Downtown Tonopah, Nevada
Tonopah is a census designated place that is also the county seat of Nye County. Tonopah bills itself as the "Queen of the Silver Camps." Supposedly, gold and silver ore were discovered in this area by a prospector named Jim Butler. One of his burros had wandered off during the night and he found it the next morning near a large rock outcropping. He picked up a rock to throw at the burro and noticed the rock was really heavy. So began the second richest silver strike in Nevada history. Mines popped up all over the place but the ore body ran out before too long and the get-rich-quick folks were soon gone. However, the business was so hot-and-heavy that 1903 saw a major riot happen in Tonopah against Chinese workers in the area. That riot led to a boycott of American-made goods in China.
About 30 miles to the southeast of Tonopah is the Tonopah Test Range (also known as Area 52 - not the famous Area 51 of the alien conspiracy theorists, but close). This is at the northern edge of the Nellis Air Force Bombing & Gunnery Range and is inaccessible to the public. The Tonopah Test Range is where the F-117 Stealth fighters were first operated, from 1982 through 1989. Tonopah Test Range is also where the Red Eagles were based (the Red Eagles were a squadron of US Air Force pilots who flew Russian MiG fighter aircraft from 1979 to 1988, learning what the aircraft were capable of and how to fly against them). The Tonopah Test Range has been administered for most of its life by Sandia National Laboratory.
Looking across Tonopah
Satellite view of the Tonopah Test Range area
|Fast Facts about Tonopah, Nevada|
Tonopah, Nye County, NV 89049
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 91.4%
Native American: 0.4%
Two or More Races: 0.5%
High School or Higher: 81.2%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 9.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.2%
Median Resident Age: 38.7 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $50,400
Estimated Median Home Value: $77,500
2011 Cost of Living Index for Tonopah: 88.3
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Amargosa Valley - Beatty - Gabbs - Manhattan - Pahrump - Round Mountain - Nye County
Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park - Belmont Courthouse State Historic Park
Extraterrestrial Highway - Lunar Crater Back Country Byway
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest - Alta Toquima Wilderness - Arc Dome Wilderness
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Quinn Canyon Wilderness - Table Mountain Wilderness
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|Upper photo of Tonopah, Nevada courtesy of Cooper.ch, CCA ShareAlike 3.0 License.|
Satellite photo of Tonopah Test Range courtesy of NASA.
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