Bonnie Clare was established in October 1906 as a milling center for several nearby mines.
The ruins of Bonnie Claire.
The town of Thorp was established around 1904, with the first post office opening in 1905. The town would be renamed Bonnie Claire in 1906 after the arrival of the Bullfrog and Goldfield Railroad. In 1907 the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad would reach the town.
1907 saw the peak of the town’s population at about 100 people. The town site now had a two-story hotel, a number of saloons and stores, and houses had begun to be built to replace the tent city.
Despite the small boom that had taken place due to the trains reaching the town, it wasn’t long before the town began to diminish.
Bonnie Claire would see another busy period in the 1920’s, when Chicago Millionaire Albert Johnson and Walter Scott (Death Valley Scotty) began construction on what would become known as Scotty’s Castle. Most of the supplies for the construction of the castle came through Bonnie Claire via the railroad, and was then trucked out 20 desolate miles to the construction site. When the Great Depression hit, construction on the mansion would decrease, which would cause once again an exodus from Bonnie Claire.
Eventually the railroad tracks leading through Bonnie Claire would be pulled up, and trains stopped rolling through this once bustling little town. In 1931 the town would lose its post office as the town’s population had moved on. Today the town site consists of a couple of lonely buildings that have been littered with modern people’s garbage, and a couple of modern era junk cars. A small mining shaft is located directly beside one of the buildings, it’s unclear if this shaft was used in the early days of Bonnie Claire, or if it’s from a more recent time.