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I heard about Elberton from a couple of townfolk in the nearby small town of Garfield, WA. It wasn't until this past summer that I finally got a chance to explore and find the once thriving town, now not so much. Only a handful of structures remain from what once was a 200 acre, 500 person town in a draw along the Oregon-Washington Railroad (no longer used). The town was evidently started by a man named C.D. Wilbur and named after his son Elbert. Due to several catastrophic events (a fire and the great depression to follow), the town began a rapid decline and is now down to about 15 full-time residents. Whitman County bought the townsite and made a park there with hiking trail and other paths through the ruins in 1970. The most prominant reminders of what once was are the in-tact Church (United Brethren, I believe) and the perennial gardens from homesteads past that continue to grow in the Spring. Below are a few pictures of what you see there now.
Walking up C Street in Virginia City, Neek, Sar and I decided to explore one last saloon in town. Like the other saloons, this place has a history going back to the 19th century. It also, like some other saloons, has reports of paranormal activity. But there’s something about the Washoe Club that demands a closer look, which is exactly what we gave it!
A couple months ago here in northern Nevada an ammo company was looking for a place to shoot out to 2.5 miles, my friend (used to be sponsored by them) I showed them an area out off the 95N just south of the I-80. They seemed like good folks at first so I spent a couple days with them in our beautiful desert shooting. We all left the first time, no trash cleaned up, then afterwards they came out again, didn' invite me, ok fine no big deal, they put out a video of them doing a 2,500 yard shot in my spot a couple months later. Yesterday I went out with a friend to shoot long range out there, we set up our targets, go to the shooting position at the mine entrances. There is an old collapsed house up there I start walking around and find a grill they left, then I find about 20 foam ear plugs, bags of trash, soda cans, and wood and soda cams tossed into a hole about 7 foot deep, I called them out about it and they are saying I staged it! Ha, yeah ok. Can't trust folks one bit. I am mad at myself for showing them this area. I cleaned it all up and threw it away for em.
The main drag in Virginia City, Nevada (known as C Street) normally evokes the feeling of an Old West town. The street is filled with old saloons, many of them dating back to the 19th century when the town was in the throes of a silver rush from the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859. But on the day that Neek, Sar and I visited, the main feeling that C Street evoked was hunger!
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
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.
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