Tonopah, Nevada

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Tonopah, Nevada
settlement_type = CDP
nickname = Queen of the Silver Camps [ [ Town of Tonopah, Nevada- Queen Of The Silver Camps ] ]
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Main Street & Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah



mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Tonopah, Nevada

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Nevada
subdivision_type2 =
subdivision_name2 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title = Senate
leader_name = Mike McGinness (R)
leader_title1 = Assembly
leader_name1 = Ed Goedhart (R)
leader_title2 = U.S. Congress
leader_name2 = Dean Heller (R)
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 42.0
area_land_km2 = 42.0
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_total_sq_mi = 16.2
area_land_sq_mi = 16.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 2627
population_density_km2 = 62.6
population_density_sq_mi = 162.1

timezone = Pacific (PST)
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 1843
elevation_ft = 6047
latd = 38 |latm = 4 |lats = 9 |latNS = N
longd = 117 |longm = 13 |longs = 50 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 89049
area_code = 775
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 32-73600
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0845985
website =
footnotes =

Tonopah is an unincorporated town and census-designated place (CDP) in Nye County, Nevada, United States. The population was 2,627 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Nye CountyGR|6.

Tonopah Test Range is located nearby.


Tonopah is located at the junction of U.S. Highway 6 and 95 en route from Las Vegas to Reno.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.2 square miles (42.0 km²), all of it land.


In 1903, miners rioted against Chinese workers in Tonopah, which spurred a boycott in China of US goods. The town started about 1900 with the discovery of rich gold/silver ore by the lost burro of a prospector, Jim Butler. The burro had wandered off during the night and had sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at the beast, but instead noticed the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history. The ore eventually played out, and abandoned mines can be found throughout the area.

Recently, Tonopah has relied on the nearby Tonopah Test Range as its main source of employment. The military has used the range and surrounding areas as a nuclear test site, a bombing range, and as a base of operations for the development of the F-117 Nighthawk.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 2,627 people, 1,109 households, and 672 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 162.1 people per square mile (2.59/km²). There were 1,561 housing units at an average density of 96.3/sq mi (37.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.24% White, 0.76% African American, 1.41% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 2.82% from other races, and 3.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.17% of the population.

There were 1,109 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 108.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $37,401, and the median income for a family was $47,917. Males had a median income of $40,018 versus $22,056 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,256. About 5.7% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.


*Central Nevada Museum []

*Tonopah's current fame rests largely on the reference to it in the chorus of the song "Willin'" by Lowell George of Little Feat on the albums "Little Feat","Sailin' Shoes" and "Waiting for Columbus":

"And I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah.
I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made;
driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed."
It is also possible that the song is actually referring to Tonopah, Arizona, in which case that fame is misplaced.


Further reading

"A History of Tonopah Nevada", by Robert D. McCracken (1992), ISBN 1-878138-52-9

External links

* [ Tonopah photos and information at Western Mining History]
* [ Official State of Nevada Tourism site]
* [ Photos of Mizpah mine] at Historic American Engineering Record

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Look at other dictionaries:

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