiet town. The school building has been abandoned for decades, and the majority of the business district was leveled by a tornado in 2004. Toyah School, built 1912 Ruins of the old Bank Toyah Christian Church Toyah Baptist Church, est 1903 For more Toyah photos, check out my Toyah album.
  6. Standing nearly-forgotten between Kissimmee and Davenport is a large concrete monument that once welcomed visitors to Polk County, Florida's "Citrus Center" (though the marker is actually nearly a quarter mile from the county line in Osceola County). Around 1930, several of these markers were erected at entry points to the county, and today only three remain. This one stands in its original home, along what was once the Tampa Highway/Dixie Highway/Lee Jackson Highway. Interestingly, on one side of the monument, Citrus is actually misspelled 'Citurs.' Apparently, there was a vote early this year to move the monument to a more prominent location, which was voted down. The highway has since been re-routed to the east (US-92), but 'Old Kissimmee Road' or 'Old Tampa Highway' still remains, and even has original brick paving in places. Definitely a cool find.
  7. This may be an (extremely) long shot, but has anybody ever heard anything about a 'bath house' somewhere along the old Emigrant route between Ragtown and the 40 Mile Desert? A long-defunct website (www.4wheelnoffroad.com) posted this picture and description years ago but I've never been able to find any other mention of it or any trace of anything similar on Google Earth.
  8. Thanks for the compliment Bob! I'm glad to hear it's coming in handy for ya!
  9. Pictures from yesterday's trip to Mentryville, an oil boom town in Los Angeles County. In 1875, Charles Alexander Mentry was hired by the California Star Oil Works Company to supervise drilling in Pico Canyon. In 1875 and 1876, three promising wells were drilled but the fourth, which was started in July, struck oil on September 26, 1876 at a depth of 370 feet. That well immediately began producing 25 barrels per day. In 1877, Mentry drilled the well to 560 feet, and 150 barrels were produced each day. After this success, California's first oil pipeline was constructed to connect Well No. 4 to a refinery in Newhall. Around this time, a town called Mentryville was established down the canyon from the wells. Here Charles Mentry built a 13-room mansion and lived until his death in 1900. Mentry apparently treated employees with incredible dignity, and upon his passing the entire town of 200 traveled to Los Angeles for his funeral, carrying with them a floral arrangement shaped like an oil derrick. Eventually, due to a change in oil production and the industry, Mentryville was abandoned. During the 1930s, most of the remaining residents left and took their homes with them - board by board. In 1962, only a caretaker remained, living in Mentry's old mansion. Today, historic Mentryville is a part of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Friends of Mentryville group works to restore and preserve what remains. Up higher in the canyon is old Well No. 4, which was finally capped in 1990 after 114 years of production - the longest continually operating oil well in the world. Well No. 4 was also declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966, one of the first in Los Angeles County. Just above Mentry's house, the Felton School remains next to scattered equipment. Remnants of another wooden building stood to the right until less than a year ago.
  10. Have you been reading Ghosts of the Humboldt Region by Dave Basso? That's the only place I've heard of some of these. Haha. I'm most interested in getting up to the Barberville/Rockill area myself.
  11. Thanks El! The only reason I know that Paher distinguishes between 'Old Oreana' and Oreana Station is because of his Ghost Towns and Desert Atlas, where he distinctively separates the two. Old Oreana is supposed to be a few miles to the west on the opposite side of the river. I did get the chance to explore the mill pictured above, most everything was intact because it is indeed on private property, however these photos and my visit took place in 2004 so the condition of the mill's interior may have changed since then.
  12. Does anybody know anything about the stamp mills at Oreana? Not to be confused with the site of 'Old' Oreana to the west on the other side of the river, but the current community of Oreana near I-80...all of the usual resources (Paher, Basso, Vanderburg) make note only of mills and the smelter at the old site, and Paher says that Oreana Station only operated as a railroad station and junction for the Nevada Short Line - no mention of any mills at the location.
  • Our picks

    • South Pass City WY
      South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.

      South Pass City Historic Site
      • 11 images
    • Surprise Canyon, California
      Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

      • 19 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
      My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

      1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
      2. Gold Bar
      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
      6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
      7. Happy Hooligan Mine

      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.


      • 6 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.


      • 3 replies
    • Trip 2001 - Northeastern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
      Reconnoitering Trips
      Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
      (and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure)
      June 19 - 28, 2001

      This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken.  It had been in the planning stages since the previous December.  Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along.  Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four.  And I was one of them.

      Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them:

      1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California.
      2. Stillwater, Nevada.
      3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada.
      4. Unionville, Nevada.
      5. Midas, Nevada.
      6. Spring City, Nevada.
      7. Paradise Valley, Nevada.
      8. Buckskin, Nevada.
      9. National, Nevada.
      10. Delamar, Idaho.
      11. Silver City, Idaho.
      12. Rio Tinto, Nevada.
      13. Pattsville, Nevada.
      14. Aura, Nevada.
      15. Cornucopia, Nevada.
      16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
      18. Tuscaurora, Nevada.
      19. Dinner Station, Nevada.
      20. Metropolis, Nevada.
      21. Charleston, Nevada.
      22. Jarbidge, Nevada.
      • 14 replies
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